Apr 18, 2019

Blockchain Smartphone Startup Sirin Labs Lays Off a Quarter of Its Workforce

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This article has been updated to include an official response from Sirin Labs.

Blockchain smartphone startup Sirin Labs laid off a quarter of its workforce, Israeli business media Globes reported on April 15.

Per the report, the startup admitted to having laid off 15 of its 60 employees and having overestimated the sales of their Finney blockchain smartphone. A spokesperson for the company reportedly said that it will now focus on software development and distribution.

When contacted by Cointelegraph for confirmation, Sirin Labs noted that the crypto markets has led to many companies changing the size of their staff:

“All crypto companies are dealing with HR adjustments due to the state of the market in the past few months. The launch of FINNEY took place in November 2018, with sales officially starting in 2019. These days the company is focusing on expanding distribution and sales, advanced R&D, and clients’ support. In addition, we decided to outsource some of our ongoing activities to companies both inside Israel and outside of it.”

Globes writes that Sirin Labs also purportedly denied previous reports that the company had failed to pay wages to its employees.

The report also notes that the founder of the company, Moshe Hogeg, chairperson of venture capital fund Singulariteam, has recently found himself in the midst of a controversy.

According to the article, a lawsuit of at least $50 million has been filed in California against him and other two Singulariteam members by Canadian Internet entrepreneur Adam Perzow. Perzow reportedly sold the Invest.com domain to Singulariteam in late 2014 for over $5 million.

Per the report, Perzow also claims that the fund defrauded many investors of hundreds of millions of dollars. Furthermore, two other lawsuits have been reportedly filed against Hogeg in Tel Aviv by investors in enterprises managed by him.

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of last year, Sirin Labs launched its Finney blockchain smartphone, selling it for $999 per device.

More recently, in March, the company also confirmed that the development of new features for the device is still ongoing and that the company will integrate popular ether (ETH) wallet MyEtherWallet in its smartphone.

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