Auctionata Raises $45 Million and Lays Off 30 Percent of Berlin Staff

CTO Georg Untersalmberger, CEO Alexander Zacke und COO Jan Thiel (from left)
Image: via Grü

Only two days ago, online auction house Auctionata announced a $45 million C round of funding. But today, the company declared cuts and restructuring plans that will effectively mean layoffs for almost 30 percent of its employees, the German newspaper Gründer Szene reports. Auctionata employs around 300 people.

Auctionata explained it wants to ensure a “more sustainable and efficient growth.”

The Berlin-based online auction company didn’t give a number, but sources from within the company reportedly told GS that the numbers amount to some 30 percent of Berlin and European employees.

Not all of the people being let go were full time employees. In some cases, contracts have not been extended and trial periods didn’t extend into full-time employment, the sources claim.

The company launched in early 2012, and has managed to raise over $95 million. It has established two major offices, in Berlin and in New York. There’s been no word on employees in the New York office.

Co-Founders Alexander Zacke (CEO) and Georg Untersalmberger (CTO) started Auctionata as an online bidding shop, and augmented the experience in 2013 with live auctions broadcast from the company’s own TV studios several times a week. In 2014, the company established its New York office piloting a US-first state-of-the-art live television auctions. (See Auctionata Wants to Make You a Television Art Star and Auctionata Appeals Trademark Infringement Ruling.)

The live auctions enhanced the company’s popularity significantly, according to Zacke, and the company is expected to launch on the German stock market soon.

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