On Bolt’s layoffs

Bolt, a San Francisco-based fintech startup, renowned for its pioneering four-day workweek, has faced a significant downturn with a recent 29% staff reduction.

In late 2021 and early 2022, Bolt was riding a wave of success, raising nearly $750 million and reaching an $11 billion valuation. However, the departure of co-founder and CEO Ryan Breslow in early 2022, followed by a New York Times investigation questioning Bolt’s technological capabilities and business practices, signaled the beginning of challenging times for the company.

From a workforce of approximately 800 employees, Bolt has now reportedly halved its staff. Despite these setbacks, the company maintains its commitment to the four-day workweek, a perk that initially attracted many, including some of my former colleagues, to join Bolt. Interestingly, at least one of them returned, possibly due to the instability that has emerged.

Bolt’s current situation raises questions about its differentiation from competitors like Adyen. Unlike Adyen, which has established a more stable footing in the payments sector, Bolt seems to struggle in carving out a unique niche or offering distinct advantages that set it apart in the fintech arena.