Sojern, an ad-tech firm servicing travel companies, has laid off about half its staff of about 600 employees due to financial instability caused by the coronavirus pandemic, multiple sources have told Adweek.
The company confirmed the layoffs to Adweek, but did not provide further comment as to the exact extent of the cuts.
“We’ve had to make the unfortunate decision to lay off several wonderful employees,” a Sojern spokesperson said. “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the travel industry that is both unexpected and unprecedented. Like many other travel companies, Sojern has been hit hard and, in order to weather this global storm, we have had to make some very difficult business decisions.
“Right now, we are focused on ensuring that all our employees, customers and partners are well taken care of, and that we are all able to get through this difficult time together.”
The travel industry has been hit especially hard by coronavirus. One report found that travel advertising fell by as much as 90% in March.
“We basically saw everyone stop,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and co-founder of MediaRadar in an earlier interview with Adweek.
The economic impact of coronavirus has been felt by the ad-tech industry, too, as some firms have been forced to adjust payment terms or reach out to financial solutions companies in search for liquidity.
Adara, another travel-focused ad-tech company, has begun notifying inventory partners of an abrupt scaling back of media buys on its platforms. Triplelift had to cut 7% of its staff and close some European offices.
Sojern has 13 offices across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. It is unclear whether any particular location or job type was impacted most by these layoffs.
The company’s last funding round in 2018 brought in $120 million and has raised a total of $162.5 million over 13 years, according to Crunchbase.