Near Foundation lays off 40% of workforce despite rosy financials

    2024.01.12 | exchangesranking | 45onlookers

    Near Foundation, the developer of the namesake layer-1 protocol, announced that it would lay off 40% of its staff “to significantly consolidate the core Foundation team to focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities.”

    According to the Jan. 11 announcement, the decision to let go of 35 Near employees in the marketing, business development and community teams came after feedback that the foundation “has not always been as effective as it could be, sometimes moving too slowly and trying to do too many things at once.”

    "The NEAR Foundation will provide support to affected colleagues during this time to help them find new opportunities in the NEAR ecosystem, the Web3 industry, and beyond."

    Despite the layoffs, however, it appears that the Near Foundation’s financials have been robust. Currently, its treasury amounts to over $285 million in fiat currencies, 305 million NEAR tokens (worth over $1 billion), and $70 million in investments and loans.

    “The Foundation is well-placed to continue to support the ongoing growth, development, and further decentralization of the Near Protocol and ecosystem," wrote CEO Illia Polosukhin.

    On Sept. 21, 2023, Near Foundation announced the resignation of its then-CEO, Marieke Flament. No specific reasons were given for her departure. During Flement’s tenure between 2021 and 2023, the organization’s treasury balance grew to 330 million NEAR, worth $350 million at the time of her resignation. Meanwhile, the daily active user count of Near Protocol grew from 50,000 to 3 million, and its Twitter followers grew from 200,000 to over 2 million, citing more than 2,000 pieces of press coverage. 

    Related: Near Foundation CEO Marieke Flament resigns

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