Dayton tech firm lays off half its employees, 40 workers

Krush Technologies has laid off just over half its work force, a move affecting 40 employees, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

In a brief statement from its New York City public relations firm, the Dayton-based tech start-up said: “Krush will continue operations of its Krush Digital business line from its Dayton Ohio location, but with reduced emphasis and fewer employees.”

The statement did not say exactly how many employees are affected. But a spokeswoman representing Krush later said the move affects 40 employees.

In a December 2016 interview, Krush leaders said the company’s Dayton offices had about 70 employees.

In recent weeks, the mobile apps and technology company has announced a shift in strategy, focusing on digital marketing and advertising. The company today calls itself a “full-service digital advertising and media company.”

J.P. Nauseef, chief executive and co-founder of Krush, said in a text Monday that he was engaged in employee meetings most of the day.

“The decision to let outstanding employees go was absolutely a last resort and we will do everything we can to support those impacted and we are extremely grateful for their hard work and wish them the best,”  Nauseef said in a prepared statement.

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Since 2015, with the support of local billionaire Clay Mathile and his family as key investors, the Dayton tech start-up has created mobile apps and virtual reality experiences that the company said reached more than 160 million people globally.

Krush prided itself on attracting to Dayton some of the best young minds and promising employees from across the world.

ooVoo, a video chat app, was Krush’s most widely used product.

“Because we’re the owners and operators of ooVoo, the popular social app, we have access to data on over 185 million registered millennial users around the world,” Jeff Chi, Krush Media chief operating officer, said in an interview that ran earlier this month on the Huffington Post web site. “With our ooVoo audience extension program, we’re able to serve ads to this highly sought after demographic wherever they go.”

The Huffington Post interview appears under the byline of a senior vice president of public relations firm Affect. Krush is a client of Affect.

“Moving forward, the Krush team remains optimistic about the future,” the company’s statement on Monday said. “Krush Media continues rapid growth in the very dynamic ad tech space and Krush Digital will continue operations of ooVoo and Flinch, which engage and connect millions of users every day.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services had no WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act) notice regarding Krush Monday afternoon.  In general, WARN notices are required when companies of a certain size lay off 50 or more people in 30 days or less.

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