Verve Lays Off 30 Staffers in Its Second Round of Cuts This Year

The ad-tech shakeout continues

The company laid off about 30 employees in the beginning of the year.

Ad-tech outfit Verve is cutting 30 staff members, Adweek has learned.

The anticipated 2019 consolidation of the ad-tech sector claims its second company in a week, as Verve follows DataXu in making significant cutbacks to its headcount. This is the second such reduction in numbers over the last couple of months, with the company laying off about 30 employees in the beginning of the year, bringing to total eliminations of 60, or about 60 percent of headcount in San Diego, New York and Washington, D.C. over the past year. In April 2018, for example, there were more than 240 staffers. There are currently now 110 employees.

The company’s CMO, Julie Bernard, confirmed the layoffs, saying, “It is accurate that there has been reduction in force over the past several months.”

Bernard said that there was minimal impact to the direct sales team, which continues to sell both managed services and programmatic. She added that the company eliminated several layers of sales management.

“Overall, the company is doing well and has delivered 20 percent year-over-year growth, two quarters in a row,” she continued. “As with any business, we are always examining cost structures, and in this case, as programmatic continues to evolve, we reorganized the business around programmatic margins and the broader rigors of the marketplace at this time.”

However, one source with knowledge of the matter shared on the condition of anonymity that the measures were taken after the company attempted to raise $15 million in funding from its earlier investors, but was only able to secure $4 million. Verve claims this is inaccurate.

The timing of these reports follows the news of fellow ad-tech company DataXu confirming a similar number of layoffs within a week of Sizmek’s Chapter 11 proceedings.

A second source (who also asked to remain anonymous) noted how the timing of these developments is likely linked to the widely held wisdom that the first quarter of any given year is a lean period in terms of revenue in the media industry and that overheads rarely drop accordingly.

Verve was established in 2005 and was an early player in the mobile display advertising space, having raised $28.5 million in funding, according to its Crunchbase profile.

The recent cutbacks at Verve affect headcount in its California and New York offices and also come within a year of it confirming that it was to shutter its European operations, citing enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations as the chief reason for the closure.

Adweek will continue to update this post as the news develops.

@joshsternberg Josh Sternberg is the former media and tech editor at Adweek.
@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.