Jolt, which provides training courses for high tech companies including alternatives to higher education and MBAs, is undergoing an organizational restructuring. The company plans on laying off 40% of its workforce, around 20 of 50 employees. In addition, the company’s founders will also be departing, headed by CEO Roei Deutsch. According to Deutsch, the shake up comes after a deal to acquire the company fell through.
Jolt was founded in 2015 by Deutsch, Nitzan Cohen-Arazi, and Nadav Leshem, and later Lior Frenkel joined as a partner. The company has raised $23 million to date. Its investors include Octopus Ventures, Hillsven Capital, and Balderton Capital.
“For now, the company will focus on Israel in order to achieve profitability and financial independence. In the coming months, I’m assuming it will become profitable,” Deutsch told Calcalist. “We created a learning product for campuses in New York and England that became illegal during the pandemic. We had to completely rebuild the company but due to the mass influx of people to the high tech industry we created a multi-million dollar business within a year.”
In a Facebook post, Deutsch said that the company was in the final throes of being acquired by an American company before the deal fell through. “We worked our asses off on the deal. People always talk about how complicated it is to acquire a company, but no one can describe how hard it is. We reached the point where we were ready to sign the contracts. Once we realized we were days away from signing and releasing the announcement we hired an event planner for our big exit party, and started planning what we’d do the day after. We approved the deal on our board, we set up an organized management plan, we even dared to tell our close friends that the deal would soon be closed. On a personal level, I was already prepared to take on my new position at the acquiring company, and was excited for Jolt’s next stage and new leadership. In the weeks leading up to the deadline, we began to notice that something in the acquiring company’s plans changed. Something appeared to be amiss – and I say this cautiously – partially due to what was happening on the stock market, and partially due to its unexpected behavior. Things became more dramatic and we found ourselves in a position where the contracts were ready to sign, but weren’t yet. We bought time for a few weeks, before we realized that this deal would endanger our company. When it became clear that we reached our limits, I informed the company that we’d be canceling the deal.”
According to Deutsch’s post, the company had no choice and was forced to cut down on its manpower in order to become profitable and financially-independent. That includes shutting down operations that aren’t related to Jolt’s core activities in Israel, as well as the appointment of CMO Doron Aaronsohn as CEO.