Pipedrive has laid off 143 employees, or about a fifth of its total workforce. The layoffs are largely in customer support and other non-engineering roles. It’s a big move for the company that has been considered one of Estonia’s “unicorns.”
Pipedrive isn’t the only Estonian unicorn laying off employees — TransferWise recently did so as well — but it does stand out for its long history of success and its recent expansion into the U.S., where competition is fierce and often low-margin business models are necessary to survive as an early stage company (at least until they are able to gain enough traction).
While other European companies have also been struggling, Estonia has been stable until now. Employment in the country has remained high and unemployment low. It was ranked as the second best place in Europe for startups by Startup Genome Project in 2016, with a low startup failure rate of 15%.This year it was crowned “e-country” by an annual ranking by Business Review magazine: it has more than 300 e-companies per million inhabitants and even more importantly boasts an impressive internet penetration rate of 97%.