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Aqua Security Lays Off 10 Percent Of Its Workforce, Citing Changing Economy

Jay Fitzgerald

The cloud-native security company is just the latest cybersecurity startup to implement workforce reductions amid uncertain economic times

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Aqua Security has become the latest cybersecurity firm to announce layoffs.

The cloud-native security firm, which has raised $265 million in funding since its founding seven years ago and which notched a $1 billion valuation last year, has laid off 65 employees, or about 10 percent of its workforce, as a result of changing economic conditions.

In a memo to employees, Dror Davidoff, chief executive of the company, said his company has “kept to our path of responsible growth” in recent years as the economy as a whole expanded and the demand for security products spiked.

[RELATED STORY: Tech Layoffs In 2022: 23 Companies Slashing Their Workforce]

But Davidoff said those growth-oriented days are over for now at Aqua Security, which has major offices both in Burlington, Mass. and Tel Aviv, Israel.

“As economic conditions change, we find ourselves once again focused on the responsible path,” he wrote. “We must consider profitability AND growth, and re-balance for the new reality. For this reason, I want to share with you the measures we have taken to accomplish this goal.”

Among those measures were workforce reductions.

“It deeply saddens me to say that today we made changes to our organization affecting 10% of Aquarians,” Davidoff said.

“These changes were necessary to enable us to refocus on our core strengths and drive efficient growth in 2023 and beyond. While it is a hard day for all of us, it is hardest for those directly affected. To our departing Aquarians, I want to say thank you for your hard work and contributions. I have worked with many of you directly, and all of you are forever part of Aqua’s story.”

He said the company is “doing everything we can” to help impacted workers.

“We will provide resources and guidance to help with resumes, references, job search assistance and more,” Davidoff wrote. “I encourage you all to show our friends and colleagues compassion and support during this transition.”

Dror sounded optimistic about Aqua Security’s future, saying the changes have “placed ourselves on a path to profitability.”

Aqua Security isn’t the first cybersecurity startup to announce layoffs due to uncertain economic times.

Among security startups to get hit with layoffs this year include Lacework (20 percent of workforce), Cybereason (10 percent of workforce), Synk (14 percent of workforce) One Trust (25 percent of workforce) and Automox (18 percent of workforce).

Many of the security layoffs have occurred at later-stage startups that were expecting to go public but had to slam on the spending brakes after the IPO market dried up earlier this year.

Other major tech companies have announced layoffs but larger cybersecurity companies have largely avoided workforce reductions, due largely to the intense demand for security products amid a dramatic surge in cyberattacks.

Aqua Security was clearly in a more growth-oriented mood earlier this year when it announced it had hired Palo Alton Networks’ Jeannette Lee Heung as senior director of global channel and alliances – and then later unveiled that it had “completely revamped” its partner program in an overall effort to get to the next revenue level.

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