Keep, Popular Fitness App, Lays Off Employees

On October 24, the company behind the fitness app Keep started a big round of layoffs, according to 36Kr. The publication’s sources estimate that the number of people affected by the layoffs may be around two or three hundred. According to one of the laid off Keep employees, most of the more than 200 people sacked were developers.

In response, Keep told 36Kr that the 300 number was an exaggeration with the layoffs sett to affect only 10-15% of 800 people currently working at the company. The company explained its decision to cut down on personnel by a need for optimization, arguing that for Internet companies, “efficiency is life”. Optimizing talent structure and improving organizational efficiency are seen as necessary for the long-term development of the company. Keep is currently in a period of rapid growth. However, the company’s management believes that the performance is poorly optimized.

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A fitness industry expert shared with 36Kr, that Keep “expanded too fast last year”, but in terms of income structure, “Keep is not a fitness company”, but instead a “content community with fitness label”, since most of their income comes from advertisements. One of the employees working in the “revenue-making” departments of the company seems to have been touched by the layoffs.

Keep was founded in September 2014 by Wang Ning. According to a well-publicized story, the app only took 105 days to amass one million fans, garnering a following of over 100 million by the 921st day. The company has completed six rounds of financing since its inception in 2014. In July 2018, Keep received $127 million in the latest round from Goldman Sachs, Tencent and others.