Friday, June 21, 2024

Startup Shakeup: Big Moves in Tech, Layoffs, and Fund Closures Mark the Start of 2024

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In a seismic shift in the tech landscape, major players are making strategic moves as they navigate the evolving industry landscape.

Here’s a roundup of the latest developments, from layoffs to fund closures and exciting fundings.

Layoffs Galore: InMobi, Google, Amazon, and X Corp. Streamline Operations

1. InMobi’s AI-First Approach Triggers 5% Workforce Cut

Adtech firm InMobi is reshaping its workforce, opting for an AI-first approach. With plans to cut 5% of its global workforce, approximately 125 employees out of its 2,500-strong team might be affected. According to company sources, these changes are proactive measures to address evolving needs, ensuring global competitiveness in the coming decade.


2. Google Axes Hundreds Across Multiple Teams

In a cost-cutting move, Google is laying off hundreds across various teams. The Voice Assistant unit faces significant cuts, while the hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit is also affected. The augmented reality (AR) team sees a majority of its roles eliminated, alongside impacts on the central engineering team.

3. Amazon’s Streamlining Continues in Prime Video and Studios

Amazon joins the layoff trend, announcing job cuts in its Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios operations. The company, extending the wave of job cuts seen in the tech industry over the past two years, is set to inform affected staff in phases.

4. X Corp. (Formerly Twitter) Slashes 30% of Trust and Safety Staff

Under the leadership of Elon Musk, X Corp. has made significant staff reductions, slashing 30% of its global trust and safety staff. The number of safety engineers has seen an 80% reduction since Musk took the reins in 2022. Australia’s eSafety Commission reveals these details as the first specific figures on staff cuts become public.

Funding and Growth: Upekkha, GetVantage, ConveGenius, and More

1. Upekkha Marks First Close on $40 Million Fund, Aims to Invest in 70+ Startups

Upekkha, an early-stage SaaS fund and accelerator, secured $15 million in the first close of its $40 million fund. With WestBridge Capital among the investors, the fund plans to invest in over 70 startups in its 13th cohort, supporting India’s SaaS ecosystem.

2. GetVantage Launches ₹250-Crore SaaS Accelerator Fund II

GetVantage, a revenue-based financing platform, unveils its SaaS Accelerator Fund II, a ₹250 crore extension to its Fund I launched in 2022. The fund aims to provide non-dilutive capital to B2B SaaS businesses for scaling operations, leveraging partnerships with Sebi-approved entities.

3. ConveGenius Secures $7 Million for AI-First EdTech Platform Expansion

ConveGenius, an AI-first EdTech company, raises $7 million in a growth financing round led by UBS Optimus Foundation and Mount Judi Ventures. With plans to expand its conversational AI platform, SwiftChat, and enter international markets, the funding will play a pivotal role in the company’s growth.

4. Fireside Venture Leads ₹50 Crore Round in Mental Health Startup Amaha

Mental health startup Amaha secures ₹50 crore in an extended Series A funding round led by Fireside Venture. The funding will help Amaha consolidate its position as a leading mental healthcare provider in India, addressing a spectrum of mental health conditions.

5. The Baker’s Dozen Raises ₹33 Crore for D2C Bakery Expansion

D2C bakery brand The Baker’s Dozen secures ₹33 crore in a Series A funding round led by Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, Fireside Ventures, Mirabilis Investment Trust, and She Capital. The funds will be used to expand beyond metros, focusing on non-metro and tier-1 cities.

6. Salty Sparkles with ₹5.4 Crore Funding for Jewelry Expansion

Jewelry brand Salty raises ₹5.4 crore in a funding round led by Anicut Capital, All in Capital, Suashish Diamonds, JK Group, and other investors. The funds will be strategically utilized for team expansion and launching new product ranges, aiming for a ₹40 crore annual revenue run rate in 2024.

7. eFeed Gains ₹25 Lakhs in Grants to Boost Precision Animal Management

Precision animal management startup, eFeed, secures a grant of ₹25 lakhs from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research. Focused on increasing milk output and contributing to the sustainability of the livestock and dairy sector, the funds will support eFeed’s expansion efforts.

8. Inflection Point Ventures Launches Accelerator for Early-Stage Startups

Inflection Point Ventures introduces IPV Ideaschool, a 6-week accelerator program for entrepreneurs aiming to take their business from the idea stage to Minimum Viable Product (MVP). With ₹80 lakhs in investment up for grabs, the program anticipates a significant number of applications.

Executive Reshuffling: DealShare, Zoomcar, and New Faces

1. DealShare Welcomes Kamaldeep Singh as New CEO

DealShare, a homegrown social commerce unicorn, appoints Kamaldeep Singh as its new CEO. With this transition, Sourjyendu Medda steps down from an executive position but remains a key shareholder. The move is positioned to have no impact on the company’s operations, headcount, strategy, or its vision to be a leader in the grocery and consumables market.

2. Zoomcar Appoints Adarsh Menon as President

Car-sharing platform Zoomcar announces Adarsh Menon as its President, responsible for growth, operations, and customer experience. The appointment follows the company’s recent listing on Nasdaq, signifying its push towards reaching new heights in the peer-to-peer car-sharing platform sector.

The tech industry undergoes these transformative shifts, startups, investors, and industry enthusiasts keenly watch the unfolding developments, anticipating further disruptions and innovations. Stay tuned for more updates in the dynamic world of tech entrepreneurship.

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