The Real Deal National

Shakeup: Data firm Credifi lays off almost a quarter of its employees, president departs

The layoffs followed the Tel Aviv-based analytics firm’s failed attempt to attract clients from the financial industry, multiple people said
By David Jeans | June 26, 2019 05:00PM

Eli Razin

Eli Razin

Commercial real estate data firm Credifi has laid off almost a quarter of its staff, and its president left last month, according to multiple sources.

The shakeup comes just months after the Tel Aviv-based analytics startup completed a $6 million funding round at the start of the year. Sources said it had failed to attract clients from the financial industry, precipitating the departures.

Ely Razin, the firm’s chief executive, said Wednesday that 10 people were laid off in May, including five in New York, and five in Tel Aviv. He said the company now has 55 employees, including eight in New York, and 47 in Tel Aviv.

Credifi’s president, Jeff Hendren, also left the firm around the same time.

But, two people with knowledge of the situation said the figure was higher. They said 18 people were laid off. That included six departures in New York and 12 in Tel Aviv.

The firm’s main product is a database with information on commercial real estate loans that is sold primarily to commercial lenders and the real estate industry.

Credifi in January sought to attract clients from the financial industry — in particular asset managers and other firms that don’t target real estate — and hired people who had knowledge of the industry, sources said. But after the new hires failed to attract new clients, the team was laid off.

Razin disputed this, and said that only two people were hired specifically to attract clients in the financial industry, and those were the only people laid off for failing to meet marketing targets. The other people who left the company were replaced by automated services, he said.

“As a tech company, we invest heavily in cutting edge technology to drive many business processes and enable decisions across the sector,” Razin later said in a statement. “Automation sometimes results in a change of the workforce.”

Hendren’s exit was unrelated to the financial marketing team layoffs, multiple people said. Hendren, who joined the firm in November 2018, declined to comment.

Razin, a former Thomson Reuters executive, founded the firm in 2014. It has since raised $29 million, including a funding round as recently as January, when it raised $6 million from Liberty Technology Venture Capital II, Maverick Ventures Israel, Japanese firm Mitsui Fudosan, Battery Ventures, Viola Ventures and OurCrowd. The company says that its database covers $13 trillion in debt and financing deals.