Electric skateboard producer Boosted, backed by Stanford-StartX Fund, has laid off employees after its business model succumbed amid the US-China tariff war.

Boosted, a US-based portable electric vehicle producer backed by Stanford-StartX Fund, the university-aligned venture fund, is seeking a buyer after laying off dozens of staff, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

The move was blamed on Boosted’s production cost structure coming under pressure from US tariffs on Chinese components. Boosted is hoping to continue operations if it secures new ownership.

Founded in 2012, Boosted designs and develops electric-powered skateboards and scooters with top speeds of around 20 miles per hour. The skateboards were pitched toward customers seeking a more enjoyable commute to work.

Boosted had begun to run out of cash having dismissed about 20 employees over recent months, including its chief marketing officer and three vice-presidents, according to the Verge.

The business was already struggling to meet financial obligations to its retail partners after shipping difficulties pushed back the launch of its first scooter product.

Boosted was reportedly still to reach profitability but had previously hoped to raise capital rather than heading down the path of an exit.

Stanford-StartX Fund had supplied Boosted with series B capital in a $60m round in 2018 co-led by venture capital firms Khosla Ventures and iNovia Capital that also included Bay Meadows.

The fund also joined Bay Meadows for a series A round of undisclosed size at an unspecified date, after Boosted had raised $380,000 from pooled investment fund interests in 2013, according to a regulatory filing.

Boosted is an alumni company of accelerators StartX and Y Combinator and had also raised about $467,000 of crowdfunding in 2012