Fiksu lays off 10 percent of workforce, CFO departs as IPO plans hit a wall


Fiksu, a mobile marketing technology company that last year said it had surpassed $100 million in annual revenue, has laid off about 10 percent of its workforce as part of a reorganization, chief executive Micah Adler said.

Chief financial officer Ken Goldman has also left the company effective today, less than a year after coming on board to help Fiksu prepare for a possible initial public offering.

The job cuts and Goldman’s departure are a swift change for the company, which helps advertisers and app publishers find audiences on mobile devices. In January, Fiksu trumpeted an expansion of its Back Bay headquarters to 43,000 square feet. At the time, Fiksu said it had about 300 employees, and planned to grow to about 500 by year’s end.

Aggressive job-growth goals had also helped Fiksu seek tax breaks from the state: under a program expanded last year, the company pledged to grow its headcount by 120. State officials were offering $1,000 in tax breaks for each job added.

In an e-mail, Adler said the layoffs were aimed at automating more work that Fiksu does for its clients, which have included huge brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, and Dunkin’ Donuts. He didn’t name the specific jobs eliminated, and said it was “a small reduction.”

Goldman’s departure is in response to the cooling response from public-market investors toward advertising technology companies, Adler said.

“While this may change rapidly, and clearly ad tech will be an ongoing cornerstone of the advertising ecosystem, Fiksu does not have plans to IPO at this time,” Adler said. “Given that Ken was explicitly brought in to Fiksu to explore the possibility of taking Fiksu public, it made sense for Ken and Fiksu to part ways at this time.”

Fiksu raised $10 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank in October. The company raised a $10 million Series B round in mid-2012, which pushed its total venture investment to $17.8 million.