SoftBank takes a dump on dog-walking startup Wag after investing $300 million


SoftBank raised eyebrows nearly two years ago when it pumped a staggering $300 million into a dog-walking startup called Wag. Now, after a series of stumbles at the company, SoftBank (SFTBF) appears to be giving up on the investment.

New Wag CEO Garrett Smallwood informed staffers on Monday that the company was “amicably parting ways with SoftBank,” according to the email obtained by CNN Business. Softbank will no longer have representation on its board, he told employees in the email. SoftBank is also selling its stake in Wag back to the company

With SoftBank backing away from the company and seemingly no sale on the horizon, Wag is now cutting more jobs in an effort to “align our organization with the needs of our business,” according to the CEO’s email to staff.

It’s unclear how many staffers in total will lose their jobs, but in a filing with the California Employment Development Department on Monday, Wag confirmed it is shuttering its West Hollywood office entirely in a mass layoff. About 90 staffers in this office location will be impacted, the filing said. The company also has offices in the Bay Area and Phoenix.
In his email, Smallwood refers to the layoffs as an “extremely painful and difficult step.” But, he added, “it was also an important one for our future.”


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