R|T: The Retail Times – Groupon to focus on ‘mission critical activities’ following staff cuts

Plus: Alibaba reduced workforce by nearly 10,000 in three months.

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Interaxon secures $9.5 million USD to roll out subscription model for brain sensing headband, Muse (BETAKIT)

According to Interaxon, it saw strong market interest for the round and has opened an allotment for additional investment with a second close planned by the end of the third quarter.

Alibaba Reduced Workforce by Nearly 10,000 in Three Months (BNN BLOOMBERG)

US firms like Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. have cooled recruiting while Alibaba’s closest analog, Amazon.com Inc., has shed about 100,000 jobs. SoftBank Group Corp., Alibaba’s biggest shareholder and among the world’s most lavish venture capital spenders, promised this week to implement sweeping cost-cutting measures that would significantly affect headcount.

Home and auto insurance marketplace YouSet raises $2.1 million, launches in Ontario (BETAKIT)

YouSet co-founder CEO Xavier Freeman told BetaKit that the $2.1 million involves $1.6 million in equity. Led by Freeman and Fellipe Monteiro (CTO), YouSet’s online platform connects consumers with multiple insurance companies to find the best rates for home and auto insurance.

Groupon cuts over 500 staff, plans to focus ‘only on mission-critical activities’ from now on (TECHCRUNCH)

“Our overall business performance is not at the levels we anticipated and we are taking decisive actions to improve our trajectory,” CEO Kedar Deshpande said in a statement provided to TechCrunch.

The chief executive says that the layoffs, as well as a reinvestment in marketing and initiatives that drive customer purchase frequency, will set the company up to generate positive cash flow by the end of 2022.

Lightspeed’s revenues increase even as its losses widen in fiscal first quarter for 2023 (BETAKIT)

“Our two flagship offerings, Lightspeed Retail and Lightspeed Restaurant, continued to see excellent market reception this quarter, which helped drive strong revenue growth,” said JP Chauvet, CEO of Lightspeed.

Troubled events startup Pollen in administration after failing to find buyer (SIFTED)

London-based events company Pollen has sent an email to employees confirming it is restructuring after failing to find a buyer, the latest startup to fall victim to a chilly funding environment and economic concerns.

The announcement comes just a few months after the company announced $150 million in fresh VC funding.

D2C startups not immune to downturn as Article, Mejuri make staff cuts (BETAKIT)

Online furniture store Article laid off 216 employees, representing 17 percent of its team. Meanwhile, fine jewelry brand Mejuri reduced its workforce by 10 percent, which amounts to 50 people.

Tesla’s next gigafactory might be in Canada (TECHCRUNCH)

Musk jokingly asked his fans where the company should build, and when a few yelled out “Canada!” Musk replied, “I’m half Canadian. Maybe I should.” It seemed like a throwaway comment at the time, but a July lobbyist registration from Tesla reveals the company might actually have its eyes set on the U.S.’s neighbor to the north.

Partnership with Mailchimp competitor Klaviyo marks Shopify’s second strategic investment in recent weeks (BETAKIT)

Klaviyo has been part of the Shopify ecosystem since 2017, and Klaviyo CEO Andrew Bialecki told TechCrunch that the two companies have already been working closely together for years. With this partnership, Klaviyo will now serve as the recommended email solution partner for Shopify Plus and receive early access to new Shopify development features.

Facebook Marketplace and DoorDash Team Up for Local Deliveries (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

The deal is an attempt to get more people, especially younger ones, to use Meta-owned Facebook, according to a person familiar with the plan. For DoorDash, the partnership boosts its ambition to expand into delivering more than food.

Facebook and DoorDash confirmed they tested the service in several U.S. cities in recent months. They said the partnership is in the early stages and declined to share terms of the agreement between the companies.

Tech layoffs are sweeping the US, including in the foodtech sector (INSIDER)

Foodtech startups like Reef, Lunchbox, and Nextbite raised millions to change how we dined during the pandemic. Now they’re being hit with layoffs and loss of funding as dining habits shift.

RenoRun lays off 12 percent of staff, pauses geographic expansion amid uncertainty surrounding consumer spending (BETAKIT)

In an interview with BetaKit, RenoRun co-founder and CEO Eamonn O’Rourke attributed the startup’s decision to lay off staff to a “perfect storm” of economic factors, pointing to the broader market downturn, “incredibly unpredictable” fundraising environment, and uncertainty surrounding consumer spending amid rising inflation and a prospective recession.

Google sues Sonos over voice assistant patents (PROTOCOL)

“Rather than compete on the basis of innovation and product quality, Sonos has decided to compete in the courtroom, and started an aggressive and misleading campaign against our products, at the expense of our shared customers,” Google spokesperson José Castañeda said in a statement shared with Protocol.

“We prefer innovation to litigation but their actions leave us no choice but to defend our technology and challenge Sonos’s clear, continued infringement of our patents.”

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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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