VC Firms' Tech Stocks Fell 44%—After Buying Them Up In The Selloff Read More

Data Point
startups venture capital

Startups That Hired Rapidly Learn the Virtue of Slowing Down

Sometimes slow and steady does win the race.

Startups that raised a lot of money during the boom years—and avoided spending sprees—now look smart as venture funding dries up. One measure of whether startups will be able to outlast the current downturn is how many people they’ve hired relative to how much money they’ve raised, since labor is often the biggest cost for software startups.

An analysis of U.S. software startups that are highly valued or that raised a large sum of funding during the pandemic shows a wide range. Crypto exchange FTX, messaging app Discord and fintech company Chime are among those that have raised the most money while limiting hiring. For example, FTX has raised close to $2 billion but has just 300 employees, according to PitchBook data. By contrast, BetterUp, which provides leadership development coaching to companies, has raised less than one-third as much—$632 million—but has more than twice as many employees—740, according to a spokesperson. BetterUp also relies on a cadre of more than 3,000 contractors who deliver the bulk of its coaching services.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing markets startups
Sequoia, Andreessen and Bessemer’s Beating and Snap’s Selfie Drone
Sequoia Capital's office in Menlo Park, Calif.
Is anybody else pumped for some appointment streaming this weekend? The first episode of HBO’s “House of Dragon,” the hotly anticipated prequel series to “Game of Thrones,” premieres Sunday night. Then, 12 days later, Amazon will debut its own fantasy series, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” on Sept. 2. It’s fair to say HBO and its debt-laden parent company, Warner Bros....
Latest Briefs
 
U.K. Government Blocks Chip Deal by Chinese Firm
China’s Cyber Regulator Wants “Affectionate” Ties With Tech Companies
Apple Warns Mac, iPhone, iPad Users of Critical Security Flaws
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Illustration by Clark Miller
Man v. Machine ai
Can Creatives Survive the Future War Against Dall-e 2?
Earlier this year, Karen X. Cheng, a video director in San Francisco, was commissioned by a client to make an augmented reality dress for special events.
Art by Clark Miller
Bought and Sold media/telecom
Meet Axios’ New Owners: Old-Money Atlanta Billionaires Hungry for the Next Big Thing
The pitch Sebastian Thrun made to investors in 2014 was an alluring one. Thrun—former head of Google X, the company’s top-secret skunkworks—had already raised over $20 million for his buzzy online-education startup, Udacity.
Gili Raanan of Cyberstarts. Art by Clark Miller
Exclusive startups enterprise
How a Former Sequoia Capital Partner Cornered the Israeli Security Startup Market
Whenever a cybersecurity startup seeks capital from venture capital firms in Israel, whose military trains an outsize number of security software entrepreneurs, the first thing prospective investors usually do is check whether Gili Raanan has invested in it.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read
‘It’s Just Bad News All the Time’: With the Tech Economy Buckling, Silicon Valley Therapists Are in High Demand
Over the last couple of months, David Mahabali has become highly skilled at lugging pillows, floor pads and blankets around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Art by Clark Miller.
Exclusive startups asia
How Instagram’s TikTok Envy Finally Backfired
Last month, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and other influencers stirred up a public relations firestorm for Instagram, complaining to their hundreds of millions of followers about the app's recent attempts to mimic TikTok.
Bolt co-founder Ryan Breslow. Photo by Julian Buitrago. Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive startups venture capital
Startup Workers Find Founders Cashed Out When They Couldn’t
A few weeks before Ryan Breslow stepped down as CEO of commerce software startup Bolt in January, he made a deal with investors.