Ava Labs axes 12% of staff to redirect efforts towards expansion

Ava Labs, the team developing the Avalanche blockchain, has announced a 12% reduction in its workforce, attributing the decision to strategically reallocating its resources.

The firm’s CEO and founder, Emin Gün Sirer, confirmed the layoffs on Nov. 7, following announcements by several former employees on X that they had been laid off.

The move, according to Sirer, is a strategic reallocation of resources aimed at bolstering the growth of both Ava Labs and the broader Avalanche ecosystem.

Gün Sirer acknowledged the challenges presented by bear markets, yet he reiterated that Ava Labs is in a strong position, equipped with ample runway and resources.

With a workforce previously numbering 335, as per LinkedIn data, the layoffs have affected approximately 40 individuals.

Garrison Yang, Ava Labs’ Vice President of Growth and Strategy, suggested that the marketing department bore the brunt of the staff reductions.

Among those affected was Zach Manafort, a former member of the game growth marketing team, who had been actively involved with the Avalanche community since 2020.

In an Oct. 6 post on X, Manafort expressed his surprise at the layoffs, having believed that the company was on the cusp of a new phase of growth.

Brandon Suzuki, another former member of the marketing team at Ava Labs, also acknowledged that he had been part of the layoffs on Oct. 6.

Previous layoffs in the crypto space

Despite a significant rally in the crypto markets this year, not all is well for cryptocurrency companies, which still face challenging liquidity constraints.

On Nov. 3, the NFT marketplace OpenSea also engaged in a similar “restructuring” effort, which led to the dismissal of about 50% of its staff. This is a significant shift from less than two years prior when OpenSea secured a formidable $13.3 billion valuation after a Series C funding round.

Yuga Labs, known for the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, similarly announced cutbacks last month. The company is now channeling its efforts into Otherside, a gamified metaverse project that combines gaming, entertainment, and social interaction under the strategic direction of Eric Reid and his team.

Ava Labs has also been actively pursuing tokenized projects, having declared a $50 million initiative for such developments earlier this year.

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