Planet lays off 17% of workforce

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun27,2024

WASHINGTON — Earth observation company Planet announced June 26 it is laying off about 180 employees, or 17% of its workforce, in an effort to reduce costs.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Planet announced the layoffs. “This action was taken consistent with the Company’s ongoing focus on aligning the Company’s resources to the market opportunity, improving operational efficiency, and supporting the long-term growth and profitability of the business,” it stated.

Planet did not disclose specifics about the layoffs, including if the layoffs focused on specific roles at the company or locations. A company spokesperson, asked for details about the layoffs, referred to the SEC filing.

The layoff is the second major one by Planet in less than one year. In July 2023, the company laid off 117 employees, which it said was about 10% of the company’s employees at the time. It offered a similar rationale for the layoffs at the time.

In that earlier layoff, Will Marshall, chief executive of Planet, said in a blog post that the company’s rapid growth after going public through a SPAC merger had “increased cost and complexity” in the company’s projects. That, coupled with broader economic issues, led company leadership “to prioritize our attention on the highest ROI [return on investment] opportunities for our business and mission, while reinforcing our path to profitability.”

The company did not disclose in the SEC filing how much money it expected to save from the latest layoffs. It said it expected charges of $9.5 million to $10.5 million in the form of severance and other termination costs.

Planet operates on a non-standard fiscal year; the company is currently in its 2025 fiscal year that ends Jan. 31, 2025. The company reported June 6 record quarterly revenue of $60.4 million in its fiscal first quarter, which ended April 30. The company reported a net loss of $29.3 million and an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) loss of $8.4 million in the quarter.

The company said it was projecting revenues of $59 million to $63 million in the second quarter with an adjusted EBTIDA loss of $7 million to $10 million. In the SEC filing about its layoffs, Planet said it was not adjusting earlier guidance.

“We continue to make progress towards our target of achieving adjusted EBITDA profitability in Q4 of this fiscal year,” Ashley Johnson, president and chief financial officer of Planet, said in a statement about the quarterly financial results. The company, she noted, had $276 million of cash on hand and no debt.

The company, on that call, said it was preparing to launch its first hyperspectral satellite, Tanager-1. The spacecraft is slated to launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-11 rideshare mission in July. Planet said in March it signed a $20 million agreement to provide hyperspectral data to the Carbon Mapper consortium for tracking of greenhouse gases.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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