Hard Landing: Startup’s former employees allege cost-cutting play

Laid-off employees told Insider company is hiring in Mexico to shift labor costs

Landing's Bill Smith (Landing, Getty)
Landing's Bill Smith (Landing, Getty)

Furnished-apartment rental company Landing is running into some turbulence.

The Alabama-based startup laid off 110 employees last week, according to a LinkedIn post by CEO Bill Smith. As reported by Insider, Smith said the move was part of a strategy for “success and long-term growth,” for which former employees told the outlet the company appeared to be filling the staffing gap with employees in Mexico.

And the alleged salt in the wound: two unnamed former employees told Insider that they trained their replacements — who they believed to be new coworkers — just before getting laid off.

Executives said that they were hiring employees in Mexico because they were “cheaper than their Alabama counterparts,” Insider wrote of an account from a human resources employee who left Landing voluntarily earlier this year.

The company established operations in Mexico in 2020, and has since grown to over 100 employees. Former employees told Insider the staff assist the company’s main headquarters with operational work involving renters and apartments.

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Smith said in his LinkedIn post the layoffs were part of a “restructuring effort” to help the company continue to grow, but did not mention hiring at the company’s Mexico City office.

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Anywhere’s layoffs were a long time coming

Landing’s layoffs come on the heels of a $125 million investment from firms like Greycroft and Foundry in a funding round led by Delta-v Capital that closed at the end of August.

The company also landed $1.6 million in incentives last year from the city of Birmingham to bring more of its operations from San Francisco to Alabama. Insider reported the shift to Mexico was a blow to the city, where residents expected the company’s presence to be a boon to the local economy.

The short-term rental company is the latest in a series of proptech firms like Homie and Pacaso to downsize. The sector, along with brokerage and mortgage firms, have announced job cuts in recent months as economic headwinds and recession fears persist.

— Cailley LaPara