Laid off SoundCloud employees are being offered $10,000 to join file sharing service WeTransfer

WeTransfer president Damian
WeTransfer president Damian Bradfield. WeTransfer

File sharing service WeTransfer is offering a $US10,000 (£7,614) “gift” to any of the 173 laid off SoundCloud staff that join its ranks instead of taking a role at another tech company.

WeTransfer president Damian Bradfield wrote a Medium post on Wednesday explaining how the decision came about and the logic behind it.

Bradfield initially suggested the idea to Handelsblatt journalist Alexander Demling at the Tech Open Air conference in Berlin earlier this month.

“What if each and every one of them had been offered ten thousand dollars to refrain from getting a job? To leave and start something. To leave and start working on the new future of music, whatever that might be.

“SoundCloud has always been the challenger. Look what they have achieved: they courted, vetted, groomed and trained these 173 people who specialize in music, technology and innovation. It seems sacrilegious to just let them go out and get regular jobs. We desperately need innovation. We need challengers.”

At that stage it was little more than an idea. But Bradfield raised the idea again two weeks later during a WeTransfer meeting in LA.

“We held a few meetings, conducted a few phone calls and had decided we’d put aside a few upcoming projects. Instead, we would back this idea.

“We’d email each of the 173 SoundCloud employees and offer them $US10,000  —  not as a loan or an investment but a gift.”

SoundCloud cut its workforce by 40% at the start of July as part of an effort to become profitable and remain independent.

Shortly after the job cuts, a Google spreadsheet was created containing the names and contact details of everyone that had been affected. The spreadsheet has been circulated around the world and other companies are using it to find new talent.

Founded in 2009, WeTransfer claims to be “the simplest way to send your files around the world.” The company says that users in 195 countries send one billion files through its platform every month.