SoftBank-backed gifting startup Sendoso just completed its fourth round of layoffs in the last 16 months

  • SoftBank-backed startup Sendoso conducted another round of layoffs on Tuesday.
  • The startup has laid off hundreds of workers over four rounds of cuts in the last 16 months.
  • Amid a difficult funding environment, startups are cutting staff — sometimes in multiple rounds.

Sendoso, a SoftBank-backed gifting startup, laid off an unspecified number of employees in its latest round of layoffs on Tuesday.

It was unclear how many employees were laid off, but employees in engineering, human resources, accounting, and customer success posted on LinkedIn that their jobs had been eliminated. According to one former employee, they were told they were being laid off due to a company restructuring.

Sendoso has reduced its workforce for the fourth time in the last 16 months, with the marketing startup laying off around 100 employees from its then 700-person workforce in June 2022, as previously reported by Insider. The 14% staff cuts, which affected employees in both the United States and Ireland, came amid a broad wave of tech-industry layoffs caused by market volatility and a decrease in VC funding.

According to sources, the company has gone through three rounds of layoffs.

Sendoso and SoftBank representatives did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sendoso’s platform enables marketing, sales, and human resources professionals to digitally send gifts to clients and employees. Its marketplace sells food, alcohol, company swag, and virtual experiences.

While it is unclear why Sendoso has resorted to layoffs, many businesses have cut back on spending in recent years due to economic uncertainty. After seeing online sales soar during the early days of the pandemic, the e-commerce industry, in particular, has had to readjust to lower growth rates.

Sendoso is one of thousands of tech firms that have laid off employees in the last year and a half. Many startups, in particular, are struggling as venture capitalists continue to dole out less money following a funding bonanza in 2020, 2021, and the beginning of last year. According to Crunchbase, VC investment was down 53% year on year in the first quarter of 2023.

As startups can no longer count on their investors to complete a new funding round, many instead are looking inward to cutting costs – including headcount, most companies’ most significant expense.

Sendoso recently received a $100 million Series C funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. The VC arm of Japanese internet investment firm SoftBank had a disastrous 2022 due to failed bets in cryptocurrency exchange FTX and an exodus of senior executives.

While SoftBank has placed large bets on winners such as DoorDash and TikTok parent company ByteDance, the company’s venture capital arm has backed even more colossal failures such as WeWork, Better, and Greensill Capital. It also backed View, a smart-glass company that has been labeled as one of the worst SPAC deals in history and faces delisting from the Stock Exchange.

Better, which went public in August through a long-delayed SPAC transaction, laid off another round of employees last month. Other SoftBank-backed startups that have cut jobs multiple times include Gopuff, which cut workers in April 2022, July 2022, and March 2023, and Nextbite, a restaurant software company that cut jobs twice in 2022 and again in May of this year.

According to, a website that tracks all tech layoffs since COVID-19, more than 1,000 companies laid off nearly 165,000 workers in 2022 across the entire tech industry. So far in 2023, that figure has risen to nearly 240,000 layoffs.

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