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Better.com planning fourth layoff in less than 9 months

·2-min read

Digital mortgage lender Better.com is conducting its fourth round of layoffs since December 1, 2021, multiple sources tell TechCrunch.

The latest cuts reportedly affect all departments.

Better.com is not exactly known for its tactful approach to letting employees go. And this week, the company -- albeit accidentally -- lived up to that reputation. Sources told TechCrunch that a list containing the names of some people who would be let go in a layoff scheduled for Friday, August 26, was leaked internally on Tuesday, August 23. This reportedly led to those employees being “immediately terminated” three days early, according to a Blind post and to information provided by some of those affected workers.

It is unclear at this time how many people in total will be laid off in this latest round, but one impacted worker estimated that it would be “at least 250 or more” and that they “will all be from the U.S. side.” Another source said the company seemed to be “going for higher corporate salaries.”

TechCrunch reached out to Better.com regarding the layoffs, and a spokesperson provided the following statement: "We’re making prudent decisions to adjust to market dynamics so that we can continue to serve our customers for the long-term."

Additionally, the company is said to have rolled out a new leave of absence (LOA) policy that “dramatically” reduces the amount of leave team members are eligible for. The new policy was effective immediately, according to documents shared with TechCrunch. Those same documents indicate that for those already on paid leave, the updated policies will be effective as of October 1.

A spokesperson told TechCrunch that the move was designed to "protect" the company and "be smart" about its future, adding: "We’ve taken a look at our policies where we're overspending and have decided to reduce areas to better align with industry standards."

In less than nine months, the company has let go thousands of workers, seen numerous senior executives step down and delayed a SPAC that it recently said it was still working toward.

Notably, Better.com also recently announced a spate of new executive hires that no doubt were not cheap for the company. One source told TechCrunch that the company’s “burn rate is so high, there will probably not be enough to operate past December without additional funding.”

Better, along with others catering to home buyers, has been hit hard by the increased mortgage interest rates and challenging macro environment, as well as the questionable actions of its CEO and co-founder, Vishal Garg. Earlier today, real estate tech company Reali announced it was winding down operations and laying off its staff -- after raising $100 million a year ago.

Reporter's note: This article's headline was updated post-publication to reflect the fact that the layoffs have not yet officially taken place.

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