Vienna-based CircleBack has cut 19 jobs, Fortune magazine reported yesterday. Founded in 2012, CircleBack offers a contact management app powered by artificial intelligence.
CEO Manoj Ramnani confirmed the news with Fortune, stating that the layoffs marked the end of a strategy to appeal to business customers. By cutting staff, CircleBack will now return to the original goal of working directly with the consumer, he said.
“We thought we’d be able to serve businesses also, so we started the business part of the product in the third quarter and ran it for one quarter,” Ramnani told Fortune. “It turned out that for a small company, our resources were better used for the consumer part of the business.”
The cuts were unexpected given CircleBack’s recent announcements. In July the company announced that it had raised $12 million in funding, and that it had reached the milestone of managing more than one billion contacts. Later the same month, CircleBack announced the hire of Kevin Alansky as its new chief marketing officer. Alansky previously worked for both Blackboard and SocialRadar.
At the time, Alansky said in a statement that he was joining CircleBack “because they are positioned for explosive growth.”
The layoffs are large for a company that, according to Fortune, had around 40 employees until the cuts. However, Ramnani also told Fortune that CircleBack is hiring in areas conducive to its “core business.”
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