“It’s a hard day,” read the email subject line to Shelly Little from her bosses at Carvana, an online used car retailer.
The note signalled Little was one of almost 2,500 staff laid off from the US-based company this week, in a mood described by another employee as “mass hysteria”. Since the start of the year, stock in the company famed for its towering multistorey car “vending machines” has fallen 84 per cent.
“As the ramifications of that kicks in all I can think is — wow,” Little wrote on LinkedIn, informing her friends and coworkers that she was one of the 12 per cent at Carvana being shown the door.
Her experience reflects the sudden sobriety that has descended over the US technology sector, prompted by a deep and broad stock sell-off as investors fret over rising interest rates and slowing economic growth.
Privately held companies are being forced to readjust expectations on valuations, access to funding and appetite for…