News | OnlineTravelBird claims still soaring high, depsite staff cull and scaling back operationsThis article was originally published onBy Kevin May | October 15, 2015 TravelBird says staff and country cutbacks are just part of moving from a "startup to a scale-up" process for the company.The online deals specialist has pulled out of five of its focus markets, leaving it with 12 around Europe.The countries to go are Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Hungary.In addition, 100 staff contracts will not be extended beyond their current period, effectively reducing the headcount by a seventh. The company had a headcount of 650 in September and had started hiring another 50 in recent weeks.A TravelBird official says the job losses are "unfortunate", but mirroring the words of the company's CEO Symen Jansma in an interview with Tnooz in September this year, this is apparently part of a pattern when you move from a startup to a growth-stage company.The decision to axe five of the 11 new country operations was taken because they did not show the same "growth potential" as the others.Via email this morning, an insider questions why the company has been busily recruiting for months since the funding, adding: "Obviously they say that they are just growing as a company and have to make smart decisions etc, but a lot of people have been crying in the offices and it can’t be the fact that 100 people are doing a bad job, can it?"Share this quote The official says the company had a turnover of Euro 95 million in 2014 and had pegged Euro 93 million in the first six months of this year.It has now found deals for 2.5 million travellers in its five years.The news comes just six months after raising Euro 16.5 million via Global Founders Capital, a subsidiary of Rocket Internet.Rocket Internet's investment in the startup reached Euro 32.1 million with that round, following previous investments, and amounts to a 25.2% share of the Netherlands-based company.The company says it is making "huge investments" in its IT structure so that a lot of the manual tasks can be automated."We are not the company we were just a year ago," the official says. "The message here is that when you are five years old there are parts of a growth pattern that you have to focus on."