Link-in-bio startup Linktree slashes local jobs again, shedding 27% of ANZ workforce

- June 6, 2023 3 MIN READ
Linktree Nick Humphreys, and Alex and Anthony Zaccaria.
Linktree cofounders Nick Humphreys, and Alex and Anthony Zaccaria. Photo: Sarah Chavdaroska
Link-in-bio startup Linktree has cut staffing again, with 27% of its workforce, mostly in Australia and New Zealand, to depart as the company turns its attention to the US.

Cofounder and CEO Alex Zaccaria told staff in an email that with the US being their largest market, with the White House and the Denver Nuggets among the platform’s latest customers, they need to focus on that growth and expand the team based there.

“It is for this reason we are making the decision to move certain roles from Australia to the US across our product, engineering, marketing and design teams,” he wrote.

“To be able to hire for those roles and further our growth in the US, we will be reducing our overall team by about 27% today, primarily impacting Linkies based in Australia and New Zealand.”

In August last year, cut 17% of its global workforce – around 50 jobs. At the time Zaccaria said they’d “made some big bets” and hired to scale assuming “the favourable economic environment would persist into 2022”.

When it was named the best place to work in Australian tech in April, the company had about 224 employees, meaning around 60 jobs will go.

Linktree has been profitable since launch in 2016 and had bootstrapped until 2020, having first raised capital in October of that year with a $15 million Series A.

It’s now 15 months since Linktree raised $152 million in a Series B extension, following on from $59 million raised in March 2021.

Zaccaria said Linktree now has more than 35 million users, who he calls Linkers, globally, with around 40,000 more signing ups daily, and “growing faster than ever”.

However “we have some hard but essential operational decisions to share with you that will better position the business to continue to grow, focus and achieve its ultimate potential” he told staff, adding that while it will be a leaner local team, they will remain based in Melbourne while spending more time in the US.

“While the overall global Linktree team will feel a lot smaller, it will only be temporary,” he wrote.

“We will be hiring product, engineering and marketing roles with specific US market experience and are committed to an evenly distributed team between Australia and the US by the end of the year.”

Rival acquired

As part of the announcement, Zaccaria revealed the company had acquired an emerging Sequoia-backed Swiss rival, Bento.

“We look at numerous opportunities and rarely do we find a company and competitor that aligns with our strategy, cares for Linkers, and accelerates our growth and vision of empowering anyone to curate and grow their digital universe. Bento stood out above all others,” he said.

The deal goes through on June 19, with cofounders Sélim Benayat and Mugeeb Hassan joining Linktree. The price was not disclosed.

Benayat previously built an augmented reality platform called RosieReality, which was acquired in 2020. The duo began working on Bento in May 2022 under the name CreatorSpace and subsequently raised US$1.6 million in a pre-seed round led by Sequoia Arc in August 2022. It launched publicly earlier this year as Bento.

Benayat said Linktree was “a tremendous source of inspiration and guidance” for them and he “started to explore opportunities for collaboration, uniting our expertise and shared commitment to change” with Zaccaria.

“Our conversations felt incredibly organic. Alex and I often found ourselves aligned, as if we were already part of the same company. We shared similar visions and complemented each other’s blind spots,” Benayat said.

“Most importantly, Alex shares Bento’s obsession with users, design, and delight. Linktree, like Bento, places creators at the heart of their product and plays a pivotal role in their success. As our discussions progressed, it became evident that joining forces would supercharge our pursuit of a shared vision and Linktree’s mission.”

Zaccaria said the opportunity for Linktree is immense.

“I am more determined than ever when making tough calls like these, to make sure we make it count,” he said.

“We are still at day one, and the changes today put us in the best position to reach our ambitious vision.”