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Another Kitchener-based tech company confirms layoffs

Two of Applyboard's founders pose with Jo Johnson after his appointment to the company's advisory board in 2020. (Submitted) Two of Applyboard's founders pose with Jo Johnson after his appointment to the company's advisory board in 2020. (Submitted)
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Kitchener-based education startup ApplyBoard has confirmed it's laid off six per cent of its global workforce.

The tech company says the cuts were made to its customer experience team. It declined to say for how many staff were laid off in Kitchener.

“It was a decision that we do not take lightly and our heart goes out to all of the team members impacted by the restructuring,” a spokesperson for ApplyBoard said in an email.

According to its website, ApplyBoard has more than 1,500 employees around the world.

The company was founded in 2015 by Meti, Martin, and Massi Basiri. Inspired by their own experiences, the three brothers from Iran created the platform to help international students apply for colleges and universities abroad. In 2019 it was named the fastest-growing technology company in Canada by Deloitte.

In 2020, it was became the country’s third “unicorn,” a title achieved when a privately-held startup reaches a value of $1 billion.

ApplyBoard says the recent layoffs were made based on efficiencies identified during planning.

“This decision was based solely on better serving our customers as efficiently as possible. ApplyBoard remains well capitalized with years of runway,” the company said.

“We are positioning our teams to succeed for the long-term. These conclusions and decisions came after thorough evaluation and consultation with our leaders and customers. We believe we are making the best decision for the future of our mission.”

The layoffs at ApplyBoard follow similar moves at tech companies in Waterloo region and around the world as investor exuberance around the sector fades and companies re-examine payroll costs in preparation for a potential recession.

Earlier this month Kitchener-based D2L laid off around five per cent of its staff including 16 people in Waterloo region. Last week, Communitech announced it had cut 10 per cent of its workforce.

Canadian startups -- Clearco, Hootsuite and Wealthsimple -- and global heavyweights -- Meta, Twitter, Netflix, Microsoft, Oracle and Intel -- have all made cuts in recent months.

Amazon.com Inc. began cuts two weeks ago that will reportedly slash 10,000 staff from its workforce, including several Canadians who announced their departures on LinkedIn.

Layoffs tracker Layoffs.fyi has counted layoffs at 788 companies worldwide, resulting in at least 120,699 workers losing their jobs.

With files from Canadian Press.

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