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San Francisco trucking startup AtoB lays off 30% of workers, months after massive funding round

Photo of Joshua Bote

A stock photo shows a fleet of red semi-trucks parked in Jackson, Tenn. 

A stock photo shows a fleet of red semi-trucks parked in Jackson, Tenn. 

DKAR Images/Tetra Images/Getty Images

A San Francisco tech startup broaching unicorn status has conducted layoffs just months after boasting a massive funding round — and at least one worker appeared to be angry about how the layoffs were conducted.

AtoB, a financial technology company launched in 2019 whose core product is a fuel card for trucking and other transportation services, laid off 32 employees, a spokesperson confirmed to SFGATE on Tuesday. The company employed 107 employees before the layoffs, meaning that 30% of the company was given pink slips.

“Today, we had to make the difficult decision to let a group of AtoB employees go in response to external economic headwinds and a broader restructuring we’ve undertaken to ensure the company delivers for our customers,” Elizabeth Ashford, a spokesperson for AtoB, told SFGATE in a statement Tuesday. “The team members we said goodbye to today all made incredible contributions to the company, and their hard work has been instrumental to AtoB’s growth.”

A former employee at the “Stripe for Transportation” who posted on Blind, the anonymous job forum that requires employees register under a company email to prove authenticity, expressed frustration at the company over how it conducted layoffs. “No feedback, no severance, nothing,” the poster alleged. “My manager just scheduled a meeting and said they wanted to part ways.”

Ashford told SFGATE after the story’s publication that this employee was not laid off during the most recent round of cuts.

At least two LinkedIn posts indicate that the layoffs affected customer service employees, though Ashford confirmed that all departments in the company were impacted. 

Ashford stated that all employees received cash and equity based on tenure as part of their severance packages, disputing the anonymous worker’s claim. Workers also were allowed to keep their work computers, she said, and will receive job placement services.

The layoffs come as a bit of a surprise, considering the glowing coverage AtoB has received in the tech press in recent months. In August, as the weakening economy and a pandemic cooldown afflicted the tech industry, the company announced that it raised $155 million in a round of funding with a valuation of $800 million. Forbes, at the time, reported that the funding would be used for company expansion.

It’s worth noting that AtoB CEO Vignan Velivela bought a home in Presidio Heights for $12 million at the end of 2021; the home, according to the Real Deal, was previously owned by Hills Bros. coffee heir Herbert Hills.

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