OpenSea Lays Off 50% of its Work Force
- OpenSea faces strong competition from newer marketplaces, such as Blur.
- The NFT market was largely affected by the bear market, and most NFT marketplaces have recorded a decline in volumes.
- The affected employees will receive a four-month severance package, among other benefits.
The leading NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has laid off 50% of its staff. The company confirmed the news on Friday, November 3. However, the exact number of affected staff remains unknown. Affected employees will receive four-month severance packages, six months of mental health care, and accelerated equity vesting.
An OpenSea spokesperson said:
Today, we are making significant organizational and operating changes as we focus on building a more nimble—and ultimately better—version of OpenSea. With these changes, we are better positioned to deliver for the community, shipping high-impact efforts and matching the speed at which this space evolves.
OpenSea’s CEO, Devin Finzer, took to Twitter to share further insight into the job cuts. Finzer noted that the decision was part of the company’s plans to prepare for the next version of its marketplace.
Finzer explained that community feedback shows that “at times, OpenSea feels like a follower, not a leader. And that’s not who we want to be. We want to move with speed, quality, and conviction to make more meaningful bets.”
He added that OpenSea “reimagined” its “operating culture, product, and tech from the ground up” and is building a team around what he tagged “OpenSea 2.0,” which according to the tweet is “a big upgrade to our product, including the underlying technology, reliability, speed, quality, and experience.”
“We’re building a new foundation so we can innovate faster, and we’ll have some experiences to share with you soon. We will change how we operate—shifting to a smaller team with a direct connection to users,” Finzer concluded.
OpenSea was first launched in 2017. At the time, NFTs were an unfamiliar concept. OpenSea uses a business model similar to Etsy and eBay and takes Ether (ETH) as payment. It also enjoyed the bulk of the NFT market share during the last bull run.
However, the NFT marketplace is far from what it was during the last bull market. Most NFT marketplaces have seen reduced numbers and volumes and have had to lay off staff to stay afloat. In July 2022, OpenSea laid off 20% of its workforce, citing the bear market.
Other crypto companies such as Coinbase and Ledger have announced job cuts in recent weeks. Last month, Ledger announced a 12% job cut, citing several economic factors and the collapse of crypto companies such as FTX and Voyager.