Snap Plans To Lay Off 20% of Staff

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

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Snap Feels the Pain of a Disrupted Digital Ad Market

Snap Inc. plans to lay off about 20% of its 6,400-strong workforce, according to the company.

In May, CEO Evan Spiegel said the social media giant would slow hiring, and warned revenue growth would continue to stall. At the time, Spiegel blamed the app’s downturn on everything from the conflict in Ukraine to inflation and supply chain shortages.


Most of the cuts will affect Snap’s team working on games and mini-apps for Snapchat as well as the team running Zenly, a social-mapping app the company bought in 2017. The hardware division, which works on Snap’s augmented reality goggles and the now-defunct Pixy camera drone, is also expected to face steep cuts. The ad sales division is also “being restructured," and Snap will phase out its Yellow accelerator investment program.

In an investor letter published last month, Snap admitted “demand growth on our advertising platform has slowed significantly,” and noted “we have observed reduced marketing spending and lower bids.”

Snap Inc. In an investor in dot.LA.

The layoffs follow Snap’s second quarter earnings report, which saw daily active Snapchat users increase by 18% annually – but mostly outside the U.S., as it failed to hit expectations in North America, where daily users grew by only 4% in that time. Snapchat’s user base of roughly 347 million remains on par with rivals such as Twitter, but that hasn’t prevented Snap from its mounting losses. The social camera company missed earnings expectations, and posted a net loss of $422 million on revenues of $1.1 billion last quarter.

This is a developing story. Have a tip? Contact Samson Amore securely on Signal at 401.287.5543 or at samsonamore@dot.LA.
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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually
Photo courtesy of AmazeVR

Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.

The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.

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