Technology Euan Blair’s start-up Multiverse cuts jobs as US expansion...

Euan Blair’s start-up Multiverse cuts jobs as US expansion falters

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A start-up founded by the son of former Labour prime minister Tony Blair has laid off dozens of its staff in fresh cut backs as losses tripled to over £40m.

Multiverse, which was founded by Euan Blair in 2016, told staff that 44 people, around 5pc of its total workforce, would be sacked after its efforts to break into the US stalled.

In an email to staff sent on Tuesday, Mr Blair said the job cuts were the “toughest decision I have made to date”. He said revenues had not grown as fast as hoped in the US and it had more staff than it needed.

The company’s net loss increased to £40.5m in the year to March, up from £14.2m in the 12 months prior. Revenues grew to £45.2m, an increase of 66pc.

Mr Blair said the company’s losses were “perfectly normal for a company at our stage”, but that it still needed to become a “sustainable, profitable company”. He said the cuts were “not a sign of financial instability”.

He added the business would be changing how it offers apprenticeships in the US, which had previously been designed to be similar to its UK courses.

Multiverse’s losses climbed amid rapid hiring in the US in an effort to expand its footprint internationally. It is understood the job cuts largely come from Multiverse’s US arm and represent an effort to reset its launch.

Mr Blair, 39, launched the business with the aim of getting school leavers apprenticeships at some of the world’s top companies as an alternative to university education.

It has since shifted its focus towards “upskilling” staff at corporate clients, offering training programmes in digital skills such as coding.

The latest redundancies come on top of previous layoffs. Multiverse has been best known for its work with school leavers, but it previously let go dozens of staff last year, largely from its “early talent” team, amid a growing focus on corporate training schemes.

It makes money from course fees it charges to employers for providing training and qualifications, while it also gets a finder’s fee for sourcing apprentices.

The business also generates revenues from government grants, such as the apprenticeship levy, which its customers use to pay for Multiverse’s training.

Multiverse has raised more than £300m in venture capital funding from investors including General Catalyst and Google Ventures, valuing it last year at £1.4bn. In its accounts, Multiverse said it now works with over 13,300 apprentices.

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