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Energy Tech Unicorn RigUp Latest Startup To Lay Off In Austin

RigUp, an Austin-based marketplace for on-demand services and skilled labor in the energy industry, has laid off more than 100 people, according to Austin Inno.

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The move comes a little over five months after RigUp raised a $300 million Series D round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) at a reported valuation of $1.9 billion. The financing marked the largest funding round raised by an Austin company in 2019, according to Crunchbase data. Other investors include Founders Fund, Bedrock Capital, U.K.-based Baillie Gifford, Brookfield Growth Partners and Quantum Energy Partners. Since its 2013 inception, RigUp has raised nearly $424 million, according to Crunchbase.

Austin Inno’s Brent Winstrom first broke the news, and reported that: “Several employees suggested on LinkedIn that the layoffs impacted a total of 120 people, including account executives and employees in several other roles. The company declined to cite the exact number of layoffs.” It is estimated that RigUp let go of about one-fourth of its staff.

RigUp’s platform matches contract workers with energy companies operating in the upstream, renewables, midstream and downstream sectors. In October, the company said it expected to exceed $2 billion in gross service volume on its platform in 2019, up more than 200 percent from 2018.

RigUp co-founder and CEO Xuan Yong told Austin Inno that the layoffs were due to a combination of “the economic hit in oil and gas [and] … the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

He also told Winstrom that he and co-founder and COO Mike Witte were “forgoing their salaries and have shifted to minimum wage payment.”

I’ve reached out to the company for confirmation and will update this article if I get it, along with any further details.

The news comes after a week that saw a number of layoffs by startups either based in Austin or with a significant presence in the Texas capital.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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