Dapper Labs is one of the leading lights of the NFTs and web3 world, having found success with its CryptoKitties game long before the term NFTs was in popular usage.

More recently, it had another hit with its NBA Top Shot game, but has also been energetically investing in a host of newer web3 startups. So, news that the company has reportedly laid off 22% of its staff is likely to send another blast of chill wind through the ecosystem.

“We know web3 and crypto is the future across a multitude of industries – with 1000x potential from here in terms of mainstream adoption and impact – but today’s macroeconomic environment means we aren’t in full control of the timing,” wrote its CEO Roham Gharegozlou in a letter to staff, according to news site BetaKit.

“These reductions are the last thing we want to do, but they are necessary for the long-term health of our business and communities.”

The letter also hinted at “pulling back on everything that doesn’t fit that focus” – which suggests project cancellations to come.

It’s only a year and a half since Dapper Labs raised a $305m funding round to continue building its business, valuing the company at $2.6bn. Warner Music Group is among its investors from a previous funding round.

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