Airtasker makes 20pc of employees redundant

Airtasker makes 20pc of employees redundant

Airtasker founder and CEO Tim Fung

Sydney-based online services marketplace Airtasker (ASX: ART) has announced it is laying off 20 per cent of its global workforce as looks to reduce costs and return to positive operating cashflow.   

It follows a similar decision made by other publicly-listed entities such as Perpetual (ASX: PPT) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), the latter having sacked more than 100 staff last month.

At the same time, Melbourne-based HR software company Culture Amp recently announced it was shedding 90 of its staff - or 9 per cent of its workforce - as it continues to navigate what founder and CEO Didier Elzinga describes as a difficult macroeconomic environment.

Other high-profile companies that have let staff go in recent months include Atlassian, Swyftx and Mr Yum.

Airtasker’s round of redundancies will affect 45 roles, the majority of which are in non-revenue generating functions. As part of these changes, the company expects to incur restructuring charges of up to $1 million in FY23.

“Whilst Airtasker has delivered strong YTD March 2023 revenue growth of 49 per cent we believe that in the current macroeconomic environment it is the right time to focus on greater efficiency and return to positive operating cashflow,” Airtasker founder and CEO Tim Fung said.

The move comes almost a year after Airtaker splashed out $9.8 million to acquire trade and services platform Oneflare, which is currently in the process of exiting non-core businesses as its parent looks to focus on its core marketplace.

As a result, Airtasker anticipates a $1 million reduction in FY24 revenue, but believes the move will have a positive impact on operating expenses and operating cashflow.

In 1HFY23, Airtasker saw revenue increase by 57 per cent year-on-year to hit $21.8 million - a result that was primarily driven by a rebound in the platform’s Australian marketplace, organic growth and the contribution of revenues from Oneflare. Excluding the takeover, the result was still up by 23 per cent.

The result also reflected a steady international marketplace growth of 116.4 per cent to reach $400,000, which was driven by users in the UK and US.

However, the group posted an earnings loss of $5.1 million versus a loss of $3.7 million the year prior due to increased employee expenses as a result of absorbing Oneflare staff, as well as engineering, product development and marketing staff to support expansion.

Airtasker noted it was in a strong financial position, holding $23.3 million in cash and no debt.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank each of the incredible individuals who will be leaving Airtasker as part of this organisational restructure,” the company said in an ASX announcement today.

“Whilst the decisions made today have been difficult and we have not taken them lightly, we believe this program of cost reduction will enable Airtasker to return to positive operating cashflow for FY24 and drive efficient growth.

“Each of these individuals have contributed to, and been a meaningful part of, the business that Airtasker has become today: creating jobs, income and purpose for many people across Australia and the world.”

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