Helium Raises $17M, Fires 18

Helium, the Andover, MA-based online marketplace for writers, recently finished raising a $17 million Series A financing round and almost simultaneously cut its staff by 18 people, or about 30 percent, according to a story today in TechCrunch. The company, where freelance writers can submit articles, vote for the best material uploaded by other writers, and sell their work to publishers $30 to $300 per article, apparently grew too fast to survive the recession that everyone assumes is looming. “We expect a deterioration of overall ad rates, and a slowing of the economy in general,” CEO Mark Ranelli told TechCrunch. “Our approach was to take a third of every group across engineering, customer service, and sales.”

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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