Less than one month after picking up not one award, but two awards, at BC Tech’s 2022 Technology Impact Awards, web3 darling Dapper Labs has laid off 22 per cent of staff.
Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot and the Flow blockchain, topped the Spirit of BC Tech – Ambition and Excellence in Company Culture categories at the association’s annual awards.
“We know web3 and crypto is the future across a multitude of industries –– with 1000x potential from here in terms of mainstream adoption and impact ––– but today’s macroeconomic environment means we aren’t in full control of the timing,” wrote Dapper Labs founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou in a letter that was sent to staff today about the layoffs.
According to Betakit the reduction represents around 134 staff.
Dapper Labs spun out of startup studio Axoim Zen in 2017 and was named to Techcouver’s 10 Homegrown B.C. Startups to Watch in 2021.
Just over one year ago Dapper raised a USD $250 million funding round which valued the digital collectibles startup at over $7 billion and set them up for a busy 2022.
In January they announced that they were launching the highly anticipated UFC Strike NFT collectible with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
In May Dapper Labs cracked the top 10 of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, an annual ranking of companies “growing and innovating through a challenging market and changed world, while inspiring change among incumbent competitors.”
In August they hired Nick Grudin to take on the role of chief business officer. Gruden served 12 years at Facebook, where we was most recently vice president of content and community partnerships at Meta.
Unfortunately trading volumes in NFTs — digital art and collectibles recorded on blockchains — have tumbled 97% from a record high in January this year. They slid to just $466 million in September from $17 billion at the start of 2022, according to data from Dune Analytics.
The fading NFT mania is part of a wider, $2 trillion wipeout in the crypto sector as rapidly tightening monetary policy starves speculative assets of investment flow.