One-Click Checkout Startup Bolt Laying Off 10% of Workforce

Bolt, layoffs

Bolt reportedly laid off 10% of its workforce on Tuesday (Jan. 24).

The Information reported Tuesday that with the layoffs of these 50 employees, the one-click checkout startup has reduced its headcount by more than half since last May.

Bolt CEO Maju Kuruvilla attributed the latest cuts to “quite a few” company projects not working out and some proposed deals with retailers being delayed, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources.

Reached for comment, a Bolt spokesperson told PYMNTS via email, “we regretfully had to let go some of our talented employees.”

When the company began to cut staff in May, Bloomberg reported that Kuruvilla said in a memo to staff that it was “no secret” that the market conditions in the industry had been changing.

“In an effort to ensure Bolt owns its own destiny, the leadership team and I have made the decision to secure our financial position,” Kuruvilla said at the time.

Five months earlier, in January 2022, Bolt had secured $355 million in a Series E funding round that brought its total funding to nearly $1 billion.

The company’s then-CEO Ryan Breslow said at the time that the firm would use the new capital to accelerate product development, hire top talent, ramp up strategic investments, forge more partnerships and expand internationally.

Two weeks later, on Jan. 31, Breslow stepped down as CEO and became executive chairman, with Kuruvilla becoming CEO.

Bloomberg reported at the time that Breslow had written in a blog post that BlackRock had led the fundraise, only to delete that after BlackRock disagreed, and had gotten backlash after posting tweets accusing competitor Stripe of working with venture capitalists to harm rivals.

In April, The Information reported that Bolt was feeling a revenue pinch after slashing merchant fees. The firm was feeling the heat of newer one-click competitors like PayPal and Shopify, the report said.

In May, the New York Times reported that Bolt had often “overstated” its technical capability and misrepresented the number of merchants using its services.

In July, Forever 21 owner Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and Bolt said they were continuing their partnership after settling a lawsuit filed by ABG against Bolt. ABG had sued Bolt three months earlier, claiming the payments company failed to deliver on its technology.

Bolt’s channel- and ecosystem-agnostic approach to one-click checkout represents the next evolution in simple checkout anywhere, Kuruvilla told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview posted in August 2022.

“People like to buy things online and they don’t want to be constrained with a lot of steps,” Kuruvilla said at the time.