OpenSea Lays Off 50% of its Staff
OpenSea, once the largest NFT marketplace, undergoes significant organizational changes, reducing its workforce by 50%
OpenSea, once the largest NFT marketplace, has confirmed a drastic reduction in its workforce. Approximately 50% of its employees have been let go as the company restructures to introduce a more agile and impactful version of itself, dubbed 'OpenSea 2.0'. OpenSea's spokesperson revealed that the decision to halve the staff was part of a significant organizational change.
Devin Finzer, co-founder and CEO, took to Twitter to explain the rationale behind the layoffs. He acknowledged the community's feedback and stated:
"Today, we are making significant organizational and operating changes as we focus on building a more nimble—and ultimately better—version of OpenSea. With these changes, we are better positioned to deliver for the community, shipping high-impact efforts and matching the speed at which this space evolves."
"We've also heard your feedback loud and clear: at times, OpenSea feels like a follower, not a leader. And that’s not who we want to be. We want to move with speed, quality, and conviction to make more meaningful bets."
So we took a step back and reimagined our operating culture, product, and tech from the ground up.
And today, we’re re-orienting the team around “OpenSea 2.0,” a big upgrade to our product - including the underlying technology, reliability, speed, quality, & experience. — Devin Finzer (dfinzer.eth) (@dfinzer) November 3, 2023
OpenSea has committed to providing generous support to the affected employees, including four months of severance pay, six months of healthcare and mental health services, and an accelerated schedule for equity vesting.
During the NFT market's boom, OpenSea's trading volume soared into the billions, leading to substantial funding and a valuation of $13.3 billion in January 2022. However, the NFT market's slowdown, coupled with competition from rival marketplaces and controversy over creator royalties, has put OpenSea in a challenging position.
Despite the layoffs, OpenSea remains a significant player in the NFT market, with over 32,000 unique wallets active over the past week. Yet, it now trails behind Blur in terms of trading volume, despite having more traders. Blur has captured about 70% of the NFT sales market share with over $51 million in sales.
This is not the first time OpenSea has reduced its workforce; a 20% cut occurred in July 2022 due to the 'crypto winter' and macroeconomic instability. Finzer had then expressed concerns over a potentially prolonged downturn in the market.