Hello Studio Fam,
We’re taking a break from all things Elon this week, but there’s still plenty to discuss as the Great Tech Reset continues. More companies have announced significant staff cuts and a major catastrophe is underway in crypto. Despite the headlines, it’s not all doom and gloom: many startups have raised fresh capital, and plenty are hiring. Feedback? - firstname.lastname@example.org
Investing In Product Development
The staffing correction of Big Tech continues. The bulk of cuts seem to be in recruiting and business roles, with engineering and product departures affected to a lesser degree. For investors, this represents a refocusing of the company from growth (HR and marketing) to product development (product and engineering). According to Harvard Business School, companies that fare the best in a downturn are those that invest in product development during downturns.
- Meta has laid off over 11,000 employees (more than 13% of the company)
- Stripe has laid off over 1000 employees (more than 14% of the company)
- Lyft has laid off over 750 employees (more than 12% of the company)
- Salesforce has laid off almost 1000 employees (less than 2% of the company)
- OpenDoor has laid off over 500 employees (more than 18% of the company).
FTX Melts Down
Another crypto exchange has failed. FTX, run by wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried, is insolventliterally one day after posting video to Twitter of their new Miami HQ (edit: it's deleted!). The downfall of FTX was sudden and possibly driven by a run induced by FTX’s competitor Binance.
TLDR: FTX minted its own unsecured crypto tokens as collateral for real dollar loans and got crushed when the value of its new tokens crashed. Amazingly, Binance is now in talks to acquire what’s left of FTX (edit: they backed out!). But it might not matter; retail customers of FTX are probably wiped out. The CEO of Binance warned his staff that US regulators could use these shenanigans to put an end to retail crypto trading in its entirety.
Small Bytes: Fundraising Rundown
- Hopper, the airline search engine, has raised $96M.
- Holidu, the vacation rental management platform, has raised $102M.
- WorkTorch, the service economy jobs platform, has raised $2.2M.
- PhotoRoom, the B2B photo editing platform, has raised $18M.
- Fermat, the video shopping app, has raised $12M.
App Spotlight: Dorsia Members Club
Even though some of the most popular restaurants have put their reservation books online, there’s no guarantee that the average user will ever get a chance to book them. Enter Dorsia, a premium members club that promises same day access to the hottest restaurants in New York and Miami. Similar to the experience of SoHo House, Dorsia users must apply for membership. Once accepted, there is no membership fee (yet) to access same-day reservations at the trendiest restaurants like Dirty French or Klaw. But there is a catch: booking a table means paying upfront for a minimum spend per person. The app is sleek and its network of high end restaurants is unmatched. You would have to be a psycho not to join.