Customer data quality startup Validity lays off 130

Boston-based customer data quality startup Validity has laid off about 130 employees worldwide, including 35 at its corporate headquarters in Back Bay.

The cuts amount to just under a third of Validity’s global workforce, leaving the company with just under 400 full-time workers, chief marketing officer Charlie Ungashick confirmed in an email to BostInno. Validity’s principal office is in Tampa, Fla.; its international headquarters are in London.

“Validity was in aggressive growth mode, hiring nearly 100 employees in the last six months to focus on continued sales of our award-winning products, which serve over 40,000 customers worldwide,” Ungashick said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to moderate this growth and so, yes, 100% of the layoffs were COVID-19 related.”

Had it not been for the coronavirus, Validity would have hired another 100 employees worldwide this year, Ungashick said.

Ungashick said Validity offered laid-off workers “enhanced severance” and accelerated the vesting stock options for recently hired employees as well as those who joined Validity through acquisition. Validity has acquired one company a year for the last three years: BriteVerify in 2018ReturnPath in 2019 and, in February this year, 250ok.

In concert with the layoffs, Validity CEO Mark Briggs has voluntarily reduced his compensation by 20 percent. The startup has also enacted a number of other cost-saving initiatives, Ungashick said, though he did not specify what those entail.

Validity joins an unfortunately growing list of Boston-area startups and tech firms that have been forced to lay off or furlough workers as the coronavirus slices through the startup economy. Thousands of local employees have been let go, with unicorns Toast, ezCater and DataRobot accounting for a high percentage of that.

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