Dapper Labs Cuts 22% of Staff as NFT Market Craters

One of the biggest names in the Non Fungible Token (NFT) industry is dramatically reducing its headcount as the crypto bear market continues to take a toll on Web3 companies.

Dapper Labs, which created the NFT marketplace NBA Top Shot, announced today that it is laying off 22% of its staff, citing the "macroeconomic environment."

"These reductions are the last thing we want to do, but they are necessary for the long-term health of our business and communities. We know web3 and crypto is the future across a multitude of industries – with 1000x potential from here in terms of mainstream adoption and impact – but today’s macroeconomic environment means we aren’t in full control of the timing," Dapper Labs Founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou wrote in a blog post.

Gharegozlou wrote that the firm grew too fast, which prevented it from being "as aligned, nimble and community-driven as we need to be."

"The refocusing of our organization will let us achieve every milestone sustainably: web3-native, mobile-first, and community-driven," Gharegozlou wrote.

At the same time, on-chain data shows that market interest in Dapper Labs' products is declining, following a broader trend of investors shying away from NFTs. On NBA Top Shot, October sales volume came in at $2.6 million, down from $40.8 million during the same time last year. During the height of NFT mania, the NBA Top Shot marketplace generated $224 million worth of NFT trades in February 2021 across 80,822 unique buyers and 1.2 million transactions.

It's a similar story for its recently launched NFL All Day collectibles market, which posted a volume of $6 million in October, down from $14 million a month prior.

Dapper Labs' layoffs are just the latest in a wide range of headcount reductions across the industry. In recent weeks firms like BitMEX, Digital Currency Group (DCG), and NYDIG, have all trimmed headcount in order to weather the bear market.

DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk, as well as digital asset manager Grayscale Investments and crypto brokerage Genesis Trading.