Social Site Zivity Lays Off One-Third of Staff

SAN FRANCISCO - Zivity, an adult-based social-networking site where members vote to rate models and photos, has laid off one-third of its staff, Tech Crunch is reporting.

The site is still in private beta testing, but the company has cut back from 22 to 14 employees.

One of the first adult Internet ventures to seek out and secure venture capital funding, Zivitiy allows members to rate submitted content and interact with models and photographers. Under a voting system that lets members decide what content will be published, voters essentially distribute royalties.

The site, which is still expected to go public in early 2009, is billed as "the intersection of MySpace, Playboy magazine and ‘American Idol.'"

According to Cyan Banister, the site's co-founder and chief strategy officer, "Zivity is the site Playboy should have built."

By March of this year, Zivity had secured $8 million in venture capital funding, with $7 million of that coming from the mainstream companies Founders Fund and BlueRun Ventures. Founders Fund was an early investor in

Earlier this year, Napster co-founder Jordan Ritter joined the company as its CTO. Jeffrey Wescott and Scott Bannister are the other co-founders of the company, with Wescott serving as CEO and Bannister serving as chairman.

Zivity officials were not immediately available for comment on the layoffs.