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Scoop: Olive AI lays off 215 employees

Feb 9, 2023
Illustration of the Olive logo with an emoji sweatdrop

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Health tech company Olive AI laid off 215 employees on Thursday, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Once considered the darling of health system automation, Olive has had a grueling year amid questions about the efficacy of its software.

Details: The latest cuts represent roughly 35% of the company, sources tell Axios.

  • The company, whose numbers once totaled over 1,400 people, had about 630 employees in its ranks before this round of layoffs, the people say.

What they're saying: "I can confirm that today Olive announced it has reduced the size of its workforce to continue to focus on its business strategy and pursue our ability to make a positive impact on the health care industry," Jenna Brubaker, VP of organizational effectiveness, tells Axios.

  • "The decision was based on the continued economic conditions affecting tech companies like Olive, as well as anticipation of continued financial strain among health care providers," Brubaker says.

Zoom in: The company has been beleaguered in recent months by the departure of multiple health system customers and high-level executives and a previous mass layoff.

  • Last fall it also made plans to divest significant portions of its products and services to sibling company Rotera.

Catch up quick: Olive in 2021 collected $400 million in Series H funding in a round led by Vista Equity Partners and joined by Intermountain Ventures, Tiger Global, Base10 Partners and other undisclosed backers.

  • Axios last spring published an investigation alleging that Olive's promises to save hospitals millions of dollars don't deliver based on documents and interviews with 16 people.
  • Last summer, Olive CEO Sean Lane announced in a company-wide email the company would shift its strategy by narrowing its offerings. The company also laid off 450 people that month.

Context: Layoffs are reverberating across the tech industry as a tough market visits reality checks on companies in the space, and health tech has been no exception.

  • Hybrid chronic care company Thirty Madison last summer laid off 3% of the company.
  • Virtual care infrastructure startup Wheel this week cut 28% of its workforce, per MobiHealthNews, following a previous round of layoffs in August.
  • Software giant Athenahealth reduced its global workforce by a little less than 3%.

This story has been updated to reflect Olive's response.

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