← Layoff Tracker
SF Bay Area
March 24, 2020
June 14, 2024

Sonder Layoffs: What Happened & Why?

In March 2020, Sonder, a billion-dollar short-term apartment rental company, faced a significant setback as bookings dropped by 20% due to the coronavirus pandemic. This led to the layoff or furlough of 400 employees, accounting for 33% of their workforce. In this article, we'll discuss what happened, why it occurred, and the potential future impact on the company and the industry.

Why did Sonder have layoffs?

The primary reason for Sonder's layoffs was the 20% decrease in bookings at the company's 5,000 apartments, triggered by reduced travel during the coronavirus pandemic. This decline substantially reduced Sonder's revenue as fewer people sought short-term apartment rentals. The broader economic downturn in travel and tourism due to the pandemic has impacted not only Sonder but also the entire short-term rental market.

Financial Impact and Future Directions

Sonder's financial challenges stem from decreased bookings. The company is likely reviewing its cost structure and financial strategies to align with the current market conditions. They may include optimizing operations and potentially exploring new markets or products to regain stability and growth.

Impact on Industry

Sonder’s layoffs reflect significant challenges within the travel industry, which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. These changes within Sonder may influence the travel industry by setting trends in how companies adapt to decreased demand in tourism and travel services.


Sonder has experienced a significant downturn, with a 20% drop in bookings due to the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the layoff of 33% of their workforce. The company's future and standing in the industry face uncertainties as it deals with financial strains and evolving market demands. These layoffs might reflect wider challenges faced by the short-term rental market and could have ripple effects across the travel sector. Moving forward, Sonder may need to undertake strategic shifts to adapt and remain competitive in a rapidly changing landscape.