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Iron Ox
An Iron Ox robot lifts a pallet of basil plants. Image credit: Iron Ox

Brief: Another blow for indoor farm robotics as Iron Ox lays off nearly half its staff

November 4, 2022

Why it matters:

Iron Ox’s Chief Legal Officer Myra Pasek told TechCrunch that the company made layoffs to “extend [its] cash runway.” 

According to Pasek, Iron Ox decided to eliminate roles that were not part of its “core competence of engineering and technology; as a result, we eliminated many roles that are not core to our renewed focus. However, the layoff was comprehensive and included positions throughout the organization — i.e., not limited to only certain departments.”

Iron Ox’s layoffs come just days after another ag robotics startup, Fifth Season, shut down its own indoor farm robotics operation.

These developments are happening amid a surge of layoffs across tech from Lyft, Stripe, Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat and many others.

What they’re saying:

The breadth of Iron Ox’s layoffs is apparent from messages impacted employees posted on LinkedIn:

“I’m very proud of the work we have done for the learning and talent development teams at Iron Ox,” wrote chief learning architect Christopher Lin. “If you’re also looking for anyone from product management, project management, sales, a whole host of roles unfortunately today were let go.”

“Sad to report that Iron Ox had a large layoff yesterday, including myself. Network peeps, I can recommend many, many dedicated, hardworking people if you have openings, from design engineers to manufacturing techs to field service engineers to learning and development creators and more,” said technical writing manager Wendy Lo.

David Silver, director of robotics for the company, noted that, “It was a very sad day at Iron Ox yesterday, as roughly half of the company was let go. Every part of the company was impacted, including every engineering department and most of the #robotics team (myself included).”

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