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This US-based proptech startup fired entire 200 employees in a 2-min Google Meet call

ISN Team
New Update
fontdesk fires employees

In an unexpected turn of events that has sent ripples through the tech world, FrontDesk, a U.S.-based proptech startup, has abruptly laid off its entire workforce of 200 employees

While layoffs have become increasingly common in the technology sector, this one stands out as employees were laid off via a 2-minute Google Meet call.

According to a TechCrunch report, which first reported the development, The layoffs included the termination of full-time, and part-time workers, as well as contractors. 

What led to such massive layoffs?


CEO Jesse DePinto disclosed the company's financial struggles and its intention to file for state receivership, an alternative to bankruptcy. Despite securing around $26 million from investors like JetBlue Ventures, Veritas Investments, and Sand Hill Angels, FrontDesk faced significant operational difficulties. 

The startup's business model, which involved leasing apartments at market rates and furnishing them for short-term rentals, struggled due to high upfront costs, capital expenditures, and fluctuating demand and rates. 

These challenges were exacerbated by the company's recent shift towards full building management, a strategy that failed to convince investors.

Layoffs after acquisition 

FrontDesk's drastic measure comes just seven months after acquiring Zencity, a smaller rival based in Wisconsin. Despite the financial challenges, the startup appeared optimistic about its future, evidenced by job postings for several roles, including a chief of staff, just two months before the layoffs.

However, It struggled to pay rent for numerous properties and faced strained relationships with landlords due to communication issues.

The impact on the short-term rental sector

The situation at FrontDesk raises questions about the viability of similar companies in the short-term rental sector. The industry faces intense competition and challenges, as seen in the struggles of other companies like Stay Alfred, Domio, Lyric, Zeus Living, The Guild, and WanderJaunt. FrontDesk's failure highlights the difficulties inherent in the business model of leasing and furnishing apartments for short-term rentals.

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