News aggregator SmartNews lays off 40% of US and China staff, with further reductions planned in Japan

News Summary

  • The iOS new privacy measure introduced in 2021 hurt companies whose business models relied on advertising, including Meta and Snap, while boosting Apple’s own ads business.The company could have gone public back in 2019, but leadership pressed for additional funding and a higher valuation.
  • SmartNews, a Tokyo-headquartered news aggregation website and app valued at $2 billion as of 2021, today announced a 40% reduction of its U.S. and China workforce, or around 120 people, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.
  • Existing backers ACA Investments and SMBC Venture Capital also participated.The SmartNews app globally reached 30 million monthly active users with 20 million in Japan and 10 million in the United States, we understand.
  • In its most recent funding round, a Series F, investors poured in $230 million into the business, valuing it as a “double unicorn” ($2 billion), the company’s press release stated.
  • This was a last resort decision for us, and we hope the severance packages and career transition management services offered to impacted employees will help in their search for a new role.
  • Now that opportunity could be slipping.Reached for comment, SmartNews confirmed the layoffs and offered the following statement:Unfortunately, we are not immune to the current economic conditions that have negatively affected so many businesses.
SmartNews, a Tokyoheadquartered news aggregation website and app valued at $2 billion as of 2021, today announced a 40% reduction of its U.S. and China workforce, or around 120 people, according to [+4418 chars]