OpenSea is one of the most prominent NFT marketplaces in the crypto and web3 landscape. However, in a rather surprising move, the platform has announced that it is laying off half of its employees.
- OpenSea, a pioneer NFT marketplace, reduced its employee count by 50%.
- The platform will launch version 2.0 with a smaller team, eliminating middle managers.
- Employees will be given a 4-month severance package and 6-month healthcare packages.
- OpenSea looks to innovate to regain its leading position in the NFT world.
The news of reducing the employee headcount by 50% was confirmed by the co-founder and CEO of OpenSea, Devin Finzer. He added that this move will pave the way for the NFT platform to head towards OpenSea 2.0. The exact number of employees laid off was not shared by the company or its representatives.
The platform was launched in 2017, and since then, it has earned a great reputation in the world of NFTs. However, the company struggles to keep up with the critical bear market during the crypto winter. As a result, it had to let go 20% of its employees in July 2022, leaving a staff of 230 people behind.
Therefore, this is the second layoff from OpenSea during the crypto winter. Finzer stated that the company is re-orienting the team and upgrading their product. He added,
“We’re building a new foundation so we can innovate faster and we’ll have some experiences to share with you soon. We will change how we operate – shifting to a smaller team with a direct connection to users. So today, we’re saying goodbye to a number of OpenSea teammates.”
OpenSea Lays Off Staff in Search of More Efficiency
As per the details shared by an OpenSea representative, the firm has particularly focused on reducing the number of middle managers. This shows that the platform is moving towards automation in such roles, enabling quicker decision-making.
Nonetheless, the company has given its employees a four-month severance package along with six months of continued healthcare and mental health care. In addition, they will have an accelerated timetable for equity vesting.
“This is the most difficult part of this change. These folks played a key role in getting us to this point and I’m incredibly thankful for their contributions. Their departure is not a reflection on the people we’re parting ways with today. Others would be lucky to hire them,” Finzer added.
OpenSea believes that it is currently moving forward by prioritizing the interests of its community. Moreover, the features of its version 2.0 will help the platform have closer ties with its user base. It is yet to be seen how users react to its new product launch.
Furthermore, the NFT platform is eyeing a comeback in the market to claim its dominance. In the past year, the dominance of OpenSea saw a fall from 73% to a mere 18%. Therefore, organizational restructuring and increased innovation is a key necessity at this time. Currently, Blur is the leading NFT marketplace in terms of trading volume.
What Went Wrong for OpenSea?
During the rise of NFTs in 2021, OpenSea was the largest marketplace with staggering trading volumes. The platform also raised $300 million at a $13.3 billion valuation at the start of 2022 for its Series C funding round. However, the platform started losing its charm in mid-2022 amid falling crypto market prices.
A major reason for the decline of OpenSea was its rigid policies, as the platform did not change its royalty policies. On the other hand, Blur introduced token-based incentives for creators. Thus, there was a shift in preference among the creators.
Despite setbacks, OpenSea still has more than 32,000 unique wallets between its standard and Pro marketplaces. This stat from last week shows that its unique wallets are more than double those of the Blur marketplace.