If a person were to put every buzzword about a startup into a blender, you might get Zenefits ($PRIVATE:ZENEFITS). This unicorn, located in San Francisco, utilizes a cloud-based software to help other companies manage their HR, benefits, and healthcare coverage systems. Zenefits relies on a SaaS model to make its money, and the company is valued at over $4 billion. A month ago, Zenefits laid off 15% of its workforce due to the pandemic, and since then has laid low.
Competitors in the benefits space, like Gusto, have also had to reconsider plans, since nobody thought 2020 would go like this. The thought behind creating all-in-one websites and apps for onboarding, training, and record-keeping was to target small businesses that didn't have the resources or staff to make an entire HR department. But since small business are suffering at the hands of COVID-19, PPP, and the government, startups like Zenefits will likely feel the effects as well.
But just how deep is the hole Zenefits is in, a month after it had to layoff employees? Let's look at the data and see.
Zenefits' LinkedIn employee headcount is down 11% since the start of January. Over the last four years, the headcount has been slashed 52%.
The main thing we noticed about Zenefits' data is the roller coaster ride of the company's job postings. Openings were at a modest 28 at the start of the year, then dropped to nothing, went back up again in March, and then cratered. There were ebbs and flows in previous years, but this year has been erratic, to say the least.
The one consistent, upward-trending data set is Zenefits' Twitter following, which is up 28% since 2016. Otherwise, this unicorn will have to polish up its horn in order to keep its lofty valuation.
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.