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NFT Marketplace SuperRare Cuts 30% of Staff: 'We Over-Hired'

The popular social NFT platform cited overly aggressive growth and over-hiring as the reason for the layoffs.

3 min read
SuperRare digital artwork website seen on smartphone and Mona Lisa on a blurred background. Stafford, United Kingdom, March 31, 2021 (Shutterstock)

SuperRare Labs, the company behind NFT marketplace SuperRare, became the latest crypto player to make job cuts on Friday, announcing it will reduce its staff by 30%. 

The news came from SuperRare CEO John Crain, who tweeted out a message he sent to employees in Slack.

Crain cited aggressive growth and over-hiring as the reasons for the reduction, saying he takes “full ownership of this mistake.”

“To correct course, we’ve made the difficult decision to rightsize our team, ensuring that SuperRare Labs will be able to continue serving our community of artists, collectors and curators while remaining the destination for the best cryptoart in the world,” he wrote.

Launched in 2018, SuperRare is a social network for art creators and collectors of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs are blockchain-based tokens linked to digital and physical content, providing proof of ownership, authenticity, or membership in a group. 

Since its launch, several big names in sports and entertainment have taken their digital art projects to SuperRare.

In March 2021, SuperRare raised $9 million in a Series A funding round led by Velvet Sea Ventures and crypto fund 1confirmation. Joining in the raise were Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, and SamsungNext. In November of that year, hip-hop artist and NFT collector Snoop Dogg launched an NFT collaboration with mixed media artist Coldie on SuperRare during Miami Art Week. In May 2022, music icon Madonna partnered with digital artist Beeple to launch an NFT collection on SuperRare.

Crain said SuperRare would help those affected by the layoffs transition to new opportunities.

While news of the reduction may sound dire for the company, Crain attempted to sound optimistic in his note to employees, saying that there is still much innovation and transformation yet to come for Web3 and digital art.

“We are facing headwinds, yes - but there remains an incredible uncaptured opportunity as we continue building something totally new: a global digital art renaissance that is transparent, fair, and that anyone can access from anywhere in the world,” he said.

Decrypt reached out to SuperRare for further comment but has not yet heard back.

Just a few days into 2023, several crypto companies have announced layoffs due to the extended crypto winter and contagion from the collapse of Terra, Three Arrows Capital, and FTX in 2022. Silvergate Capital cut 40% of its workforce, crypto lending firm Genesis is cutting 30%, and crypto exchange Huobi is cutting 20%.

But it's not just crypto suffering layoffs: big tech companies from Salesforce to Amazon are cutting jobs as the U.S. economy continues to suffer in the new year.

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