While delivery services and Zoom are bursting at the seams in this work-at-home economy, startups that promised to transform the state of travel are hurting badly.
Last valued at $4 billion, TripActions laid off 350 employees Friday via Zoom, sources told Fortune. The Wall Street Journal reports the layoffs consist of about one-quarter to one-fifth of the total company. The corporate travel planning company said in a statement: “We’ve cut back on all non-essential spend and made the very difficult decision to reduce our global workforce inline with the current climate.”
Wanderu, which aggregates intercity bus and train information, also tells Fortune that it has put a third of its 40 or so employees on unpaid leave in a bid to lengthen its cash runway. “We needed to make some very difficult decisions that would allow us to minimize our current costs as much as possible and give our company the ability to get through these uncertain times,” Wanderu CEO Polina Raygorodskaya said in a statement.
And Silver Lake-backed Vacasa, which helps manage and stage short-term rentals, has laid off “hundreds,” per sources and confirmed by the company. Vacasa, which had 6,000 employees prior to the development, declined to say exactly how many employees had been let go, but added: “Our CEO is not taking any salary, and our leadership team is taking a 50% reduction in salary through the end of the year.”
Amid this downturn, the travel industry is trying to strike as optimistic of a tone as it can about what comes after, when companies will seek to travel again.
“We look forward to when the strength of the global economy and business travel inevitably return and we can hire back our colleagues to rejoin us in our mission to make business travel effortless for our customers and users,” a TripActions spokesperson said in a statement.
The thing is—will those laid-off employees stick around and wait for the still uncertain end of this pandemic? Fortune reached out to former employees who say they are already on the hunt for new jobs. And in this environment, they’re looking for positions in more financially stable or established companies that aren’t as likely to be affected by the coronavirus.
I have no doubt that more cuts are to come—including those outside the travel industry—especially as the World Health Organization warns that the U.S. could be the next epicenter of coronavirus.
Hot stuff: This company’s core business focuses on refining oil—but now America’s big tech is looking to own a part of it. According to sources interviewed by the Financial Times, Facebook is seekinga 10% stake in Reliance Jio, an Indian mobile internet services provider and ecommerce giant, valued at about $60 billion by one analyst. The company launched in 2015 as a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, a conglomerate founded by India’s wealthiest person that got its start in textiles and oil refining. Talk about pivoting.
Facebook isn’t the only one trying to broker a deal in the hopes of entrenching itself in the world’s second largest mobile market. FT, which caveats that the deal could be impacted by the coronavirus, also reports Google has been in talks with Reliance Jio, and Microsoft announced last year it would partner with Jio on cloud services.
- Apexigen, Inc., a San Carlos, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on antibody therapeutics for oncology, raised $65 million in funding as an extension of a previously raised $58 million Series C round. Decheng Capital and new investor Oceanpine Capital led the round.
- Alma, a Paris-based consumer fintech, raised €12.5 million ($13.5 million) in funding. Investors include Idinvest and Isai.
- Diligent Robotics, an Austin-based hospital robotics maker, raised $10 million. DNX Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including True Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, E14 Fund, Promus Ventures, and Grit Ventures. Read more.
- Fritz AI, a Boston-based AI development platform for iOS and Android, raised $5 million in seed funding. The Foundry Group led the round, and was joined by investors including NextGen Venture Partners and Inner Loop Capital.
- mPower Technology, an Albuquerque, N.M.-based solar tech company, raised an additional $1.85m in Series A funding for a total of $4.35 million. Cottonwood Technology Fund, NMA Ventures, and angel investors participated.
- ClinOne, a Denver, CO-based remote clinical trial patient management platform, raised $3.6 million in Series A funding. The CU Healthcare Innovation Fund led the round.
- TierPoint, a St. Louis-based provider of data centers and cloud solutions, will raise $320 million in a deal expected to close mid-April. Argo Infrastructure Partners, Wafra, and Macquarie Capital Principal Finance invested. Existing investors including Cequel III, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, RedBird Capital Partners, The Stephens Group, and Thompson Street Capital Partners also participated.
- Quad-C Management closed on an investment in Textum Weaving, a Belmont, N.C.-based manufacturer of high-tech textiles. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Navacord, a portfolio company of Madison Dearborn Partners, acquired Benemax Financial Group, a Richmond Hill, Ontario-based benefits management company. Read more.
- Guy & O'Neill, Inc., a portfolio company of Centre Partners, acquired Boomerang Laboratories, Inc., a Spring Park, Minn.-based manufacturer of liquid personal care and household cleaning products. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Everbridge, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBG) acquired one2many, a Netherlands-based provider of cell broadcast solutions for emergency alerts.
- Centric Health Corporation (CHH.TO) agreed to acquire Remedy Holdings Inc and Remedy's Rx Specialty Pharmacy business, a specialty pharmacy serving assisted living residents in Ontario and Western Canada, for $44 million in cash and stock.
- Neiman Marcus, a Dallas-based luxury retailer, is reportedly considering bankruptcy in a bid to lower its $4.3 billion debt load, Bloomberg reports citing sources. Read more.
- Fulcrum Capital Partners has sold Verdant Environmental Technologies, a Montreal-based provider of energy management solutions for the hospitality industry, to Emerson (NYSE: EMR). Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Lead Equities will sell MCL Computer & Zubehör, a GermanIT services company, to One Equity Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Gryphon Investors plans to raise $2.7 billion for its sixth lower-mid-market buyout fund. Read more.
- April Underwood, formerly chief product officer at Slack, joined Obvious Ventures as a venture partner. Read more.