A highly anticipated stock-market debut for Better.com in August slumped when its stock dropped 93% on the first trading day. Now beholden to shareholders, CEO Vishal Garg issued more layoffs earlier this month.
“As a publicly listed company, we’re focused on making prudent and disciplined decisions that account for market dynamics so that we can continue to serve both customers and shareholders for the long-term,” a Better.com spokesperson said.
It’s unclear exactly how many people were laid off, but at the time of the SPAC merger, Better boasted 950 employees.
“New projections and remarks from [Federal Reserve Board] chair Jay Powell signal no near-term relief from elevated borrowing costs, so the mortgage market will continue to get tougher,” the spokesperson said. “We are hiring more seasoned professionals who can sell in this tough mortgage environment and making them 10X more productive through our continued investment technologies such as Tinman and One Day Mortgage, which have created efficiencies that streamline and automate nearly every major function of homeownership. We are committed to further developing this technology during an interest rate environment where customers need it the most.”
Two years ago, the company laid off about 9% of its global workforce in what has been described as a brutal Zoom call. An estimated 900 employees were laid off during that call.
In an interview with Garg in August, just days before it went public, he said the capital infusion from the merger with Aurora Acquisitions would help the business grow “as the interest rate cycle turns.”
“When we were blitz scaling, we were focused on only one constituent, period. And that was the customer. I think as a public company, we have to be focused on a variety of constituents,” Garg said in August. “Shareholders, employees, external parties, so we’ll be in the public eye a lot more. Also, that’s one of the lessons that we’ve learned over the past two years, is to become more empathetic, to be more considerate.”