E-commerce technology startup Windsor Circle recently laid off 30 employees, nearly half its staff, as part of a restructuring effort triggered by a change in strategy.
Co-founder and CEO Matt Williamson said that the cutbacks, which reduced its work force from 65 to 35, was a necessary but difficult move for a business that prides itself on its company culture.
Despite the cutbacks implemented about a month ago, earlier this month the company raised “a little over $1.1 million” in new funding. Williamson said the new capital, which boosted its total funding to date to more than $14 million, demonstrates investors have confidence in the Durham-based company’s new strategy.
Williamson said Windsor has shifted its focus to working with large companies after gaining traction with customers such as L’Oreal, Ghirardelli Chocolate and Lenovo. At the same time, he said, small and mid-sized customers typically have lacked the resources to take full advantage of Windsor’s technology.
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The new strategy, he said, requires a reconfigured team “with a different skill set.”
“You never want to have to cut people but, at the end of the day, we are still pumped about the mission,” he said.
Founded in 2011, Windsor’s software helps online retailers boost business from repeat customers by analyzing purchase history and behavior and then use that information to automate customer loyalty and product recommendation programs. The company recently expanded into the social media arena with its Facebook Audience Tool.
Williamson said that tests with a control group have shown that Windsor’s software can boost sales for large customers by more than 20 percent.
When Windsor implemented its layoffs, it sent out an e-mail to 40 area CEOs – at companies large and small – with resumes of each of the employees who were let go.
If the company were pursuing its former strategy, Williamson said, “I would hire every one of these same people again.”