A few months after acquiring Evernote, Milan-based app developer Bending Spoons made deep cuts to the note-taking and task-management app.
Layoffs took place at Evernote on Friday, February 17, an Evernote spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch, affecting 129 people.
“This was a difficult – but necessary – decision as we pursue our ambitious plans for Evernote,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch via email. “The business was not profitable for years and the situation was not sustainable in the long term.”
The spokesperson did not confirm which specific departments were affected. But posts on LinkedIn and Blind suggest the layoffs affected a wide range of Evernote’s core teams, including product design, engineering, human resources, sales, customer service and marketing. .
Evernote has indeed seen its ups and downs over the past few decades, with massive layoffs in 2015 and 2018 – a year that also saw an exodus of senior executives, including CTO, CFO, CPO and Evernote’s Director of Human Resources. But the company appears to have more or less reversed that, reporting $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) over the past five years.
It is unlikely that Bending Spoons, for its part, suffered much from liquidity. The company recently closed a $340 million seed round and eclipsed $100 million in ARR last September.
So what is the explanation for the cuts? It could be as simple as Bending Spoons seeding Evernote for profitability. There is no doubt that the parent company wants a quick return on its investment and may be feeling additional pressure from investors. (Bending Spoons was started until relatively recently.)
But it’s also true that Evernote wasn’t particularly competitive. Despite its reported high ARR, prior to the acquisition the company largely failed to keep pace with competitors like Notion – choosing to rely heavily on a consumer-focused freemium model while avoiding the types of collaboration features adopted by its rivals.
In any case, the staff members are an unfortunate victim of circumstances.
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