SuperRare, a leading NFT marketplace, has cut its staff by 30 percent, citing efforts to right its business strategy as the NFT bubble appears to burst.
“During the recent bull run, we grew in tandem with the market. In recent months it’s become clear that this aggressive growth was unsustainable: we over-hired, and I take full ownership of this mistake,” wrote SuperRare CEO and cofounder John Crain in a statement posted to social media. “To correct course, we’ve made the difficult decision to rightsize our team, ensuring that SuperRare Labs will be able to continue serving our community of artists, collectors, and curators while remaining the destination for the best cryptoart in the world.”
The move means that 20 people will be let go from SuperRare, a spokesperson confirmed to ARTnews in an email.
The announcement follows six months in which SuperRare, as well as other NFT platforms, shifted strategies, offering new perks in the hopes of coaxing new investment and trades. One of SuperRare’s shifts came in the form of offering PFP NFTs, large collections of procedurally generated avatars (à la the Bored Ape Yacht Club or CryptoPunks). Previously, SuperRare had been focused on releasing a small amount of unique digital artworks.
SuperRare also began offering RarePass, an NFT that acts as a key to a subscription service that grants the holder one NFT a month, each by a different, popular artist. The company has said the first 250 RarePasses sold out for a collective amount of $4.5 million. Yet this hasn’t been enough to keep level with the profits the company saw in the boom market.
In 2021, SuperRare consistently saw $10 million to $30 million in sales per month. Then, in 2022, sales volume dropped into the single-digit millions, and then into the hundreds of thousands, according to data provided by Dune Analytics.
SuperRare isn’t the only NFT platform to have downsized in response to the crypto winter. In July, OpenSea announced that it was cutting 20 percent of its 275 person staff. The move was a troubling sign in the NFT community that its top leaders did not see a rapid rebalancing of the market on the horizon. Just six months prior to their layoff announcement, OpenSea had been valued at $13 billion, and its founders, Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, were named by Forbes as the first NFT billionaires as a result.