The Information alleged that 95% of IRL’s 20 million members were “automated or from bots” after an internal inquiry by the board of directors.
IRL, a Gen Z event planning service, ran into internal issues following a $170 million Series C financing. It was unexpected given the company’s expansion that 25% of its team was let go last year. Abraham Shafi, a former CEO, urged workers to be flexible and disciplined by equating success for the business with an Olympic gold medal.
IRL had more than $100 million in the bank, but a corporate representative vowed to give investors their money back. Shafi’s claim of 20 million active users per month was questioned by IRL staff, which prompted the SEC to investigate possible securities crimes.
The board installed an acting CEO and suspended Shafi. Email accounts for both IRL employees have been shut down.