Justin Hackworth Photgraphy, Fotolia via Adobe Stock
A view of the Provo city limits. Utah tech giant InsideSales laid off multiple employees Thursday, indicating a need to re-focus on sales to larger "enterprise businesses."

PROVO — Utah tech giant InsideSales laid off a significant portion of its workforce Thursday, saying it needs to refocus on sales to larger "enterprise businesses."

Though InsideSales officials initially declined to comment on the extent of the job cuts, a company representative later Friday reported that 91 of 500 employees were laid off.

"I knew something was coming, but didn't know I would be affected by it," said a former employe who was among the group that was laid off and spoke with the Deseret News on condition of anonymity.

The company released a statement in response to questions about the decision, which read, in part:

"In today’s economy, markets are rewarding responsible growth paired with profitability; it’s no longer grow at any cost. We’re doing the responsible thing to move our company towards profitability.

"Our business is better than ever; our growth is especially good with large companies, as witnessed by triple-digit growth in the number of six-figure customers, and even stronger growth in the number of seven-figure customers."

The company said it anticipates "adding significantly more jobs in the areas where we see our highest growth, including R&D and enterprise-related roles."

Read the full statement here.

The layoff news is a pointed departure from plans outlined in an October 2014 InsideSales press release announcing the opening of its second office in downtown Salt Lake City. In it, the company indicated its growth cycle would lead to 600 employees by the end of the year and 900 employees by the end of 2015.

The former employee said he was told that the reason he was being laid off was due to a company restructuring effort.

"They said they're consolidating teams and really focusing more on the enterprise side of things, and I wasn't in that segment," the former employee said. "My position was eliminated."

He also added that it appeared that most of the company departments had lost at least a few employees, except engineering and development.

InsideSales has been touted by industry experts as a company that could be the next big tech IPO — a conversation that has accelerated since Snap Inc. (parent of Snapchat) went public earlier this month, earning almost $3.5 billion.

On a database managed by technology website TechCrunch, InsideSales is listed with a valuation of $1.5 billion and has received over $250 million in outside funding, including a $50 million infusion in January. The company referenced the new funding in its statement on Friday.

"Our large enterprise growth helped fuel our most recent round of investment, a $50 million up round announced in January 2017. Participating investors included world-class venture, corporate and sovereign funds such as Polaris Partners, Microsoft, QuestMark Partners and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. This funding and enterprise hyper growth has put us in a position to see a path to profitability."

In spite of being freshly out of work, the former employee bore no ill will toward InsideSales.

"They have a great product and I had a really great experience there," said the former employee. "I really liked the people I worked with. … It was the hardest part of leaving."