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Seattle warehousing startup Flexe lays off 33% of workforce amid freight industry slowdown



Flexe co-founder and CEO Karl Siebrecht. (Flexe Photo)

Flexe, a Seattle logistics startup that hit a $1 billion valuation last year, has laid off 33% of its staff.

The company confirmed the cuts to GeekWire but did not provide specific headcount data. Flexe employs more than 400 people, according to LinkedIn.

Founded in 2013, Flexe sells on-demand warehousing space for online retailers, as well as transportation and fulfillment services. The company raised a $119 million Series D round last year, becoming one of Seattle’s rare “unicorns,” or startups valued at $1 billion or more.

The freight market slowdown is impacting various logistics startups, including freight forwarding giant Flexport, which laid off 20% of its workforce in January and is in cost-cutting mode.

Seattle digital trucking marketplace Convoy, another unicorn, has laid off employees several times over the past year.

It’s a different environment than 2021, when funding to logistics startups such as Flexe nearly doubled year-over-year amid a pandemic-driven surge in online shopping and higher freight volumes.


Flexe is led by CEO and co-founder Karl Siebrecht, the former CEO of AdReady and former president of aQuantive’s Atlas technology division.

After the company raised its Series D round last year, Siebrecht told GeekWire that “we need to be really smart about how we manage that cash given the market uncertainty,” adding, “we have to make investments in scalable growth — not just growth itself.”

The broader tech downturn spurred thousands of layoffs across the tech sector, though cuts have slowed in recent months.

Flexe won Next Tech Titan honors at the GeekWire Awards in May.

The company’s former longtime CTO David Glick stepped down in January.

Flexe investors include Activate Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Prologis Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and T. Rowe Price Investment Management, Inc., and Tiger Global. Funds and accounts managed by BlackRock invested in the Series D round.


Source: Geek Wire

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