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MapR, Once Worth $1 Billion, Could Close Down, Lay Off More than 100 Workers

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MapR, which provides a data platform for AI and analytics, could shut down and lay off 122 employees within weeks it if doesn’t secure additional financing to fund its operations.

If the privately held company secures additional financing or gets acquired, it might not need to close its Santa Clara, California, headquarters and terminate all employees. It once was one of the major distributors of Hadoop software, and among its partners are resellers and distributors.

In a May 13 letter to employees released under California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification laws, John Schroeder, MapR’s CEO, chairman and founder, said he’s “disappointed to have to communicate that due to business reasons, the company will cease operations and close its Santa Clara corporate headquarters” no later than June 14. Some 122 employees will be laid off without some sort of financial intervention.

MapR's John Schroeder

MapR’s John Schroeder

“The company is actively continuing to pursue financing and other strategic transactions that might allow it to avoid closing its Santa Clara site,” he said. “In fact, the company has received, and the board of directors is currently considering two letters of intent submitted by two different entities.”

Once worth more than $1 billion, MapR has been seeking capital for some time via debt financing to allow it to continue operating for the foreseeable future, Schroeder said. Negotiations were progressing well, but the company’s plans to secure financing were “significantly hindered” by its “disappointing” and “unexpected” fiscal first quarter 2020 earnings, he said.

“Because of the sudden, and unforeseen, loss of financing presented by the party’s decision, the company immediately redoubled its efforts to pursue other potential financing options, as well as explore possible merger or acquisition transactions that it believed could avoid the necessity of ceasing operations and terminating your employment,” he said.

In a statement Friday, MapR said it has been “moving aggressively” toward a more efficient business model, and that effort resulted in the “elimination of many direct sales and marketing positions this year.”

“MapR is actively pursuing a strategic transaction that might allow it to complete this transition and avoid closing its Santa Clara site,” it said. “In fact, MapR received more than one letter of intent from interested parties, and today is engaging in the due diligence process in a transaction which, if consummated, may eliminate the need to close the Santa Clara site.”

MapR’s last funding round was in September 2017 when it raised $56 million from existing investors led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. It has raised $280 million in venture funding since it was founded in 2009.


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