Skift Take

This is the third travel tech company that has completed a layoff in the past month.

Sojern, the digital marketing platform for travel companies, confirmed that about 20% of its staff were laid off last week. 

Teesta Raha, spokesperson for Sojern, said in an emailed statement that the layoffs were primarily associated with the company’s legacy offerings, as the company focuses investment on newer technologies. 

Sojern’s primary business is an AI-powered platform that uses customer data to help hotels and other travel companies make more informed marketing decisions and drive direct bookings. The company says it works with more than 10,000 travel companies worldwide.

Sojern did not say exactly how many people the layoff affects. LinkedIn lists about 500 people associated with the company. The company did not specify which departments were included but said it included some public relations staff.

“This decision was not made lightly,” the statement said. “However the company believes this is the right path forward to support the long-term health of the business. While the company remains profitable, its executives and the board of directors agree that the best course of action to ensure long-term profitable growth is to reduce expenses for the upcoming year.”

In a separate statement, Sojern CEO Mark Rabe said: “We are eternally grateful to our hard-working team for their dedication to the business and contributions toward the success and growth of Sojern. The decision to eliminate positions was not where we wanted to end up and it is in no way a reflection of the contributions made by those impacted. Instead, we see this as a strategic move that will help us recalibrate our global operations and resources, and better align with the current business landscape as we see it.

“People are at the heart of everything we do at Sojern and our priority right now is to take care of our team, both those departing and those who remain. We understand the challenges this situation presents and can assure you that we are fully committed to supporting our team through this difficult transition.”

Sojern in July acquired VenueLytics, a platform that provides guest management and communications software for independent hotels, in an effort to move into a new sector of hotel services.

At the time of the acquisition, Kurt Weinsheimer, chief solutions officer for Sojern, said clients had been asking for a way to use Sojern’s data to drive revenue beyond securing bookings alone. 

Sojern raised $120 million in a series D funding in 2018, totaling 162.5 million at the time.

Phocuswire was first to report the news of the layoffs. 

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Tags: Digital Marketing, layoffs, sojern

Photo credit: Pictured: Sojern CEO Mark Rabe at the Skift Global Forum in 2018. Skift

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