Wefox CEO Julian Teicke.
HELSINKI, Finland — The boss of European digital insurance coverage startup Wefox provided a damning response to tech firms which have laid off employees en masse.
The likes of Meta, Amazon and Twitter have laid off tens of hundreds of staff in response to strain from buyers, who wish to see them lower prices to climate a worldwide financial downturn.
Swedish fintech agency Klarna was among the many first main employers in tech to slash jobs this 12 months, reducing 10% of its workforce in May. Several firms have adopted go well with, from these in Big Tech to venture-backed startups like Stripe.
Julian Teicke, CEO of Wefox, informed CNBC he’s “disgusted” by what he views as a disregard by a few of his friends for his or her staff.
“I’m a little disgusted by statements like, ‘never miss a good crisis’ [or] ‘we have to cut the fat,'” Teicke stated in an interview on the sidelines of Slush, a startup convention in Helsinki, Finland.
Venture capitalists have been advising startups of their portfolios to chop prices and freeze hiring as economists warn of an impending recession.
Following a bumper 2021 stuffed with IPOs and mega funding rounds, a few of the most precious startups in Europe laid off important numbers of workers and drastically scaled again their growth plans.
At the beginning of Slush on Thursday, Sequoia Capital associate Doug Leone informed founders and buyers they need to embrace alternatives introduced by challenges within the broader economic system.
Forecasting a protracted recession worse than the 2008 or 2000 crises, Leone stated some firms will emerge stronger than others.
“You have a great opportunity in front of you, if you play your cards right,” he stated. “You have an opportunity to pass 10 cars. Do not waste a good recession.”
In some eyebrow-raising feedback, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, stated his agency was “lucky” to chop jobs when it did. Siemiatkowski stated that roughly 90% of the folks laid off had since discovered new jobs.
“If we would have done that today, that probably unfortunately would not have been the case,” Siemiatkowski informed CNBC in an interview.
Without naming names, Teicke slammed the tech trade over its strategy to mass redundancies.
“These are people that have maybe quit other jobs to join your business. These are people that have maybe moved to other places because of you. These are people that have maybe ended romantic relationships.”
Teicke stated managers have a duty to guard their staff.
“I believe that CEOs have to do everything in their power to protect their employees,” he stated. “I haven’t seen that in the tech industry. And I’m disgusted by that.”
“These are humans,” he added.
Wefox is a Berlin, Germany-based agency that connects customers searching for insurance coverage with brokers and associate insurers by way of a web based platform. The firm was valued by buyers at $4.5 billion in a July funding spherical.
Wefox says its enterprise is “crisis-resistant.” But fellow insurtechs have needed to make cuts recently, together with Lemonade, which shed 20% of workers at Metromile, a automobile insurance coverage firm it acquired, in July.
Asked whether or not his personal agency must make redundancies in response to shifting investor sentiment, Teicke stated his agency was “cautious” in regards to the macroeconomic atmosphere however had no plans for mass layoffs.
“I don’t believe in mass layoffs,” Teicke stated. “We’re going to focus on performance, but not on mass layoffs.” Wefox is “very close” to attaining profitability subsequent 12 months, he added.