EnergySavvy’s entire Seattle engineering team was laid off after the company that acquired the oil-and-gas software and analytics startup was rolled up into a larger conglomerate, according to three current and former employees who spoke with GeekWire on the condition of anonymity.
The layoffs come five months after Boulder, Colo.-based Tendril announced plans to acquire the Seattle-based company for an undisclosed sum. At the time, Tendril said EnergySavvy’s team of more than 60 employees would not be relocated. A month later, Tendril merged with Simple Energy to form a new company called Uplight.
The combined company, created through a series of mergers and acquisitions, provides a range of technology products to electric and gas utilities.
EnergySavvy had offices in Seattle and Boston when Uplight was formed.
Employees learned this week that the entire Seattle engineering department would be shut down, according to one departing employee. They were told that running an engineering team in Seattle was too expensive, the employee said, adding, “We were told explicitly during the M&A that they had every intention of continuing to run an engineering [department] in Seattle as part of their suite of companies.”
Some of the staff members who were laid off were given two weeks’ notice, while others were offered several months, the employee said.
Another departing employee said 24 staff members were laid off and nine have left the company since the acquisition. Uplight would not confirm the number of employees who left but provided the following statement about the changes:
The formation of Uplight has been very well received by the market and our utility partners, indicating a clear and growing need for the solutions we provide. To deliver on this need, we’ve brought together six industry leaders, a process that would obviously require some mild restructuring. Today’s restructuring eliminated some roles, but also includes dozens of new positions that we are looking to fill in areas that will most support our continued growth.
EnergySavvy was co-founded by Aaron Goldfeder, Leo Shklovskii and Karl Siebrecht in 2008. In 2016, the startup announced a $14 million round of equity financing, bringing its total funding to $30 million. At the time, EnergySavvy had about 40 utility customers, including Seattle City Light, Minnesota Energy Resources, New Mexico Gas Company, and others.
Using EnergySavvy, utilities can provide personalized electricity plans for customers, accounting for changes in the industry like the growing popularity of rooftop solar panels.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct details of EnergySavvy’s history.