The letter from Infogrid founder and CEO, William Cowell de Gruchy written to his team members confirms that the company would be “saying goodbye to a significant number of passionate and talented people over the next weeks and months”.
He acknowledges that the company went too fast in its high-growth plans and is now paying the price for that strategy, due to the drastic changes in the investment landscape this year, the economic slowdown and the likelihood of a serious recession.
Infogrid is a London, UK-based startup founded in 2018, providing an Internet of Things (IoT) platform to enable smart buildings by combining real-time IoT sensors with proprietary AI analysis to translate data into insight. With many diverse enterprise customers using its solution globally, Memoori had identified the business as one of the leading startups gaining traction in 2022.
Just seven weeks earlier on 2nd November, Infogrid announced the acquisition of Washington DC-based Aquicore to strengthen its ESG data and analytics offering, as part of a period of high growth and rapid scaling.
LinkedIn records 305 employees currently, which we assume includes the team of 60 from Aquicore. This is a considerable increase from 61 employees at 31st December 2021 and 37 at 31st December 2020, recorded in the latest UK company accounts.
The company has not disclosed details of how many posts are impacted by this restructuring, but all regions are affected, so we can assume that the American and Estonian subsidiaries will also suffer losses.
They raised $15.5 million in a Series A funding round in November 2020 led by Northzone with participation from JLL Spark, Concrete VC, The Venture Collective and Jigsaw VC. It would appear that investors have precipitated this necessity to reduce costs.
The CEO commented “Capital is more scarce, and to raise it you must show prudence in cost – even when your prospects are so bright. I should have spotted this shift earlier and changed course harder”.
Two further charges were registered by the company at UK Companies House on 16th December 2022, relating to loans from Northzone and CBRE, which joins JLL as the other major strategic real estate investor financing the company.
This is the first major (disclosed) round of layoffs in the European smart buildings space, and can be seen as a warning of the dangers of accelerating too fast for the market.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.