Mike Cagney’s Figure Lays Off 20% of Staff Amid IPO Plans

The former SoFi CEO’s blockchain company is setting financial records and cutting costs. 

(Bloomberg) — Figure Technologies Inc. laid off 90 employees this week, or about 20% of its staff, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. The company is also starting to interview bankers in advance of a planned initial public offering for its lending business next year, the documents show. 

A representative for Figure declined to comment.

Figure was co-founded by Mike Cagney, the former chief executive officer of Social Finance Inc., or SoFi. Cagney started Figure with the goal of building financial products with blockchain technology. Like most crypto-adjacent startups, Figure has lost talent and struggled to raise funds during an industry downturn.

However, the company has recently been hitting financial milestones, according to the documents. Figure’s lending business hit a record $900 million in volume during the second quarter of this year, and reached $83.5 million in revenue during the first half of the year, according to a July letter from Cagney to Figure investors and partners. Figure generated $2.7 million in adjusted profit during the second quarter, Cagney wrote.

In the letter, Cagney wrote that Figure’s lending business is profitable and has a more than 50% contribution margin. Its performance prompted executives to begin talks with bankers to take the division it calls “LendCo” public early next year, Cagney said in a meeting, documentation of which was reviewed by Bloomberg. 

Cagney said he expects to land a $2.5 billion public valuation for LendCo when it goes public. That market capitalization, along with the company’s other assets, “should put us comfortably ahead of last round price,” Cagney said, referring to Figure’s most recent valuation of $3.2 billion in a 2021 venture-backed funding round. 

This week’s layoffs were first round of job cuts the company has had. The company declined to comment on its financials. 

Given the strong performance, some employees were dismayed by the timing of the layoffs. During a meeting this week, many of the questions posed by workers were considered too “salty” to read aloud, according to  documentation of the meeting. About half of the workers laid off this week were engineers. 

A message sent by engineering Senior Vice President Matt Conroy on an internal Slack channel to engineers noted the reduction, and advised remaining employees to “please be kind” to Figure leaders as “none of them enjoyed taking this action.” Conroy also advised that the “future is bright” for those reading the message, citing strong company performance during the first half of 2023 and “ambitious goals going into 2024, with the IPO path for Lending, the potential IPO path for our Markets business” and other products. 

Remaining team members may be re-assigned to new product groups in coming weeks.

(Updates with profit in the fourth paragraph.)

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