Health startup Sami lays off 15% of staff after hiring boom – Link

The digital health plan startup Sami announced this Tuesday, 14th, the resignation of 75 employeesequivalent to 15% of the total staff, confirmed healthtech when Estadão/Broadcast. Sources interviewed by the report attribute the dismissals to the “disordered growth” of the team, noting that, between January and May, around 300 new employees were hired.

“It was a painful decision, but necessary at this time to ensure the sustainability of the business. It is part of our maturity as a company to strategically analyze points to be improved in terms of efficiency, and recalculate the route”, said Sami’s CEO, Vitor Asseituno. “It has nothing to do with the performance or potential of each employee that we greatly value and appreciate for all the work done so far.”

The information on the number of hires in 2022 was not confirmed by the company, but last week, Sami told the Estadão which had expanded its staff “sustainably” from 15 to 566 employees in two years. The startup celebrated that it had expanded the number of employees 30 times in that period.

“The layoffs didn’t take me by surprise, because an average of 30 to 40 people were hired per month. This is unfeasible”, said a former employee on condition of anonymity, noting that the company currently operates with a monthly payroll of R$10 million, while it seeks to balance the accounts to promote a Series B investment round.

According to data from the National Supplementary Health Agency (ANS), the company closed the month of March 2022 (last available data) with 7,843 beneficiaries. At the end of 2020, the year in which it started operations, it had 122 customers.

Guilherme Bernardo (left) and Vitor Asseituno (right) command Sami

Guilherme Bernardo (left) and Vitor Asseituno (right) command Sami


The layoffs have been reverberating on social media. Highlight for the publication by the relationship specialist (Customer Experience) Erik Mitchell, which had about 6 thousand reactions until the end of the report. The disconnected professional also denies being surprised. “We’ve seen a wave of mass layoffs among startups lately and I felt like it could impact Sami,” he said in an interview.

Mitchell’s post includes a talent pool spreadsheet with information on laid-off employees from different areas such as sales, recruiting and finance. The practice has been common on social media in response to the wave of layoffs. With less money on the market amid rising interest rates, startups have been tightening their belts to cut costs.

Last Friday, Sanar, from Bahia, also in the health area, fired 13% of her staff. With a valuation of over $1 billion, the “unicorns” QuintoAndar, Loft, Facily, Olist, Vtex and Mercado Bitcoin have made cuts in recent months. Last week, Mexico’s Kavak, Latin America’s most valuable startup, mowed down 150 workers from its operations in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

However, contrary to reports of employees recently terminated by other startups, former Sami employees praised the company’s stance, with the extension of benefits such as food stamps and medical coverage. “Despite the way it ended, the company was always very fair and correct to me,” said a former healthtech employee.

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