In a third round of cutbacks this year, personal finance site NerdWallet has laid off 53 representatives—around 11% of its workforce—after neglecting to meet income targets. This is according to an email CEO Tim Chen wrote to staff Thursday morning. In the email, acquired by SFGATE, Chen said that a few zones of the organization aren’t running as productively as they ought to be, and that “rough patches” have affected NerdWallet’s income in 2017.
“Sadly, this means we will be saying goodbye to 53 talented Nerds, who have all contributed meaningfully to building NerdWallet,” Chen wrote. “Every year since NerdWallet was founded in 2009, we’ve exceeded our aggressive revenue targets. We got used to exceeding our goals, and it colored our judgment on how prudent we needed to be with our expenses in 2017.”
This is the largest of the cuts that have happened this year at NerdWallet, where 40 individuals were laid off in April, including then-Vice President of Growth Henry Hsu. Six more were let go in mid-July, TechCrunch detailed. It was a morning loaded with harsh news for advanced media outlets at large, as MarketWatch Tech Editor Jeremy Owens called attention noted on Twitter. Buzzfeed and Vice also missed their income targets, and Mashable was allegedly sold for $50 million after being valued at $250 million in 2016.
“Two factors drove this decision—we’re not hitting our profitability goals, and there are areas within our organization that aren’t running as efficiently as they should be,” Chen said. “This is the right decision for NerdWallet, but it’s also extremely painful.”
Asked whether the latest layoffs signal that the company’s business model isn’t working, NerdWallet told the San Francisco Business Times: “No, absolutely not. This is about efficiency and effectiveness, no change in strategy.”
NerdWallet gathers income when somebody taps on or gets endorsed for a money related product from its site, for example, a Visa card. Finance is a very aggressive business, with Credit Karma and its free FICO rating among the more challenging competition.