Tour and activities marketplace Zozi lays off 30% of staff

Zozi, a startup that describes itself as an OpenTable for excursions and actions, and which raised $30 million from Richard Branson and others once more in 2015, has laid off 30 p.c of employees, TechCrunch found and Zozi confirmed. The company says the restructuring will allow Zozi to take care of its core B2B software program program platform, Zozi Advance, going forward.

The company has 119 employees listed on LinkedIn, as of the time of writing, nonetheless Zozi says this amount has in no way been right. Zozi’s private website says there are 83 employees. The company tells us it has roughly 60 employees proper now.

Primarily based in 2007, Zozi has been spherical for some time, though in no way pretty reached the equivalent mainstream consciousness of others throughout the journey space, like Airbnb, as an illustration. The company initially adopted the Groupon model of every day provides, sooner than pivoting to focus instead on its marketplace for getaways, adventures and excursions.

This observed Zozi competing within the equivalent space as Groupon as soon as extra – this time with its journey enterprise, Groupon Getaways. Nonetheless, Zozi’s goal was to grab additional of the millennials’ curiosity, given the know-how’s penchant for wanting to having “experiences,” considerably than proudly proudly owning points.

Two years prior to now, the company raised an additional $30 million in Series C funding in a spherical led by Pritzker Vlock Ventures. Sir Richard Branson, Par Capital Ventures, 500 Startups, Dolby Family Ventures and Bridge Monetary establishment moreover participated, bringing Zozi’s full enhance so far to $45 million.

Nonetheless, rivals throughout the journey space is tough, with many players offering entry to journeys and actions. One among Zozi’s greater rivals, Viator, was acquired by TripAdvisor for $200 million in 2014. Kayak and Expedia moreover now present on-line reservations for excursions and actions, and Airbnb additional recently entered the world, too, with Airbnb Experiences, following its acquisition of travel activities marketplace Trip4real.

There are a collection of startups participating in on this market as properly, along with Peek, Triposo, GetYourGuide, and others.

Zozi, to its credit score rating, properly understood the challenges in making a standalone consumer-facing mannequin, which is why it moreover developed one different aspect to its enterprise: Zozi Advance, an web bookings and funds platform.

That system had grown to assist various thousand firms in virtually 90 worldwide places as of ultimate yr, when founder and CEO T.J. Sassani said in an interview that the company was seeing spherical a billion flowing through the Advance platform. A spokesperson for Zozi did not present to interchange these figures, nonetheless considerably acknowledged that “March has been a record month for us in terms of new businesses added.”

“Our business nearly grew 3x in revenue in 2016, and is on pace to grow 2x this year on our more efficient operating model,” the spokesperson moreover acknowledged.

As of January 2016, Zozi acknowledged 5 million of us had used its service to book their actions.

This aspect of the enterprise has its rivals as properly, just like FareHarbor, Xola, Rezdy, or Zaui. And now, as a substitute of competing with Viator, Zozi is integrating with it.

Zozi proper now has an trustworthy three.eight out of 5 rating on Glassdoor, though some evaluations cited a way of “uncertainty” throughout the enterprise, with a shortage of transparency from larger administration. Employees acknowledged they didn’t actually really feel clued in as to why there was turnover or why of us have been leaving. (We heard this lack of transparency continued with this restructuring, nonetheless take that with the proverbial grain of salt.)

Reached for comment, a Zozi spokesperson confirmed the layoffs saying the initiative impacted roughly 30 p.c of the workforce, and acknowledged it was a outcomes of the “a healthy business decision to double down what’s working” – that is, the Zozi Advance B2B software program program platform.

Zozi says for actions is simply not being shut down.

(Image credit score: Zozi)