S|W: The SaaS Weekly – John Carmack is leaving Meta

Plus: Former Google ad chief’s ad-free search engine launches in Canada.

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Layoffs persist at Canadian tech companies amid bleak outlook for 2023 (BETAKIT)

More than a dozen Canadian tech companies have recently laid off employees, BetaKit has learned, joining a growing list of firms to shed staff in 2022.

Thoma Bravo agrees to $8 billion take-private of Coupa Software amid tech slump (REUTERS)

Coupa Software Inc said on Monday it has agreed to be taken private by buyout firm Thoma Bravo in a deal that values the cloud-based business software firm at $8 billion.

News of the deal sent Coupa's shares up 27%, after a drop of more than 60% so far this year. Coupa shareholders will receive $81 per share under the deal, 30.5% higher than the stock's closing level on Friday and 77.2% above Nov. 22, when takeover interest in the company was first reported.

IBM to hire 250 in New Brunswick for new Client Innovation Centre (BETAKIT)

According to IBM, the Fredericton centre will open in January and have an initial focus on delivering consulting services along with Oracle-based technologies, cloud, machine learning, robotic process automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and more.

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Snyk scores another $196M as valuation drops 12% to $7.4B (TECHCRUNCH)

That previous round was $530 million with $300 million in primary funding and the remaining $230 million in secondary funding to pay off early investors and employees, anxious to see some return on their equity. The primary money came on an $8.5 billion valuation, $1.1 billion higher than today’s round.

Golden Ventures’ Matt Golden has advice for startups fundraising in a down market (BETAKIT)

Investors who have recently raised enormous funds over the last two years still need to disburse that capital. According to Matt Golden, founder and managing partner of Golden Ventures, what changes are the variables that matter to investors.

Virtual reality pioneer is leaving Meta (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

John Carmack, a pioneer of virtual reality technology, is leaving Meta after more than eight years at the company, according to an internal post reviewed by The New York Times.

In the post, which was written by Mr. Carmack, 52, the technologist criticized his employer. He said Meta, which is in the midst of transitioning from a social networking company to one focused on the immersive world of the metaverse, was operating at “half the effectiveness” and has “a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort.”

Former Google ad chief’s Neeva launches its ad-free, privacy-conscious search engine in Canada (BETAKIT)

Sridhar Ramaswamy, the ex-SVP of ads at Google, and Vivek Raghunathan, the ex-VP of monetization at YouTube are behind the startup, which has already attracted some $80 million USD of investment since its launch in 2019.

Exclusive: Grab to cut more costs amid economic chill (REUTERS)

Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm, is cutting more costs to cope with an uncertain economic backdrop, the Singapore-based company's CEO told staff in a memo.

The measures include a freeze on most hiring, salary freezes for senior managers and cuts in travel and expense budgets, co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan said in the memo which was issued on Wednesday and viewed by Reuters.

Shopify’s Ria Bhavnani shares the company’s approach to pricing (BETAKIT)

Bhavnani sat down with BetaKit editor-in-chief Douglas Soltys at SAAS NORTH to talk about Shopify’s approach to pricing, as well as how business can implement price changes at a “detrimental time.”

Does scaling your startup feel like constant chaos? Here’s what to do. (BETAKIT)

Startup leaders are accustomed to the mantra of ‘move fast and break things’ because this growth-at-all-costs mentality produced some of the largest companies the world has ever known. But along with it came intense working hours and mental health risks for founders and employees.

In suspending journalists on Twitter, Musk flexes his media muscle (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Elon Musk’s decision to abruptly suspend several journalists from Twitter sparked an outcry on Friday from First Amendment advocates, threats of sanctions from European regulators, and questions about the social media platform’s future as a gathering place for news and ideas.

But as people debated complex, novel issues of free speech and online censorship, the move also underscored the role of a simpler, more enduring element of American life: the press baron.

Statements from Alberta innovation minister cast doubt on return of investor tax credit (BETAKIT)

In a recent interview with BetaKit, the minister spoke about his goals for the new role, noting areas he plans to focus on and others he does not: such as the Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC).

The woman who made online dating into a 'science' (THE ATLANTIC)

Dating on the internet, writers and therapists and mothers and comedians say, is both too easy and too hard. Our social skills are eroding; we are having far too much sex (or maybe far too little); we are suffering from a profound and modern alienation.

New BC innovation minister Brenda Bailey lays out how she plans to support province’s tech, innovation (BETAKIT)

Bailey has taken over BC’s innovation agenda from Ravi Kahlon, a fellow member of the province’s New Democratic Party, who has been reassigned to lead BC’s newly created Ministry of Housing.

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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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