Around 60,000 tech employees were let go this past month, setting a 2022 record as glum as Bitcoin’s 80% decrease in value since November of last year. But the tech industry is relentless — with Google updates, Airbnb features and even an OnlyFans partnership promising us the world. If that world is one with less Twitter news, we’re in.
Below are the month’s most notable news and numbers, including year-on-year (YoY) and month-to-month comparisons as well as leading industries and companies worthy of attention.
This November, the total number of companies that raised funding was 1,361, compared to 1,203 in November of last year. This is a 13% YoY increase. The total funding raised was $20.55 billion, with a 55% YoY increase; last year, November clocked in at $45.67 billion. The median deal size was $5 million, a 33% YoY decrease compared to the $7.5 million in November of last year.
*based on the number of companies that raised funding (not total funding)
1. USA — with 710 companies (12% YoY increase), $13.03B in cumulative investment (56% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $6.5M (35% YoY decrease)
2. UK — with 114 companies (16% YoY increase), $1.44B in cumulative investment (49% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $3.8M (29% YoY decrease)
3. Canada — with 83 companies (73% YoY increase), $573M in cumulative investment (57% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $2M (63% YoY decrease)
4. India — with 61 companies (2% YoY decrease), $494M in cumulative investment (61% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $2.5M 44% YoY decrease)
5. Germany — with 40 companies (on par with last year), $649M in cumulative investment (60% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $9.8M (16% YoY increase)
Conclusion: Even though more companies are receiving investments this year, the funding for November got more than 2x smaller compared to both '21 and last month. Consequently, all countries above are experiencing fatigue — with the only highlight being Canada, which has given breed to many more startups this year.
127 companies (14% YoY decrease), $2.08B in cumulative investment (69% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $10.5M (14% YoY decrease).
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to Toronto Dominion Bank Group (offers a full range of financial products and services) - $1.75B (total funding: $1.75B), Resolution Life (life and annuity insurance consolidation company focused on acquiring life insurance policies) - $500M (total funding: $500M) and Grit (real estate investment, management and development company) - $300.3M (total funding: $300.3M).
2. AI (up one spot)
123 companies (12% YoY decrease), $1.77B in cumulative investment (57% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $7.8M (22% YoY decrease).
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to Automation Anywhere (semiconductor company providing connectivity solutions for intelligent systems) - $150M (total funding: $206.4M), Lendbuzz (AI-based auto finance platform for people with a thin or no credit history) - $150M (total funding: $894.3M) and WEKA (global data management provider delivering a cloud-native, software-based data platform for next-gen workloads) - $135M (total funding: $293.9M).
3. Biotechnology (down one spot)
112 companies (40% YoY increase), $2.81B in cumulative investment (26% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $9.75M (35% YoY decrease).
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to New Amsterdam Pharma (clinical-stage company focused on the research and development of transformative therapies for cardio-metabolic diseases) - $235M (total funding: $429.4M), Solugen (carbon negative molecule factory that replaces petroleum-based products with plant-derived substitutes) - $200M (total funding: $635.2M) and Paragon Biosciences (global healthcare company committed to accelerating biomedical research) - $185M (total funding: $282.6M).
102 companies (4% YoY decrease), $1.22B in cumulative investment (70% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $4M (74% YoY decrease).
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to Balance (digital payments platform making the B2B online purchasing experience delightful for buyers and vendors) - $700M (total funding: $1.45B), Dwight Funding (capital partner for early and growth-stage businesses in ecommerce, food & beverage, general CPG and SaaS) - $100M (total funding: $100M) and Prosper Marketplace (online lending platform connecting people who want to borrow money with individuals and institutions) - $75M (total funding: $490.5M).
86 companies (39% YoY increase), $591M in cumulative investment (44% YoY decrease) and a median deal size of $5M (22% YoY decrease).
The top 3 biggest funding rounds are attributed to NCIRE (nonprofit research institute specializing in veterans care, pioneering new treatments, military medicine and care) - $147M (total funding: $147M), BetterVet (veterinary startup providing home visits and telehealth services) - $40M (total funding: $40M) and BeatO (health monitoring app that helps diabetic patients track their glucose levels) - $33.1M (total funding: $47.5M).
Conclusion: Similarly to leading countries, key tech industries are now receiving less investor love, with the ever-powerful fintech trailing behind biotechnology in the total accumulated funds.
The New Spam: Twitter News
- Elon Musk told employees via memo that they must agree to Twitter’s new “extremely hardcore” culture, including paying for food at the office — previously a free perk that cost $13 million annually. In solidarity (kinda), he promised to sleep at Twitter HQ “until [the] org is fixed.” The result? ~1.2k employees resigned.
- Twitter reportedly laid off 80% of its contractor staff, with the cuts expected to impact content moderation and core infrastructure. But Twitter also plans on hiring for sales and engineering roles.
- Twitter founder Jack Dorsey took responsibility for the company’s recent layoffs, and ex-employees filed a class-action lawsuit claiming the company violated California’s WARN Act, which requires 60 days of advance notice.
- Apple’s Phil Schiller, who runs the App Store, deactivated his Twitter account — which made people speculate on the move’s significance. Elon claimed that Apple recently “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store.” Also, Apple mostly paused advertising on the platform; those ads accounted for more than 4% of Twitter’s Q1 revenue. Elon declared going “to war” with the company.
- Twitter’s daily user growth has reportedly hit all-time highs under Elon.
- Twitter’s check mark program was paused shortly after Eli Lilly’s shares dropped 4.37% — a $15+ billion loss — due to a fake account claiming that the company will be giving out insulin for free.
Layoffs Hit Record “Oh No”
- ~60k tech employees were let go in November, setting the record for ‘22.
- Twitter let go ~4.8k employees and Meta said goodbye to ~11k employees.
- TikTok, whose San Francisco office once belonged to Meta, is looking to double its headcount. Following layoffs at Twitter and Meta, TikTok recruiters swooped in to snag job-seeking engineers.
- Amazon began laying off some of its devices and services team members as a “cost-cutting measure” while pausing corporate hiring.
- Stripe is laying off ~14% of its staff as the CEO points to “overhiring for the world we’re in” as having caused the reduction.
- Roku will cut ~200 US jobs — ~7% of its staff.
- Lyft is cutting 13% of its workforce.
- Chime is cutting costs that include 12% of staff.
- Salesforce laid off hundreds of people.
- Candy Digital, an NFT collectibles firm last valued at $1.5 billion, cut around half its staff.
To Crypto or Not to Crypto
- FTX, the fourth largest crypto exchange in the world, declared bankruptcy. Just hours later, it was reportedly hacked — with $600+ million in crypto stolen.
- Binance agreed to a nonbinding deal to acquire rival FTX — and then backed out. After the move, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s net worth dropped 94% in a day.
- Bitcoin prices continue to fall, trading just under $17,000 — an 80% decrease in value since the token’s all-time high in November ‘21.
Breakneck Tech on Deck
- Instagram released in-app post-scheduling tools for all pro accounts.
- Google introduced new features to Google Search and Google Shopping, with Google Maps updates including fast-charging options for EVs, AR overlays and accessibility info.
- YouTube Shorts can now include 60 seconds of music or sounds, up from 15 seconds.
- Airbnb’s latest update includes better hosting features and new categories for filtering searches, such as “Top of the World” and “Play.”
- Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia is launching Samara, a new venture that sells factory-produced apartments to rent out in your backyard — starting at $289k.
- Linktree launched a paywall feature that lets creators charge up to $150 for access to individual pieces of content on their page.
- Netflix released new account management features that — to put it bluntly — help you kick your ex off of your account.
- WhatsApp launched its new discussion group feature, "Communities," which offers larger, more structured discussion groups.
- OnlyFans partnered with merch company Spring to add shopping features so creators can sell physical products to their supporters directly on their pages.
- Mozilla launched a $35 million VC fund for early-stage “responsible” startups.
It’s All Fun and Games…
- BeReal won “App of the Year” in Apple’s annual App Store Awards. The social media sleeper hit has forced giants like TikTok and Instagram to copy the format.
- Apple is now worth $2.307 trillion — ahead of Amazon, Alphabet and Meta’s combined value of $2.306 trillion.
- Grindr saw its stock increase 400%+ following its NYSE debut Friday.
- Hive is bumping, with ~30% of its 733k installs occurring over the last 30 days.
…Until Someone Gets Hurt
- Amazon became the first public company to lose $1+ trillion in value, dipping to $879 billion from its peak of $1.88 trillion in July ‘21. (It’s now back to ~$1 trillion.)
- Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 11+ years in prison after being found guilty on four charges of fraud in January.
- Coinbase shares hit an all-time low amid falling crypto prices and investor anxiety over the collapse of FTX.
- Bitcoin crashed down to under $17,000 for the first time in a while. Wild, given that it was trading at $65,000 or so a year ago. That’s a 74% decrease.
- Tesla recalled about 1% — 350,000 — of the electric vehicles sold over the past two years due to issues like taillights that go out and malfunctioning front passenger airbags.
- BlockFi, a digital asset lender with significant exposure to FTX, is filing for bankruptcy.
- The value of NFTs traded on OpenSea on the Ethereum blockchain went from $2.48 billion in March to ~$138 million in November
Remember to Like and Subscribe
- YouTube Music and Premium added 30 million subscribers in one year for a total of 80 million subscribers.
- Disney missed profit and revenue targets but added 12.1 million Disney+ subscribers, beating analyst expectations.
The More You Know
To keep you entirely caught up, a few highlights worthy of attention:
- Amazon is now producing daily sports TV talk shows (8 a.m.–8 p.m.).
- Parsons School of Design is partnering with Roblox on a metaverse fashion course.
- Zuckerberg is not resigning from Meta, according to Meta spokesperson, despite rumors to the contrary — though shares did briefly rise following the false news.
- Cyber Monday online sales hit a record $11.3 billion.
Startups to Watch
($90M in latest funding) Arta Finance (FKA Arbo Works) is creating a digital family office — where accredited investors that may not be part of a family office will have access to alternative assets that include investments such as private equity, venture capital, private debt and real estate. The funding will help the company expand its base of customers and global reach.
($19M in latest funding) PhotoRoom is an AI-enabled image-capturing app that lets users create studio-quality product pictures in seconds by removing, replacing or blurring backgrounds. The app has been downloaded 40+ million times worldwide. The company will use the funds to develop its existing software, improve AI features and keep hiring talent across Europe.
($15M in latest funding) Daylight is a digital banking platform designed to build financial products and services that help queer people. The company intends to use the funds to expand its offering to support LGBTQ+ people looking to start and grow their families.
($9.6M in latest funding) Wesper is an at-home sleep lab and a medical app that provides wellness and helps grow sleep testing services. Its wireless biometric sensors and algorithms enable at-home medical diagnosis with professional services. The company will use the funds to accelerate growth and revenue, and to continue developing diagnostic sensing tech.
($4M in latest funding) SigmaOS is a new type of browser designed for founders, researchers and content creators to make it better and faster to work on the web. The team is a YC S21 alumnus deemed “Product of the Month” on Product Hunt. The company intends to use the funds to expand its team and accelerate the development and roll-out of its product.