Lime has laid off 13 percent of its workforce due to financial difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the scooter startup announced. The layoff affects about 80 employees across “all teams and all regions around the globe,” CEO Brad Bao said in an email sent to employees.
“Almost overnight, our company went from being on the eve of accomplishing an unprecedented milestone — the first next-generation micromobility company to reach profitability — to one where we had to pause operations in 99% of our markets worldwide to support cities’ efforts at social distancing,” Bao said in the email. “Needless to say, while we thought we had planned for all possibilities this year, we did not anticipate a global pandemic.”
“Previously, I said that while layoffs were a possibility, we have been delaying that decision for as long as possible to ensure that no stone was left unturned,” Bao continued. “I can assure you that we turned over many, many stones before today, from reducing all non-essential spend, real estate, software, and travel costs to raising additional capital.”
“We have made the very difficult decision to reduce our workforce today,” a Lime spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “The world changed overnight, impacting the lives of our employees, riders and the very communities we love and serve. We are taking these necessary steps to ensure long-term resilience of the business so that we remain a safe and reliable transportation option for cities around the world as we come out of this crisis.”
Yesterday, Axios and Bloomberg reported that layoffs at Lime were on the way. The scooter startup isn’t the only on-demand transportation company to experience challenges during the pandemic — Lyft laid off 17 percent of its workforce on Wednesday, Uber is reportedly considering cutting up to 20 percent of its staff, and rival scooter company Bird laid off about 30 percent of its staff last month. Lime also laid off 14 percent of its staff and exited 12 markets in January in an effort to help the company achieve profitability.