Singapore-based fintech startup GoBear on Tuesday said it has retrenched 22 employees, or around 11 per cent of its 200-person workforce.
The layoffs affected six people in Singapore, four in the Philippines, nine in Vietnam and three in Ukraine, the company said in a media statement, adding the employees were from across the operations, product and technology teams.
“Letting people go is not a decision that we take lightly. We have previously undertaken a number of non-people related measures to improve focus and lower our cost base,” Adrian Chng, CEO of GoBear, said in a statement sent to employees.
“However, because of the continued impact of COVID-19, we have had to make these decisions as a last resort,” he added.
Chng added the company would provide post-employment support to the affected workers, including severance packages and job search assistance.
The statement added the company would focus on two key growth areas, digital lending and digital insurance brokerage, to tide over the crisis.
In May, GoBear landed $17 million in funding from existing Dutch investors, venture capital firm Walvis Participaties and insurance group Aegon, bringing its total external funding to $97 million.
GoBear, which started out as an insurance comparison site, said at the time it planned to use the funding to rev up its online financial marketplace, digital insurance brokerage and digital lending services.
Just a few weeks before the fundraising, GoBear had acquired consumer lender AsiaKredit to boost its digital lending business.
Launched in 2015, GoBear claims to have doled out over 2,000 personal finance products to over 55 million users across its markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.