Clubhouse, the once-hyped audio app that took off during the height of the pandemic, is on staff as part of a “reboot” of the company, the startup announced. In a letter to staff shared by the company, founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth said they were “reducing our organization by more than 50% and saying goodbye to many talented and dedicated teammates.”
Interestingly, Davison and Seth said the company, which was reportedly valued at 2021, was still well-funded, with “runway years remaining.” They added that they “feel no immediate pressure to cut costs.”
Clubhouse in popularity in early 2021 at a time when many people were feeling socially isolated due to the pandemic. The app was able to attract big names like Elon Musk and Oprah for its live audio chats, which helped further boost its early success. But Davison would later say that growth came “too fast” and usage amid competitors cloning the service and more people returning to normal activities as the pandemic abated.
In their letter to the staff, Davison and Seth alluded to these issues. “But as the world has opened up post-Covid, it has become more difficult for many people to find their friends in the Clubhouse and fit long conversations into their daily lives,” they wrote. “To find its role in the world, the product needs to evolve. To fix this, we need to reset the company, eliminate roles, and reduce it to a smaller, product-focused team.”
The founders went on to say that they will focus on “Clubhouse 2.0,” though they didn’t elaborate on what the service will look like in the future, only that it would be built by a “smaller team.”
Clubhouse isn’t the only live audio service having problems. Spotify recently launched its standalone live audio app, Greenroom. And Reddit shut down its live audio version, Reddit Talk, . Even and have struggled to keep some of their audio projects going.
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