Fintech startup Flywire downsizes by 12 percent
As the effects of the coronavirus grip the startup economy, Boston’s fintech darling Flywire is the latest company to announce cuts.
The payment processing company laid off 12 percent of its staff — 60 employees, by some estimates — and moved another 3 percent of its staff to part-time positions through the end of the year.
“Like many companies, Flywire is putting measures in place to reduce risk to our business as a result of the disruption caused by COVID-19,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email to BostInno. “Unfortunately, one of the steps we’ve been forced to take is to let go of valuable Flywire employees. This was a very difficult decision, but we know it was necessary in order to continue to deliver business as usual to the maximum extent possible to our customers throughout and well beyond the pandemic.”
Founded in 2011, Flywire enables universities, hospitals and B2B companies to better transact in foreign currencies. It was started as peerTransfer in 2009 by Spanish entrepreneur Iker Marcaide to facilitate tuition payments from international students to universities.
The company has partnerships with many U.S.-based universities, including Boston University, Carnegie Mellon, and Cornell. In February, the company raised $120 million in a Series E round led by Goldman Sachs. Flywire said at the time that it planned to add another 100 employees organically by the end of 2020.
Flywire has also announced COVID-19-specific initiatives. Together with Ivy.ai, an artificially intelligent chatbot, Flywire released a chatbot to enable health care providers to communicate digitally with patients to address questions and concerns related to the coronavirus. The company also put together a framework to enable universities to retain and drive student enrollment for the 2020-21 academic year.
As job losses mount, Flywire joins a cadre of local companies — including unicorns Toast, ezCater and DataRobot — that have cut jobs amid the business disruption caused by COVID-19.