British edtech company Multiverse has cut up to 44 jobs, equivalent to 5% of its global headcount, in a bid to revive its US business amid widening losses.
Multiverse founder Euan Blair, son of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, wrote to staff on Tuesday to confirm the redundancies, describing it as the “toughest decision I have made to date”.
In an email sent to employees – seen by UKTN – Blair said that the US business was not meeting revenue targets and required too much financial investment and “heroic individual contributions”.
Blair said that all layoffs are being made in the US, with the exception of four people who are “at risk” in the UK.
Staff will receive severance payments, “enhanced and extended” medical care and mental health support.
Going forward, Blair said Multiverse will target US employers in specific sectors and be more tailored for a US market. He insisted that the redundancies are “not a retreat from the US”.
“The reality is, this reset is not just important for the US, it’s essential for our global business and everyone who works in it,” Blair wrote.
It comes as Multiverse published its annual accounts showing that losses almost tripled from £14.2m to £40.5m.
Multiverse cited its investment in the US as a key factor behind its widening losses, alongside investment in technology.
“This is perfectly normal for a company at our stage, but I’ve always been clear that we believe a sustainable, profitable company is the best institution to deliver our mission, and I am accountable for building it. And that’s why this decision needed to be taken,” Blair added.
The company financials, which cover the year ended 31 March 2023, show that revenue has grown by 66% year over year.
At year-end, Multiverse served over 13,300 apprenticeships. Last month, City A.M reported that Multiverse had pivoted away from its mission of securing apprenticeships for secondary school leavers and cut dozens of jobs in the process.
At the time, Multiverse said that over the 12-month period, net hiring was up with more than 100 new staff joining the firm.
Breaking into the US market has proven difficult for many British startups. In 2021, London-based fintech Monzo scrapped its US expansion plans but is now taking its second shot at breaking into the market.