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Tech Layoffs – Audio Streaming Giant Spotify Plans to Trim Workforce




Audio streaming and media services provider Spotify is planning to trim its workforce as it seeks to curtail costs while navigating the economic downturn.

Although the number of jobs that would be eliminated has not been specified, which would likely be communicated in the coming weeks.

Spotify currently employs 9,800 employees, last year October the company announced job cuts from its Gimlet media and Parcast podcast studios, which saw it cancel about 11 original shows.

Investors King understands that the tech company went through a turbulent season last year, witnessing a 66 percent drop in share prices. Additionally, the company was reported to have failed to provide returns to investors.

According to research analysts Jeffrey Wlodarczak, he wrote “Many investors question whether Spotify will ever be able to generate significant lasting profitability, especially given the concentrated power of the music labels and competition not necessarily focused on generating profitability.

Spotify is the recent company that has been added to the long list of tech companies that have announced layoff plans.

Last week, search engine giant Google announced the layoff of 6 percent of its workforce which roughly accounted for 12,000 employees. Also, Facebook’s parent company Meta laid off 11,000 employees last year, while Twitter has so far laid off 70% of its workforce, as the company is now left with only 2,300 employees employee.

The list continues, as over 91 tech firms, which include Amazon, Coinbase and Salesforce have all fired more than 24,000 employees in the first 20 days of January this year alone.

These tech firms most of which admitted that they overhired during the pandemic period, disclose that the massive layoffs were necessary to help them navigate the global economic downturn.

According to a Crunchbase News tally, more than 46,000 workers in U.S.-based tech companies have been laid off in mass job cuts so far in 2023, and the year is just getting started.

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Fund Raising

Edutech Firm Gets $40m Fund For E-learning Expansion



Start-up - Investors King

A digital educational company, Classera Inc. has disclosed that it raised $40m for its global expansion in its Series A funding round.

The edutech firm expressed readiness to enlarge its e-learning platform scope to further penetrate into more African nations. 

Investors King learnt that Classera engages the world’s latest technology to bring about a positive transformation in the educational system. It encourages the use of digital communication systems instead of the traditional learning methods at all levels of education.

A statement by the company explained that the Series A funding round was embarked on by the Public Investment Fund-owned Sanabil Investments, in collaboration with Global Ventures, Seedra Venture, Endeavor Catalyst, Sukna Venture and 500 Global Company.

Classera averred that the fund gathered would be used to expand into Asia Pacific and other parts of the world, selling more educational solutions and partnering with other organisations.

The company said in a release that the round was led by the Public Investment Fund-owned Sanabil Investments, accompanied by Global Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, 500 Global, Sukna Venture, and Seedra Ventures.

According to the Strategic Partnerships Director of Classera Inc., Mahmoud Gabry, the firm has its focus on Africa in its scope expansion.

He expressed excitement with the company’s new partnership with TD Africa which has a rich database and records on e-learning solutions in Nigeria and Ghana.

Gabry said, “As we just completed one of the largest funding rounds a company with no prior funding had done in the EdTech industry, we are determined to extend our worldwide presence focusing on Africa to accomplish our vision.

“Today, I am very excited about our new partnership with TD Africa to empower the learning journey of our clients in Nigeria and Ghana benefiting from the innovation brought by Classera and its globally recognized and awarded learning solutions spearheaded by its state of art Learning Super Platform.”

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Online Car-Sharing Company Getaround Given Six Months to Cure Its Stock Deficiency



Online car sharing company Getaround has been given a period of six months by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to cure its stock price deficiency or risk being delisted.

The company announced that it received a notice from NYSE for not complying with continued listing standards because the average closing price of its common stock was less than $1.00 over a consecutive 30 trading-day period.

The car sharing company however disclosed it plan to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure the stock price deficiency and return to compliance with NYSE’s continued listing standards.

Under NYSE rules, Getaround has a period of six months from receipt of the notice to cure the stock price deficiency and regain compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards.

Investors King understands that the car-sharing company made its public market debut last year in December, through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

This combination saw the company’s stock trade at around $10 per share and promptly lost 65% of its value. The merger had valued Getaround at about $1.2 billion which it disclosed its intention to use the funds to invest in new markets and expand its products.

Meanwhile, following Getaround delisting warning from NYSE, investors have expressed concern, noting that it is a bit too early for the company to receive such a warning. They however disclosed that the warning isn’t entirely unsurprising, looking at Getaround’s balance sheet.

They further revealed that the car-sharing company scaled somewhat aggressively over the past couple of years, claiming to have a network 20 times larger than its nearest competitor while disclosing that the scale has come at the cost of negative growth and rising losses.

In the first three quarters of 2022, Getaround revenue plummeted and its operating cost increased in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the year prior on September 2022, the company’s operating cash burn was $63.2 million compared to $53.3 million in the same period in 2021.

Getaround is an online car rental service company that provides peer-to-peer car-sharing services powered by its technology, which allows car owners to earn an income by sharing their cars with pre-qualified drivers on the Company’s network.

It makes sharing cars and trucks through its cloud and in-car Connect technology. The Company empowers consumers to shift away from car ownership to cars from entrepreneurial hosts.

Launched in 2011, Getaround is available today in more than 1,000 cities across the United States and Europe.

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ChatGPT Debuts Premium Version With Enhanced Users Experience

The new service aims to provide users with a premium experience that includes faster response times, priority access to new features and improvements, and access to ChatGPT during peak times.




American artificial intelligence company OpenAI, makers of AI chatbot ChatGPT, have rolled out a premium version “ChatGPT plus” which comes with an enhanced user experience.

The new service aims to provide users with a premium experience that includes faster response times, priority access to new features and improvements, and access to ChatGPT during peak times.

The ChatGPT plus comes with a subscription plan of $20 per month which is launching only in the United States for now. Meanwhile, Open AI is starting to invite people on its waiting list to use the ChatGPT plus and intends to expand access and support to other countries and regions shortly.

The company wrote in a blog post,

“We launched ChatGPT as a research preview so we could learn more about the system’s strengths and weaknesses and gather user feedback to help us improve upon its limitations,

“Since then, millions of people have given us feedback, we’ve made several important updates and we’ve seen users find value across a range of professional use cases including drafting and editing content, brainstorming ideas, programming help, and learning new topics.”

Investors King understands that the newly launched “ChatGPT Plus” which comes with a monthly subscription fee will not in any way affect the free usage of the chatbot after the company noted that it values its free users.

Open AI disclosed that it will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT while noting that the subscription pricing model will help ensure free access remains broadly available. The company also disclosed its plan to refine and expand this offering based on users’ feedback and needs.

The launch of ChatGPT plus which comes with a subscription fee of $20 per month shouldn’t come as a surprise after the CEO last year hinted at possible monetization plans.

Recall that last year December, the company’s CEO Sam Altam took to Twitter to announce that ChatGPT had crossed 1 million users. Under the tweet, a user asked if the service will remain free forever. He responded by saying that there are possible plans to monetize it at some point, noting that the compute costs are eye-watering.

Meanwhile, the evolution toward paid versions is often a common playbook for newer technologies, where companies at first release free or very low-cost versions to attract users and then monetize it later.

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