12 stories

One of Boston’s highest-profile fashion startups laid off the bulk of its staff over the summer, the main phone line has been disconnected, and customers are wondering about the lack of customer service. But Fashion Project co-founder and CEO Anna Palmer says that the company hasn’t ceased operations, adding that she is in discussions with investors about possible financing deals or an acquisition.More →

Industrial designers and manufacturers have been using 3-D printers for years to make mockups, models, and prototypes. In the past few years, a gang of startups have tried to cash in on the idea that these physical-object makers were getting cheap enough to get regular consumers interested.

That may not be going according to plan. MakerBot, a leading name in the consumer 3-D printing sector, has laid off staff and closed its three retail stores (including one on Newbury Street in Boston) as part of a strategy change by its parent company.More →

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.More →

You may have encountered the technology from Leaf at local businesses like Voltage Coffee, Aceituna Cafe, or Garlic & Lemons: instead of a cash register on the counter, a small Android tablet sits on a pedestal. After the cashier rings you up by tapping the screen a few times, he swipes your credit card and asks you to sign the screen instead of a receipt. Leaf’s software could provide merchants with reports on what had been selling well, and it also tracked workers’ hours. Cambridge-based Leaf aimed to dramatically undercut the big sellers of registers (also known as point-of-sale systems), selling its tablet for $250 and the accompanying software for $50 per month.More →

One of Boston’s best-funded adtech startups, Visible Measures, has been shedding employees, with the latest round of layoffs taking place yesterday. According to former employees and executives at other companies who have been fielding resumes from laid off employees, the cuts represent 30 or more people, about one-quarter of Visible Measures’ workforce. CEO Brian Shin declined comment yesterday evening, pointing me to a public relations rep who hasn’t responded to phone calls or e-mails. The layoffs affect employees across all departments, says one former employee, adding that the company may have simply grown too fast in a hyper-competitive business: “A serious case of cart in front of horse,” he says. More →

Cambridge database startup Hadapt quietly laid off about a quarter of its employees in December and January. The majority of those let go appear to have been engineers, according to LinkedIn, and not surprisingly, many of them were quickly scooped up by other local tech companies, including HubSpot, Kinvey, and DataXu. The layoff also included employees in sales and marketing.More →