Data analytics startup Mixpanel yesterday laid off nearly 20 employees, primarily in sales, VentureBeat has learned.
The layoffs, which multiple sources familiar with the matter confirmed to VentureBeat, don’t spell doom for the company. One person familiar with the matter described the layoffs as a healthy cost-cutting effort.
In total, Mixpanel let go of 18 people, Mixpanel cofounder and chief executive Suhail Doshi told VentureBeat. The company had more than 230 employees, so the move is affecting less than 10 percent of its workforce.
“We just overhired, and we wanted to make sure that we could correct for that — better now than later,” Doshi told VentureBeat. Doshi said the company will hit its revenue target for 2016.
Valued at $865 million in its most recent funding round, Mixpanel has developed an image as one of Silicon Valley’s fast-growing companies.
But sales has been a top priority for the company. In fact, “3x sales headcount and rapidly race towards distribution” was listed first in a series of bullet points in a slide in a 2014 presentation showing Mixpanel’s 2015 and 2016 expansion plan. The same slide also shows Mixpanel aiming to double its headcount every six to nine months.
The data analytics market has been hot as companies have been keen to design their websites and applications to optimize for the most desirable responses. Thanks in part to its ease of use, Mixpanel has become popular in this environment, while other analytics tools, like Heap, Amplitude, and Localytics, have also gained traction.
Mixpanel started in 2009 and is based in San Francisco, with additional operations in New York. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, Max Levchin, and Sequoia Capital.
Mixpanel is “a picks-and-shovels business right in the middle of the gold rush,” as Marc Andreessen gushed in a New Yorker profile of him last year.
Mixpanel isn’t the only venture-backed company to make layoffs. Instacart, another highly valued startup backed by Sequoia, reportedly laid off some recruiters last month. Sequoia-backed Evernote also recently made layoffs.