Movers and ShakersNews

Evolve undergoes second extensive layoffs round this year

US: Denver-based vacation rental management company Evolve is laying off 20 per cent of its workforce [175 employees] – its second round of job cuts this year – as first reported by Skift.

In May, the firm reduced the size of its team by 164 employees [14 per cent of the company], despite raising $100 million in growth funding just last February. At the time, Evolve co-founder and CEO, Brian Egan, attributed the layoffs to an “increasingly dynamic and volatile” market, with supply growth outpacing demand growth and subsequently leading to average daily rates [ADRs], bookings and revenue per property “coming in below our expectations”.

Affected employees were informed of the news on Tuesday, with Evolve referring to the necessity to scrutinise all expenses [including salaries for all staff] in order to achieve profitability.

In a team update posted on Tuesday [12 September], Egan wrote: “In May, we were reacting quickly to a precipitous shortfall in Revenue, it was defensive and volume-driven; this decision is the polar opposite, we are acting strategically to unlock value creation and accelerate durable growth. We are confident in our work to re-underwrite our allocation of all resources, our self-sustaining profitability trajectory, and the ways in which our narrowed focus and rigour will serve to speed us up and protect us against future market volatility.

“So long as those things remain true, we will not be considering another broad-based reduction of our team,” he added.

Skift also reported suggestions that the redundancies would involve a move to integrating offshore customer support, to which Egan said Evolve would continue to “improve and streamline” its customer experiences by “enhancing self-service capabilities, including AI, and scaling existing workforce partnerships” to enable it to “ramp support teams quickly and provide customers with world-class responses times regardless of demand levels”.

When Evolve raised $100 million in fresh capital last year, taking its total funding to $235 million, it claimed to be “the fastest-growing vacation rental hospitality company in North America”. At the time, the business said that it was seeking to expand its portfolio of more than 19,000 vacation homes in 750+ markets, with each listing on its platform reportedly generating 38 per cent more revenue than the market average in 2021.