Over 740 hi-tech workers laid off in one week; Israeli start-ups blame uncertain global market

This week saw seven Israeli hi-tech layoffs, adding to over 40 layoffs since May.

A CYBER hotline facility, part of Israel’s hi-tech innovative sector (photo credit: REUTERS)
A CYBER hotline facility, part of Israel’s hi-tech innovative sector
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The lingering throes of supply-chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and current market fluctuation due in part to the war in Ukraine have resulted in an unstable global market that has rocked the Israeli business sector, setting off a massive wave of layoffs throughout the Start-Up Nation’s hi-tech industry.

This week, new layoffs in seven hi-tech companies have taken place in Israel, signifying the latest in a cavalcade of firings that now exceeds 45 separate events in the past six months.

On Sunday, telehealth platform Antidote Health issued a statement announcing the layoff of 43 people – representing more than 28% of its total workforce. The statement pointed out “uncertainty in the financial markets” as a primary cause for the downsizing, noting that Antidote was “taking action on all fronts in order to streamline, and preserve its cash.”

“In order to adjust to the situation in the market, we have been forced to make changes to our workforce,” the statement continued. “The company will continue to promote its long-term vision – providing accessible and affordable health insurance to millions of Americans who currently don’t have that basic freedom within reach.”

As well, a Calcalist report published on Sunday announced the firing of 62 employees by visual impairment-aid developer OrCam.

A woman walks near high-rise buildings in the hi-tech business area of Tel Aviv (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)A woman walks near high-rise buildings in the hi-tech business area of Tel Aviv (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Which other companies laid off workers?

On Monday, cybersecurity unicorn Snyk laid off 198 workers, following a cut of 30 employees in July. In a post on the company’s website, Snyk CEO Peter McKay wrote, “Today is one of the most difficult in Snyk’s history. Over the course of 2022, while our business has continued to grow, we’ve also witnessed a number of significant market shifts, and as a result, we are restructuring and reducing our global workforce, impacting 198 employees, representing 14% of our total workforce as of today.

“Our business continues to grow aggressively, more than doubling in size each year, with currently over 2,300 customers, but we now must operate even more efficiently in order for Snyk to effectively withstand the continued headwinds facing the global economy,” McKay wrote.

Tuesday saw a 30% layoff from volunteering platform developer Vee – leaving the company with only 17 employees – as well as the layoff of 150 people from fin-tech unicorn Fundbox.

In a letter to employees, Fundbox CEO Prashant Fuloria wrote:, “As macroeconomic trends continue to impact the small business economy, we too face material business headwinds. It is clear that these economic challenges will last for longer than we initially expected.”

Some 200 more workers were let go on Wednesday by cybersecurity unicorn Cybereason, doubling an earlier layoff of 100 in June.

“This is a difficult decision for us and we are doing the utmost in order to help the employees in this process,” Cybereason said in a statement. “As market conditions have changed significantly and the technology IPO market is effectively closed, companies like ourselves must be financially strict and prioritize financial efficiency over growth.”

“As market conditions have changed significantly and the technology IPO market is effectively closed, companies like ourselves must be financially strict and prioritize financial efficiency over growth.”

Cybereason

Sixty employees were laid off from Hewlett-Packard’s Netanya branch on Thursday. A statement issued by the company was not forthcoming with further details.

“At this time it is not possible to expand regarding the activity of HP Industrial. The company continues to innovate and create value for its clients, while focusing on encouraging the digitization of the entire industry in different ways and through advanced technologies,” the statement read.