BREAKING: Troubled poop-testing startup uBiome is laying off half its staff


uBiome Toilet Paper 1

Microbiome-testing company uBiome is laying off half its staff as the troubled startup looks for a path forward.

The company is cutting 114 of the 229 people it current employs, according to a source familiar with the layoffs. 42 are employees based in the US, while 72 layoffs are occuring in Latin America, the person said. uBiome is planning to keep its labs open. 

“As we work to implement a go-forward plan for uBiome, we are making changes to the Company’s organizational structure that impact certain teams and positions,” Curtis Solsvig, the new interim uBiome CEO and a director at Goldin Associates, said in a statement provided to Business Insider.

uBiome accidentally informed some of its workers they were being let go on Monday in a payroll error, according to four current and former uBiome employees. After the accidental notification, Solsvig called an emergency meeting, the people said.

It has been a turbulent few months for uBiome, whose tests rely on samples of human poop. At the end of June, all three of the company’s top executives left their posts, Business Insider reported.

Cofounders and co-CEOs Zachary Apte and Jessica Richman resigned, after having been placed on administrative leave on the heels of an FBI raid in April. The raid was reportedly part of an investigation into uBiome’s billing practices. John Rakow, uBiome’s general counsel and interim CEO as of May 1, also departed. In a message to Business Insider, Rakow said he left to spend more time with family.

To run the company, the board appointed three new executives from the consulting firm Goldin Associates, including Solsvig.

Trouble at uBiome has been brewing for years, Business Insider previously reported.

Read more: uBiome convinced Silicon Valley that testing poop was worth $600 million. Then the FBI came knocking. Here’s the inside story.

SEE ALSO: uBiome’s independent directors are ditching the healthcare startup following an FBI raid, and now there’s only 1 left

DON’T MISS: uBiome convinced Silicon Valley that testing poop was worth $600 million. Then the FBI came knocking. Here’s the inside story.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The world’s tallest mountains like Mount Everest and K2 have a ‘death zone’ — here’s a first-hand account of what it’s like