Even in the best of times, keeping a startup alive can prove a difficult endeavor. During COVID-19, it’s become even harder—leading to layoffs, in some cases. However, some new data suggests that startup layoffs could be leveling off.
Layoffs.fyi has been tracking startup layoffs since the COVID-19 crisis began, relying on crowdsourcing to accumulate its data. Some industries that depend heavily on person-to-person contact (such as transportation and retail) have been hit harder than others; likewise, Silicon Valley and New York City, which have the highest concentrations of startups in the nation, have seen more startup-related layoffs than, say, Miami or Austin.
But the website’s overall data suggests that, since the nationwide lockdowns began in March, startup layoffs may have begun to plateau:
July and August, of course, will determine whether this leveling-off continues. Some of the biggest “startups” such as Uber and Lyft (which layoffs.fyi puts in the startup category, even if they’re publicly traded, large entities) have already undergone radical change, laying off hundreds or even thousands of employees and altering their lines of business, and are probably unlikely to make sizeable moves within the next few months. Other startups seem to be securing new funds just fine, especially in sectors that haven’t been as hard-hit by the virus.
It’s also important to note that many startups are still hiring, with firms specializing in everything from robotics to cloud-based services all looking for technologists. As Dice’s ongoing COVID-19 Sentiment Survey makes clear, roughly a third of technologists who are currently employed full-time plan on looking for a new job sometime within the next two weeks; many must sense opportunities out there. A startup with an interesting idea and adequate funding might provide just that sort of opportunity.
If you’re seeking a new position during the pandemic (either at a startup or a larger firm), make sure that you adjust your résumé accordingly. In order to stand out during these unusual times, emphasize your remote work experience, as well as your efficiency and (if applicable) your ability to boost revenues or create new lines of business. Such qualities are particularly appealing to startups.