About a year ago, Tier Mobility won the shared micromobility game. Fueled by its $200m 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 has expanded. beyond Europe and the United States – and the technology needed to allay politicians’ security fears.
Today, Tier is in the midst of another round of layoffs. Following previous restructurings, Tier is laying off around 80 workers, some of whom are under the Nextbike umbrella, to make up for the layoffs. Tier had bought the German bike-sharing startup in November 2021 to expand its vehicle offering beyond electric scooters.
Tier said the layoffs announced Wednesday would affect 7% of its total workforce. Although some teams are more affected than others, the restructuring affects employees throughout the organization.
The most recent staff cuts follow Tier’s decision to lay off 180 employees in August, blaming a poor funding environment and uncertain economic conditions.
The micromobility operator is also reducing the size of its Spin workforce by around twenty employees. Tier originally bought Spin from Ford in March 2022, a move that gave the company widespread access to the United States. Seven months later, Tier then laid off nearly 80 Spin workers and left Seattle and Canada. The company then laid off 30 more Spin employees in December when it decided to leave 10 other US cities.
A spokesperson for Tier told TechCrunch that the company has attempted to re-associate workers from redundant roles with all open roles at Tier and Nextbike to retain as many people as possible.
From “all-out growth mode” to “profitability first”
How did Tier go from being the biggest micromobility player in the world to now announcing layoffs every few months? Of course, the macro climate has affected most tech companies, and Tier isn’t the only micromobility operator announcing staff cuts (looking at you, Bird.) It seems Tier, like most tech companies facing tough decisions, was expanding for a pace of economic growth that simply won’t be realized until the 2023 recession.
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 all-out growth mode to a state of spirit of ‘profitability first'”.
The restructuring will include closing “a small number of cities where we don’t see a path to profitability” due to factors including unfavorable regulatory approaches, the company said. Tier did not say which cities it would come out of, but the operator’s future in Paris is currently in the balance as the city votes on whether to renew Tier, Lime and Dott’s permits. However, the city’s strict regulations could make Tier’s presence in Paris unprofitable at this point.
Tier is also closing 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 retail stores to entice drivers to swap scooter batteries. for rewards. On the other hand, the company will end its monthly subscription service for scooters, 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 moves to increase revenue while reducing costs through deeper integration with our parent company will accelerate the company’s path to profitability.”