Slice Labs said it has laid off about a third of its staff due to the pandemic-related economic environment.
Tim Attia, CEO and co-founder of the New York-based InsurTech, disclosed the news in an April 13 blog posting on the company’s web site.
“The current environment has impacted our business and we were faced with having too many resources. We had to let go of 28 (about a third) of our colleagues as well as our 13 co-op students,” Attia wrote.
News of layoffs at Slice follows media reports that rental insurance startup Jetty laid off about 40 percent of its workforce in order to conserve cash during the coronavirus crisis. InsurTech venture capital investments during the 2020 first quarter dropped by half, as the coronavirus crisis heats up. Insurers such as Nationwide have said they will continue to nurture existing InsurTech/startup investments but also help them conserve cash to survive the downturn.
Attia insisted that Slice Labs has “an incredibly strong team that will continue to deliver for our existing large enterprise partners and our prospects going forward.” While he did not mention the coronavirus pandemic specifically or by name, he implied that the new economic environment provides an opportunity for his company. Slice helps carriers offer on-demand insurance by using the Slice Insurance Cloud Services platform, which revolves around machine learning and advanced big data technologies along with Ph.D. behavioral science expertise. The company also sells on-demand insurance, including homeshare, rideshare and cyber cover, according to its website.
“As we work closely with the industry through this process, it is clear that the need for digital transformation is ever apparent, and that new insurance services are needed to protect workers and individuals going forward,” Attia wrote. “We look forward to helping carriers achieve the transformation they’re striving for.”
Attia reflected that the company’s situation changed abruptly, as the year “started as a 200-meter sprint, but quickly slowed to a four-mile run.” Attia noted he was writing his post after more than a month of pandemic-related stay-at-home policies across the country, and said he wrote his posting “from a quiet room of my home.”
Slice Labs launched in 2016 and its investors include XL Innovate (now part of AXA), Munich Re/HSB Ventures, and SOMPO, among others.