Waze, Google's navigation and map service, is laying off 5 percent of its global workforce, its CEO Noam Bardin said in an email announcement to employees.
This corresponds to around 30 employees out of 555 employees worldwide. There was no mention of how many Singapore employees are affected.
All affected employees receive a severance package that includes career opportunities at Google, outplacement services, financial support and entitlement to year-end bonuses and health care benefits.
Waze said the cut was partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw users drive less or not at all, resulting in less use of Waze for their daily navigation needs.
Fewer eyeballs in the app resulted in lower advertising revenue for the company.
Waze was acquired by Google in 2013 for $ 1.1 billion (S $ 1.4 billion) and saw a decrease in both monthly active users and the number of kilometers traveled. This is the metric the company uses to measure how far its customers travel while using Waze.
Global weekly driving distance reduced by 70%
In April, Waze announced in a blog post that its customers had driven 60 percent fewer kilometers in March when the lockdowns went into effect compared to February.
Those numbers worsened as the pandemic spread. Waze says that at one point during the lockdown, the world's weekly kilometers traveled were down 70 percent.
Waze has seen a recovery in driving since June, when people returned to work in countries where restrictions were lifted. Worldwide, the company claims to be back to pre-COVID levels.
Photo credit: Intelligent Transport.com
"This has forced us to rethink priorities and we have decided to focus our resources on product improvements for our users, accelerate our investments in technical infrastructure, and focus our sales and marketing efforts on a small number of high quality countries," said the CEO Noam.
Closure of the S & # 39; Pore and APAC offices
He added that Waze's promotional sales team "will sit back and focus on the key markets that make 93 percent of the sales and 95 percent of the miles we sell."
This means the company will close its sales offices in the Asia-Pacific region – in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia – as well as in the smaller Latin American markets of Colombia, Argentina and Chile.
These countries will continue to be served by increased investment in Waze Local Starter – a self-service advertising solution that allows businesses to advertise their physical businesses using a PIN on the Waze card.
Previously, the hail apps Grab and Gojek had also cut jobs to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak as people stay at home rather than outside, which has resulted in a drop in demand for transportation services.
Last Friday (September 4), Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in Parliament that all 356 bus services in Singapore are in the red and commuter numbers are falling due to Covid-19.
Before Covid-19, according to Minister Ong, only 11 bus connections or three percent of all bus connections were profitable here.
Layoffs related to pandemics continue to take place. The most recent case of the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group cut – the shedding of around 4,300 jobs at its three airlines – is due to Covid-19 battling the aviation industry.
Selected image source: Bloomberg