Adjust And AppLovin Lay Off 12% Of Their Workforce Amid Economic Downturn


Adjust and its parent company AppLovin laid off roughly 12% of their combined staff on Monday.

It’s unclear which roles were affected by the cuts.

The layoffs come as many tech firms announce hiring freezes, hiring slowdowns and general belt tightening against a backdrop of recession fears, economic uncertainty and public market volatility.

Tesla, Netflix, Microsoft, PayPal, Peloton, Robinhood, Noom and Cameo are just a few examples of tech companies that have either instituted hiring freezes or cut staff in recent weeks.

An Adjust spokesperson confirmed the layoffs to AdExchanger, calling it “a difficult and prudent decision.”

“Taking this proactive step – not unusual given the current macroeconomic climate – allows us to optimize our resources so we can continue to focus on innovation and increasing shareholder value,” the spokesperson said.

Drastic measures

But in addition to the macroeconomic climate, which is impacting tech across the board, AppLovin-owned Adjust and every other mobile measurement provider out there – it’s a small crew – is also grappling with an industry-specific mobile measurement headwind: platform privacy changes.

After the release of Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework with iOS 14.5 last year, mobile measurement and attribution companies scrambled to position themselves as one-stop shops for developers and advertisers to aggregate and verify SKAdNetwork postbacks.

SKAdNetwork is Apple’s API for attributing installs from people who have opted out of being tracked on iOS.

In addition to the Apple OS update, Google’s Android Privacy Sandbox is waiting in the wings.

None of these changes mean that mobile marketers will stop spending on advertising, which means they’ll still need a measurement partner to serve as an independent source of attribution data. But staying relevant will require “aggressive innovation” on the part of MMPs, said Alex Bauer, head of product and market strategy at mobile measurement provider Branch.

“Almost everyone agrees that the status quo is beginning to fall apart,” Bauer said. “To survive in this new reality, companies involved in the world of mobile measurement need to push beyond their traditional role of ‘ad campaign bean counters,’” Bauer said.

Adjust was acquired by AppLovin in February 2021 for roughly $1 billion dollars, less than three months before AppLovin went public and Apple released ATT (both in April 2021).

The stock is down two-thirds from its peak in November. It was trading at $38 on Monday compared to a high of $114 around seven months ago.

As of last year, Adjust, which operates independently from its parent company, had 16 offices around the world and more than 500 employees. AppLovin had 2,000 employees as of the end of last year across its core businesses and other acquisitions.

Adjust grew quickly after raising a $227 million funding round in 2019. The company’s headcount more than tripled between 2018, which was the year before its investment round, and 2021 when it was bought by AppLovin.

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