Willow tech start up sacks 72 employees before Christmas

A start-up backed by business giants has let go 22 per cent of its staff just ahead of Christmas.

Willow, a property and infrastructure start-up which creates digital representations of companies’ physical assets, announced on Friday it has laid off 72 of its employees as well as 27 contractors.

The company has blamed the current economic conditions as the reason behind its decision to let go of some employees despite being on a “strong growth trajectory”.

“However, like many technology companies, we have not been immune to the impacts of the external environment over the past 12 months,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“As a result, we have made the proactive decision to reduce our cost base to ensure we can grow sustainably over the medium-long term.”

The company’s “digital twin” technology allows for companies to view “real-time data” on how their assets are performing through the creation of a digital version of that asset.

“Digital twins will be the standard for smart buildings; up until now there has been no software to power smart buildings at scale,” chief executive Joshua Ridley described the technology on LinkedIn.

“Willow is applicable to new buildings, existing buildings and scalable to entire portfolios. Willow is at the forefront of this global category and is best placed to capture the opportunity.”

It also announced it was able to raise millions in funding in the past month.

“Willow successfully completed its latest funding round in December 2022, raising US$28.8 million,” the spokesperson said.

“We view this raise as a vote of confidence from existing investors and it emphasises the critical nature of digital twin technology for built assets. Raising these funds was predicated on Willow moving to a more profitable model.

Willow announced it would no longer be providing its “digital twin” technology to some industries.

“Willow will now focus on our core sectors of real estate and smart facilities and exit its non-core sector of mining,” the company said.

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