Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that augmented reality headset creator Magic Leap ($PRIVATE:MAGICLEAP) was looking to sell the startup, a move that indicates the $2.6 billion it raised thus far wasn't quite enough money for its burn rate. The asking price is allegedly $10 billion, and it's not clear if anyone is willing to pony up that much capital for technology that has yet to see market validation.
Magic Leap laid off dozens back in December in an early sign that things weren't going according to plan. All of this points to one central storyline, and that's Magic Leap isn't selling as many units as it wants. But retail sales numbers aren't the only data points pointing to Magic Leap's tough road in the past — and ahead. Here's what we're seeing.
From May until December 2019, job openings took a massive hit, falling by 55%. But 2020 is a different story, as listings have shot back up by 44% this year alone. The selloff could inspire Magic Leap to find more talent, as long as someone else is paying for their salaries.
But overall, the total number of staffers at Magic Leap has been declining since August, down 800 employees. This lines up with the reporting that there were mass layoffs in December, dozens cut as 2019 was winding down.
And to add insult to injury, Magic Leap's social media following hasn't been gaining traction for years. Twitter followers and Facebook likes have been slowed month-over-month for the past few years, and 2020 could be the year they both lose fans on each platform.
That is, if no one buys the company and people don't buy the product in droves. Which might still happen, for such impressive technology you still need to market and get people to try it and pay you astronomical amounts of money for it.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.