Exclusive: Andreessen-Backed Divvy Homes Lays Off 12% of Staff as Rates RiseView Now

Art by Mike Sullivan

Startup Founders Embrace 409A Cuts to Gain Recruiting Edge

Photo: Art by Mike Sullivan

Between 2016 and 2021, investors boosted the valuation of Sendbird, a communications software startup, to $1.1 billion, from $6.5 million.

This June, a different kind of evaluator gave Sendbird what might have sounded like frightening news: It had determined the startup was worth around 50% less than it had been a year ago. But that conclusion didn’t bother John Kim, Sendbird’s CEO and a co-founder. If anything, he saw it as positive, he told The Information.

That’s because the harsh opinion came from a company that conducts 409A valuations, appraisals that shape the price at which private companies issue stock options to their employees. Like many founders, Kim prefers a conservative 409A valuation, though one that still represents his company’s worth accurately.

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Andreessen-Backed Divvy Homes Lays Off 12% of Staff as Rates Rise
Adena Hefets, co-founder and chief operating officer of Divvy Homes Inc. Photo: Bloomberg
Divvy Homes, a property tech startup backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global Management, laid off about 12% of its staff Tuesday. The cuts reflect how younger real estate firms are responding to rising mortgage rates that have battered the home-buying market. The layoffs affected roughly 40 employees at the five-year-old firm. Divvy Homes buys homes in the U.S. and rents them to people...
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