Refurbished electronics champion Back Market is shedding 13% of its workforce

The “French Tech” come back to earth. The French champion of refurbished technological products Back Market is currently carrying out a voluntary departure plan to reduce its workforce by 13%, out of a total workforce worldwide of 715 employees, who learned of it last November.

Of the 96 jobs cut, 26 positions have already been cut in the offices of New York, Barcelona and Berlin according to a spokeswoman for Back Market, confirming information from Sifted (band FinancialTimes) and echoes. In France, 67 positions are affected by the voluntary departure plan.

A voluntary departure plan that surprised, including internally

The spokeswoman interviewed asserts that the company “goes well”. But the start-up, which is still not generating profits, must advance its profitability objectives in a more tense economic and financial context with the rise in borrowing costs after ten years of low interest rates.

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The announcement surprised, including internally, as Back Market is erected as one of the great successes of the French technology sector. On its platform flow phones, computers, game consoles or accessories refurbished by specialized companies and 1,500 partner resellers. Less than a year ago, its last fundraising at 450 million euros brought its valuation to 5.1 billion euros, which places it on the podium of French Tech.

End of euphoria

Like Back Market’s savings plan, tech is turning the page on euphoric years of record fundraising. The amounts raised elsewhere in Europe fell over the past year by 23% and 50% in the United States. According to the consulting firm EY, author of a benchmark study on the subject, the amount raised in 2022 in France is around 14 billion euros, i.e. 2 billion euros and +17% compared to 2021. Solid performance despite the new cautiousness of investors.

While growth has been the main indicator taken into account so far, inflating the tech bubble, fueled by the markets’ enthusiasm for the digital revolution and by the“free money”.

From now on, the turnover and the prospects of profitability are at the heart of the concerns of the investors, who demand guarantees of faster profits like Back Market.

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The return to earth is more or less violent depending on the country. It is brutal across the Atlantic where many companies are cutting their workforces, including tech giants like Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, which is laying off 13% of its workforce. Nearly 153,000 employees of American technology companies have lost their jobs. The ecosystem of France, more protective by its social law and very dependent on the public bank Bpifrance, does not undergo a similar wave of layoffs. For the moment. But the first social plans are emerging, such as at Back Market or Meero, a specialist in internet photography, which is currently cutting 72 jobs.

(with AFP)