Shift, the peer-to-peer car marketplace startup, is engaging in downsizing, laying off workers and pausing operations temporarily in Washington, D.C.
According to a report by TechCrunch, Shift confirmed it laid off a little less than 10 percent of its workforce, or around 25 employees, and paused the business in the Washington, D.C. area temporarily. The pause in operations is for the company to get its dealer’s license so it can resell cars for Hertz, the car rental giant. The company’s operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco are not being impacted by the move in D.C.
“Over the past five years, Hertz has implemented a robust retail car sales strategy and become a prominent retail used car seller in the U.S.,” said Jeff Adams, VP of vehicle remarketing at Hertz, in a statement to TechCrunch. “We are excited to partner with innovative companies like Shift to leverage their technology and bring a seamless, hassle-free purchase experience to our car buyers.”
TechCrunch noted Shift said the move to resell cars for Hertz and move away from to the peer-to-peer business model was related to its move to reduce staff. “We made a decision to make some changes to our employment model, which has resulted in some staff reductions,” said a spokesperson for the company, according to the report.
Minnie Ingersoll, Shift’s COO, said in the report the startup is aiming to have as much as 20 percent of all the inventory on the Shift website come from Hertz cars, while the remainder will be P2P. “Moving forward, we are going to launch markets with Hertz inventory before we start P2P,” a spokesperson said in the report. “One of the most expensive parts of launching a new market is acquiring cars, so this partnership is honestly a game-changer for us. We’ll have access to instant inventory and be able to scale more quickly and economically.”