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Project44 Lays Off 63 Amid Economic Uncertainty

Supply chain tech company Project44 is the latest to respond to recessionary fears with layoffs.

The company confirmed 63 cuts to its staff, which it said equates to less than 5 percent of the company. Project44 said employees impacted by the layoffs will receive severance packages and help in finding new job opportunities.

“While this was not an easy decision to make, restructuring our organization keeps us on a path of success, provides the opportunity to improve efficiency and collaboration and allows us to better address the evolving needs of our customers,” Project44 founder and CEO Jett McCandless said in a statement. “It further strengthens the financial health of the business and helps us to continue growing through economic uncertainties.”

Twenty-one of the positions cut were in talent acquisition, the company confirmed to Sourcing Journal Thursday.

Project44 has nearly 40 job postings listed on its web-site for positions in customer service, finance, legal, product design, sales and engineering.

The company’s software aims to help shippers gain visibility into their supply chains with inventory tracking, real-time insights to assess risks and fee management among other things. Carriers use the platform to track performance metrics, connect with shippers and negotiate contracts.

Amazon, Starbucks, Nestle and P&G are among the companies that use Project44.

McCandless went on to cite the company’s “exceptional period of growth” in the past two years and also aimed to address any concerns the layoffs were related to the company’s financial position.

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“The future of our company remains bright, and we remain in a strong position to continue delivering new solutions to the market and fulfilling our promises to our customers and partners,” the CEO said.

Many tech companies that saw significant growth during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic have begun right-sizing their headcounts or have put a temporary pause on hiring amid concerns around where the economy is heading. Google, Meta, Wayfair, Uber, Lyft and Twitter have announced hiring freezes or slowdowns. Microsoft this month made cuts to its staff that amounted to less than 1 percent of the overall payroll.

Project44 kicked off the year with a $420 million private equity investment from a group led by Thoma Bravo, TPG and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

The raise, which brought its total funding to date to over $860 million, gave the company a valuation of $2.2 billion.

The January investment followed last June’s close on a $202 million Series E.

Outside of raising money and growing its staff, Project44 has also grown through acquisitions, the most recent of which was in April with the purchase of rail freight data platform Synfioo. Last year Project44 bought-last mile tech company Convey, container tracking tech firm Ocean Insights and artificial intelligence company ClearMetal.

Supply chain and logistics funding began to slow in the first quarter, according to research firm CB Insights’ most recent State of Supply Chain Tech & Logistics report.

Funding fell 5 percent between the fourth quarter of last year and first quarter to total $9.4 billion. Meanwhile, it’s taking companies longer, about 22 months, to make the jump from early- to mid-stage capital raises. That compares to 15 months in 2018.