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Struggling MapR Technologies Readies Possible Layoffs, Closing Of Its Silicon Valley HQ

Big data systems company is counting on being acquired or raising additional financing to avoid downsizing.

MapR Technologies, one of the big data industry's pioneering companies, warned this week that it might have to lay off significant numbers of its staff and close its Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters without additional funding or an acquisition.

Earlier this week, MapR filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice with the state of California saying it is cutting 122 workers. That would be in addition to the deep cuts the company made in its sales and marketing staffs earlier this year.

MapR issued a statement saying the company is "actively pursuing a strategic transaction" – presumably an acquisition or additional financing – to avoid layoffs and keep its Silicon Valley headquarters open.

 [Related: The Big Data 100 2019]

A MapR spokesperson said in an email that the WARN notice of 122 layoffs and the possible headquarters closing was a "precautionary notice of what might happen" and not a certainty.

"MapR concluded that the most prudent course of action was to provide Santa Clara employees with the notice required under applicable law (WARN) while it continues to pursue a transaction that, if successful, may permit it to keep the Santa Clara site open and retain many of the employees that might have otherwise been affected," the company statement said.

The company said it has "received more than one letter of intent from interested parties and today is engaging in the due diligence process in a transaction which, if consummated, may eliminate the need to close the Santa Clara site."

Privately held MapR recorded poor financial results in its recently completed fiscal quarter, according to a SiliconAngle story, and that resulted in an unnamed party pulling out of talks to provide the company with additional funding, precipitating the current crisis.

MapR's investors include CapitalG (Google's investment arm), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Qualcomm Ventures and Redpoint. The company raised $280 million in seven rounds of funding, according to the Crunchbase website – the most recent in September 2017. Its market capitalization once exceeded $1 billion, SiliconAngle said.

MapR, founded in 2009, was one of the companies, along with Cloudera and Hortonworks, that developed Hadoop-based systems to help businesses manage – and derive value from – growing volumes of big data. The Hadoop market hasn't developed the way some pundits had forecast and Cloudera and Hortonworks merged at the beginning of this year.

In the channel, MapR works primarily with systems integrators and consultants who provide implementation and related services around MapR's software.

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