Startup lays off entire 200-person workforce in a 2-minute video call

Talk about getting it done! In a 2-minute video call, Frontdesk CEO Jesse DePinto told his entire startup they were laid off.

Frontdesk, a startup that managed more than 1,000 furnished apartments across the United States, laid off its entire 200-person workforce Tuesday after attempts to raise more capital failed, TechCrunch exclusively learned from sources familiar with internal happenings at the company. The mass layoff comes just seven months after the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based startup acquired smaller rival Zencity.

The layoffs, which included full-time, part-time workers and contractors, occurred Tuesday afternoon during "a two-minute Google Meet call," according to one employee who was among those attending the virtual meeting.

During that call, Frontdesk CEO Jesse DePinto told employees that Frontdesk would be filing for a state receivership, an alternative to bankruptcy, according to the sources.


Sporting such impressive investors as JetBlue Ventures, Veritas Investments, and Sand Hill Angels, Frontdesk raised over 26 million dollars to build an e-property management business. A few months ago, they closed an acquisition; now they are kaput. Unable to secure another financing round, it sounds like employees and customers are upset.

Frontdesk went out for a bridge round, attempting to sell investors on a new plan of doing full building management, sources told TechCrunch. That tactic didn't work out and the company couldn't keep operating. Frontdesk was apparently still optimistic about its ability to raise more capital; the startup had posted on LinkedIn openings for several jobs, including a chief of staff role, just two months ago.

As a result of all the challenges, the company was not only not able to make rent on a number of properties but had "little to no communication with" the reportedly infuriated landlords, according to the sources.