OpenSea, one of the leading NFT marketplaces in the burgeoning world of blockchain-based digital collectibles, has confirmed significant organizational and operational changes that include the layoff of approximately 50% of its staff.
The move is part of a strategic shift towards a more agile and innovative approach to its marketplace, according to OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer.
Finzer posted a series of tweets on Nov. 3 to announce the upcoming launch of “OpenSea 2.0” and explained that the company had to cut a significant portion of its staff to remain competitive in the evolving marketplace.
Finzer said that OpenSea was launched in 2017 and played a pivotal role in pioneering the NFT marketplace. He added that the platform remains a leader in the space; However, it needs a major overhaul to stay competitive.
Finzer elaborated on the company’s decision to restructure, stating:
“We’ve also heard your feedback loud and clear: at times, OpenSea feels like a follower, not a leader. And that’s not who we want to be. We want to move with speed, quality, and conviction to make more meaningful bets.”
The company’s strategy to move towards “OpenSea 2.0” involves a complete reimagining of its product, with a focus on enhancing the underlying technology, reliability, speed, quality, and user experience.
The restructuring also includes adopting a flatter organizational structure and a smaller team with a direct connection to users.
Finzer expressed gratitude for contributions made by the employees who are laid off and emphasized that their departure is not a reflection of their abilities.
He also noted that OpenSea is committed to supporting its existing products and will iteratively test OpenSea 2.0 in public — remaining agile and attentive to community feedback.
A spokesperson for OpenSea told media outlets that the affected employees would receive generous severance packages, including four months of pay, six months of healthcare and mental health services, and an accelerated equity vesting schedule.
OpenSea previously laid off about 20% of its staff in July 2022. At the time, the company cited challenging market conditions and broader economic instability as reasons for the cutbacks.
Despite these challenges, OpenSea remains a prominent player in the NFT space, with a large user base and a commitment to adapting to the rapidly changing market. The company’s pursuit of “OpenSea 2.0” reflects its determination to regain its leadership position in the NFT marketplace.