SecondMarket expected to lay off 20 percent of staff

The marketplace for alternative investments is expected to lay off more than 20 percent of its staff tomorrow, CNET has learned.

Update:SecondMarket confirms layoffs and gives specifics in a statement.

The online private equity market SecondMarket will layoff 30 of its 130 employees, a source familiar with the company's plans told CNET. The company has risen to prominence in recent years as a venue for buying and selling stocks for private companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga.

With Facebook set to go public this spring, the layoffs could be indicative of a forthcoming drought in private equity. Just yesterday, reports began to surface that Facebook would this week halt secondary-market trading, a move that will weigh heavily on SecondMarket

While Facebook isn't the only company trading on SecondMarket, the market for tech IPOs is dwindling rapidly. Zynga has already begun trading publicly and outside of Twitter, few tech companies are yet mature enough for the sorts of trades popular on SecondMarket.

SecondMarket indicated recently plans to buttress a lack of tech IPOs with a move into regional and community banks. It appears, however, that the transition won't happen fast enough to save its staff.

SecondMarket representatives were not immediately available for comment.

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