Back in mid-September, Oyster Hotel Reviews said it was on track to become the largest travel media outlet in the U.S. by staffers by year-end. Desn’t look like that’s going to happen. The startup — which features original reviews of top hotels on its website — has laid off a third of its staff. Valleywag, which first reported the layoffs, quotes a spokeswoman who says that the company now has 20 full time employees, down from 30 at its peak, “as a result of both economic conditions in the market and our decisions to slow our rate of new market additions after 18 months of torrid growth.”
That’s quite a contrast from September, when CEO Elie Seidman told us that the startup would use $4 million in new funding to expand its coverage to include additional cities and boost the size of its writing staff to 45 by year-end from what he said was 20 at the time. We held off on writing this until now to get comment from the company, but Seidman and a spokeswoman have not responded to our requests.