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Montreal payments-and-retail platform Lightspeed Commerce Inc. LSPD-T said it will lay off about 300 people, or roughly 10 per cent of its workforce, as it stitches together the dozen-plus companies it has acquired in recent years.

The cuts represent a tenth of its headcount-related operating costs, and half of the total cost reductions would come from managers being let go, the company said in a press release Tuesday. Lightspeed had about 3,000 employees worldwide before the announcement.

The new year has brought a fresh wave of layoffs for the tech sector after already experiencing mass cuts in 2022. Inflation and rising interest rates have been weighing on tech valuations and leading companies to reconsider their spending, with companies such as Thinkific Labs Inc. and Michele Romanow’s Clearco announcing layoffs in recent days.

On Tuesday, the Toronto online-car marketplace Clutch also announced deep staff cuts, and U.S. and U.K. media reported that software giant Microsoft Corp. was on the cusp of slashing thousands of jobs.

“Our organizational structure has become too complex, with overlapping roles and a top-heavy framework,” chief executive Jean Paul Chauvet wrote in a letter to employees Tuesday. “This bogs us down, creates inefficiencies, distracts us from our mission and distances us from what matters most–our customers.”

Richard Tse, an analyst with National Bank Financial, said in an e-mail that “with sentiment shifting towards profitable growth across tech, they are joining the group in an effort to get to profitability sooner, which is positive.” He added: “Quite frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t do it sooner, but my guess is they did not want to make those moves until they were well through their acquisition integrations.”

Lightspeed saw its fortunes turn a few months earlier than the rest of the tech sector, when a short-seller’s report in September, 2021 raised concerns over the company’s customer counts and revenue growth, sending its share price into a tailspin. Its price has never recovered, and remains down more than 80 per cent.

Then, in February, 2022, founding CEO Dax Dasilva said he would step down from management to become executive chair, with Mr. Chauvet, the president, becoming the new CEO.

After Mr. Chauvet took over, Lightspeed began sharing how it would integrate its services with the companies it had acquired since going public in 2019. It created one-stop-shop platforms for retailers, restaurateurs and popular brands that helps them manage payments and numerous back-end jobs such as inventory management, product ordering, data sharing and more.

In the context of the downturn, the cuts mark an about-face for Lightspeed. In an interview last June, Mr. Chauvet told The Globe and Mail that the company was well-prepared to weather the economic uncertainty. “The winds are changing, and you’re starting to hear [about] layoffs, and you’re starting to hear about hiring freezes, and [employees] know that when we say ‘No, no, we’re going to continue,’ that we’re a trustworthy company,” he said.

The Lightspeed CEO’s comments in the Tuesday press release, however, frame the cuts in the context of product integration. “We have done outstanding work to complete our goal of integrating each brand and rolling out our flagship products to market,” Mr. Chauvet wrote.

Lightspeed said it will book a charge of US$12-million to $14-million primarily in its fiscal fourth quarter in connection with the job cuts.

The press release reinforced Mr. Chauvet’s continuing push for financial prudence. The company said it expected that the revenue for its fiscal third quarter, to be published on Feb. 2, will be in line with its previously published forecast of US$185-million to US$190-million after foreign-exchange-rate assumptions.

In November, Lightspeed also said it expected a third-quarter loss in its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of US$9-million. In Tuesday’s press release, Lightspeed said it expected that its next quarter’s results will “come ahead” of this outlook.

Adjusted EBITDA excludes a variety of costs factored into bottom-line net income or net loss, but Mr. Chauvet has been treating it as a crucial bellwether for Lightspeed’s long-term financial health. In the months since becoming CEO, he’s routinely said that the company plans to become profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of its 2024 fiscal year.

Bank of Montreal Capital Markets analyst Thanos Moschopoulos wrote in a research note that “we presume that macro uncertainty might be another motivating factor, as has been the case for many other tech companies.”

He said his previous calculations suggested the company could be profitable as early as the end of this calendar year – earlier than Lightspeed’s projections. “The restructuring could presumably accelerate this, although this will also depend on whether, and to what extent, there’s been a change in [Lightspeed’s] expected revenue trajectory,” Mr. Moschopoulos wrote.

Lightspeed is dual-listed in Toronto and New York. The company’s Toronto-listed shares closed up 1.09 per cent Tuesday at $22.20.

The company lagged behind other major Canadian tech companies to publicly announce it cut staff amid the downturn. Shopify Inc., Wealthsimple Technologies Inc., and Hootsuite Inc. all made major layoffs by last August. Other major players, including Clearco. Officially CFT Clear Finance Technology Corp. and Thinkific Labs Inc. are already making a second round of job cuts.

Also on Tuesday, Toronto-based online car seller Clutch Canada Inc. announced a 150-person, or 65 per cent, cut to staff and pulled out of western Canadian markets to focus on the five eastern provinces that account for three-quarters of its revenue. Like Clearco, which cut 26 per cent of its work force a day earlier and Thinkific Labs last week, it’s the second time in less than a year that Clutch has made a sizeable cut to its work force. It laid off 76 people, or 22 per cent of the company, last June.

Clutch CEO Dan Park said in an interview his company, which raised $100-million in late 2021, had been meeting its revenue targets. But it made the decision to enact sweeping cuts early after an eight-figure financing it was in the process of raising didn’t materialize quickly enough in recent weeks.

“Timelines for deals are getting push out significantly; capital markets are not as robust as they once were and investor sentiment is continuing to deteriorate. We had to act quickly” in order to preserve the company’s capital given it was taking much longer to secure financing, which he said the company may still do.