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Domestika, the Online Learning Unicorn, Closes Global Offices and Downsizes Staff by 40%

The platform is reported to have closed its offices in France, Italy, UK, and Germany — and Brazil is next.

Last year around this time, Domestika was flying high. The company had just announced they’d raised $110 million at a $1.3 billion valuation, in a funding round led by Zeev Ventures with participation from GSV Ventures. But like most of the online learning world, they were in for a reality check. 

For those unfamiliar with the company, Domestika is an online learning platform that focuses on providing courses in creative fields such as graphic design, illustration, photography, cooking, and crafting. The platform has a large user base in Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Mexico, and Argentina.

Class Central data shows that Domestika courses are primarily in English and Spanish, followed by Portuguese, Italian, French, and German. Combined, these courses have over 15 million enrollments, with the 250 most popular Domestika courses averaging around 37K enrollments each.

2022 Layoffs

The Domestika homepage in January 2023

Since raising $110 million in funding, Domestika has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs and shut down its offices around the world.

In April 2022, according to a report by the Periódico de España, Domestika fired 150 employees worldwide (though the CEO claims differently). The report further goes on to say that a group of 33 employees got together and sued the company, as they failed to follow proper procedures according to Spanish law.

In June 2022, a post went viral on LinkedIn, where the author mentions that they were offered a job as Senior Product Designer at Domestika. They resigned from their job at the time and relocated from Malta to Barcelona to work for Domestika. But three days before starting the new position, they were informed that the company had restructured and was rescinding the offer.

Domestika’s Glassdoor reviews are some of the worst that I have seen for this industry, with a rating of 2.1. One reviewer on Glassdoor commented about Domestika “firing everyone in France, Italy, UK and Germany”. According to anonymous sources in a new report by Startups, those offices were closed in September 2022.

2023 Layoffs

In a matter of months, Domestika lost 40% of its workforce. 

The report goes on to say that Domestika will be closing its offices in Brazil by February 10, 2023, terminating the contracts of up to 30 employees.

In a statement to Startups, Domestika was ambiguous, neither confirming nor denying, claiming the decision is under review and if adopted a “yet-undefined percentage of the current 26 employees of Domestika Brazil would be affected”. LinkedIn posts by soon-to-be ex-employees confirm this decision.

In the same statement, Domestika claimed a global workforce of 500 employees. But just a few months ago, when the CEO denied the extent of the layoffs, he claimed Domestika had 800 employees. In a matter of months, Domestika lost 40% of its workforce.

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

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