Autograph, the buzzy NFT platform cofounded by NFL star Tom Brady, has laid off dozens of staffers after separately severing ties with former board member Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of FTX, Insider has learned. 
The layoffs are mostly centered in the marketing, HR, and creative departments, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly. Autograph employs 124 people, according to Linkedin data. 
“Like other technology companies, we aren’t immune to the challenges of the market and had to conduct a small workforce reduction,” the company wrote in a statement, confirming the layoffs. “We look forward to continuing to build new Web3 fan experiences and products for years to come.”
Brady launched Autograph last year at the height of the NFT sports boom, along with entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt and his son Dillon Rosenblatt, who is the company’s CEO.
A modern, blockchain-enabled take on trading cards that have been around for more than a century, Autograph enables users to buy non-fungible tokens featuring sports stars such as Tiger Woods, Naomi Osaka, Derek Jeter, and Wayne Gretzky. 
Autograph, which is based in Los Angeles, closed a $170 million Series B funding round earlier this year led by Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins with participation from former top Andreessen crypto partner Katie Haun, who earlier this year raised a $1.5 billion fund.
Haun, Arianna Simpson, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and Ilya Fushman, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, joined a star studded board of directors that already included Brady. Other board members include Eddy Cue, senior vice president at Apple, and Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, the recording artist known as the Weeknd.
Bankman-Fried joined the board of directors last year several months after Brady and his then wife, Gisele Bundchen, invested in FTX. 
“Autograph is at the forefront of the digital collectable space, and I look forward to helping them expand their capabilities,” Bankman-Fried said at the time. “As a pioneer in the space, Autograph has limitless potential as they bring icons and crypto together.”
It is not clear when Bankman-Fried left the board but his name is no longer listed on Autograph’s website. 
By almost every measure, the NFT market has been hit hard since the beginning of the year amidst the broader pullback in stocks and crypto currency.  Venture capital funding into Web3 startups in the third quarter of 2022 dropped by nearly half from the previous quarter, to $3.3 billion from $6 billion, according to Crunchbase. Many crypto companies, including Coinbase, Gemini, and OpenSea, have collectively shed more than 1,000 jobs through layoffs.
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