Updated: AppFolio lays off 62 people
This story was updated on May 27 to add more context.
Goleta-based AppFolio is the latest technology company based on the Central Coast to cut its workforce, as the software company for the real estate industry announced it will be laying off 62 people, according to a WARN act filing with the state on May 1.
Known as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, the state’s WARN Act requires employers to file a notice when laying off more than 50 employees in California or when shutting down an entire facility.
AppFolio filed the WARN act with the state on May 1 and it was recognized on May 17.
According to the filing, the company will be letting go 62 of its employees by the end of July.
A copy of the company’s WARN act, acquired by the Business Times on May 23, found that of the 62 total employees being laid off, 59 of them were not based in California.
Moreover, 53 of the employees being laid off were labeled as operators while nine were labeled as senior operators.
In the company’s latest 10-K report, AppFolio stated in its filing with the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission that it employed 1,785 people as of Dec. 31. This means the job cuts represents less than 1% of the company’s total work force.
In recent press releases and earnings statements, AppFolio has touted how much more robust its artificial intelligence platforms are becoming, which could be the reason to cut back on some workers, though AppFolio declined the Business’ Times request for comment.
On Feb. 2, the company launched its AppFolio Alpha platform, an AI-powered investment management solution designed to provide an all-in-one experience that automatically aggregates, normalizes, and visualizes key property management data, according to the press release.
In 2022, AppFolio also added key features to some of its cloud-based management products, including a security deposit alternative, and kept expanding its reach.
“We invested in AI early and in recent quarters have told you about our successes with products like smart maintenance, bank feed and our AI leasing assistant, Lisa, the last of which was recently awarded a patent for its powerful technology designed to optimize the leasing process by matching tenants with available units,” Shane Trigg, AppFolio’s CEO, said during the company’s latest earnings call on April 27.
Advancements in artificial intelligence are becoming a key thing for many tech companies and, according to the The World Economic Forum, artificial intelligence will replace some 85 million jobs by 2025.
In fact, tech companies are almost expected to have some sort of AI component now-a-days, according to Steve Sereboff, an IP lawyer at SoCal IP Law Group.
“One of the things I do know is there is huge pressure on C-suites to be implementing AI and I have this friend who runs a local business group who tells me ‘If a company doesn’t have an AI strategy there’s something wrong,’” Sereboff said.
But, almost every technology company in the United States is laying off a fraction of its workforce — a trend that has continued steady since last year — so it could be the economic uncertainty leading to the cuts.
In April, companies like Lyft and Dropbox cut more than 10% of their respective workforces while just this month, even e-commerce sits like Shopify cut down on 20% of its workforce.