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Tier Mobility and Spin lay off another 100 employees • TechCrunch

About a year ago, Tier Mobility won the shared micromobility game. Fueled by the $200 million Series D fundraising in October 2021, the company then acquired three other micromobility operators and a computer vision startup, giving it access to e-bikes – a reach that stretched beyond Europe and into the US – and the technology needed to allay politicians’ fears about security.

Today, Tier is in the middle of another round of layoffs. As a result of previous restructuring, Tier is laying off about 80 employees, some of whom fall under the Nextbike umbrella, to make up for layoffs. Tier had bought the German bike-share startup in November 2021 to expand its vehicle offerings beyond e-scooters.

Tier said the layoffs announced Wednesday will affect 7% of the total workforce. While some teams will be affected more than others, the restructuring will affect employees across the organization.

The most recent staff cuts follow Tier’s decision to let 180 employees go back in August due to a poor financing climate and uncertain economic conditions.

The micromobility operator is also reducing the size of its Spin workforce by about 20 employees. Tier originally bought Spin from Ford in March 2022, a move that gave the company wide access to the US. Seven months later, Tier then laid off nearly 80 Spin employees and left Seattle and Canada. The company then laid off another 30 Spin employees in December when it decided to leave another 10 US cities.

A Tier spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company was trying to rematch employees from redundant positions with open positions at Tier and Nextbike to retain as many people as possible.

‘Full growth mode’ to ‘profitability first’

How has Tier evolved from being the largest micromobility player in the world to announcing layoffs every few months? Sure, the macroeconomic environment has hit most tech companies, and Tier isn’t the only micromobility operator announcing headcount cuts (look at you, Bird.) It seems that Tier, like most other tech companies facing tough decisions, is already was expanding for a while at a rate of economic growth that simply will not be realized in pre-recession 2023.

Tier CEO and co-founder Lawrence Leuschner said today’s round of layoffs is part of a pivot in the company’s overall strategy, “from total growth to a ‘profitability first’ mentality.”

The restructuring includes the closure of “a small number of cities where we don’t see a path to profitability” due to factors such as unfavorable regulatory approaches, the company said. Tier did not say which cities it would depart from, but the Paris operator’s future is currently on the line as the city votes on whether or not to renew Tier, Lime and Dott’s permits. However, the city’s strict rules may make it unprofitable for Tier to be in Paris at this time.

Tier is also discontinuing a number of side projects, such as its own vehicle design program and the Tier Energy Network, the company’s plan to place charging stations in stores to encourage riders to trade scooter batteries for rewards. On the other hand, the company will discontinue its monthly scooter subscription, MyTier.

“Downsizing is a challenge for any business and especially difficult for a company like Spin, which has already made fundamental changes to the business to secure its long-term future,” said Philip Reinckens, CEO of Spin. “We are confident that the measures to increase sales while reducing costs through further integration with our parent company will accelerate the company’s path to profitability.”

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