Tech layoffs continue as Aussie Web3 unicorn Immutable cuts staff, just months after its $3.5 billion valuation

Immutable founders

Immutable co-founders James and Robbie Ferguson. Source: supplied.

Australian Web3 outfit Immutable has confirmed a number of layoffs from its team, just four months after securing a $280 million funding round which brought its valuation to $3.5 billion.

The company, which builds play-to-earn games on the blockchain and operates its own NFT marketplace Immutable X, this week laid off 20 staff members, CNET reports.

Those affected belong to the team responsible for Gods Unchained, a turn-based digital card game which allows users to win NFT-based items.

Players can also buy, sell and trade them on the Immutable X exchange platform, with Immutable touting ownership of in-game items as a turning point for the gaming industry at large.

“We have made the decision to conduct a small reorganization within Gods Unchained to help better enable us to achieve our goal of creating the next generation of web3 games,” an Immutable spokesperson told SmartCompany.

“This was a difficult choice and one that was made after thoughtful review,” they added.

“We hate to lose members of our team and will ensure a smooth transition for those affected by the reorganisation.”

Immutable did not answer questions about how many of those staff members are based in Australia.

Source: Gods Unchained

The layoffs arrive at a torrid time for the blockchain developers and cryptocurrency speculators alike.

Extreme market enthusiasm for blockchain assets like cryptocurrency and NFTs helped Immutable become Australia’s first crypto “unicorn” in March, when investors including Temasek, Animoca Brands, and AirTree Ventures contributed to its blockbuster Series C round.

But the market value of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether have plummeted in recent months, as new inflationary pressures saw investors shy away from speculative digital assets.

The value of Immutable’s own IMX token, which underpins the Immutable X market, has also collapsed. As of Thursday morning, one IMX token was worth the equivalent of $1.26, down from a high of $13.57 in November last year.

Immutable is not the only Australian crypto-focused enterprise to suffer in the so-called ‘crypto winter’. Banxa, a Melbourne-based company offering services to crypto market users, last month laid of nearly a third of its staff, The Australian Financial Review reports.

Similar scenes have unfolded internationally, with exchange powerhouse Coinbase letting almost one in five staff go in June.

Immutable did not respond to questions about whether the market value of IMX influenced the Gods Unchained layoffs, instead saying the company still intends to build out the game with “hires across product, engineering and tokenomics”.

“Immutable started the year at 120 FTE, and are now at 280 employees,” the spokesperson said.

“We continue to grow at pace and are on track to reach 360 total headcount in the next five months, with expected growth beyond that.”

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