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Tech Startups Face A Gut-Check Moment

Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly
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Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly


What a difference a week makes. Last Friday, the entire tech industry was in full-on freakout mode after the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank – the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. As companies reported problems getting payroll out, Work Tech companies tried to help. For example, Papaya Global gave SVB-impacted companies an immediate lifeline. Then on Sunday, U.S. regulators indicated that they would guarantee SVB deposits and make funds immediately available. And today, you can now fetch premium prices for all your SVB swag on eBay. It’s a short road from existential dread to kitsch.

In the wake of this near-cataclysm, what’s next for Work Tech? First, the good news. As Q1 enters its final weeks, The Starr Conspiracy’s data shows that Work Tech financing is settling in near pre-pandemic averages of $2 billion-ish per quarter. Sure, it’s not the go-go days of 2021, but it’s a solid level for the industry.

Now, the bad news. Even as SVB survives, Work Tech must face the new financial reality that the easy-money era is really, truly O-V-E-R. The easy money didn’t just come via the Fed’s low interest rates. SVB pumped a lot of easy money into the ecosystem with more favorable terms and a higher tolerance for risk than other options. As this CBInsights analysis shows, the implications are likely: 1) Plummeting valuations and more down rounds, 2) More startup failures, 3) More layoffs. Enterprise software, in particular, will feel the pinch because it has higher costs and requires more scale to reach profitability. Looks like Work Tech’s long, cold winter will be a little longer. What else is going on this week?

Google Analytics is changing big time

If you use Google Analytics, significant changes are coming as Google sunsets Universal Analytics on July 1 and migrates to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). If you need help migrating, we have a limited-time offer for a Google Analytics 4 Migration package for $2,500. Contact us if you would like to find out more.

Funding and acquisitions

  • Blackstone takes meetings and events management provider Cvent private for $4.6 billion. (TechCrunch)
  • Silver Lake, CPP Investments acquire Qualtrics for $12.5 billion, and SAP sells its share for $7.7 billion.
  • MentorcliQ raises $80 million venture round. The Columbus, Ohio, employee mentoring software and services solution has raised over $100 million. (TechCrunch)
  • N2F raises a $25.5 million venture round. The French startup offers an expense management software solution that processes business expenses faster. (Silicon Canals)
  • RangeForce raises $20 million Series B. The Norfolk, Va., startup offers cloud-based cyber defense upskilling solutions. (FinSMEs)
  • Glider AI raises $10 million Series A. The Cupertino, Calif., startup offers a skill intelligence platform. (FinSMEs)
  • Tilt raises $10 million. The Fort Collins, Colo., startup offers a leave-of-absence management platform. (FinSMEs)
  • Fount Global raises $8 million Series A. The Washington, D.C., startup identifies the root cause of employee dissatisfaction so organizations can prioritize what to fix. (FinSMEs)
  • HeadRace raises $6 million in seed funding. The Austin startup offers a recruiting management solution. (FinSMEs)
  • Aeqium raises $5.8 million seed round. The San Francisco startup provides a Total Compensation Management platform. (Blog)
  • Barley raises $4 million in seed funding. The Toronto startup offers a compensation management platform. (FinSMEs)
  • Absurd:Joy raises $4 million seed round. The Boston startup, which does business as Tangle, offers a virtual workplace for remote teams. (VentureBeat)
  • Ordio raises a $3 million seed round. The German startup digitalizes workforce management and scheduling for companies with shift operations. (FinSMEs)
  • Unipile raises $1.6 million seed round. The Parisian startup offers a multichannel communication platform that brings together the tools you use at work. (
  • Hound raises $1.8 million seed round. The Denver-based startup is a future-of-work platform for veterinary medicine. (Crunchbase)
  • zvoove Group acquires ProSolution. The German startup that offers temporary staffing and cleaning services in Europe has acquired the Austrian ERP solution in the temporary staffing sector. (FinSMEs)
  • Deskless workforce training platform eduMe closes acquisition of Playbook, enters partnership with Microsoft Teams. (Training Industry)

MICROPODCAST: Does Research Still Matter?

Straight from the team of experts at our full-service CX agency: Matt Tatum discusses research and insights with Dr. Aaron Delgaty. As B2B marketers, do we still need primary research in the age of generative AI?

Check out the micropodcast!

Industry notes

  • LinkedIn faces growing complaints from recruiters over rising prices. (The Information)
  • Docebo and ELB announce a strategic partnership. (Training Industry)
  • Docebo earnings beat estimates. (Nasdaq)
  • How Google became cautious of AI and gave Microsoft an opening. (WSJ)
  • Layoffs: Meta and Bonusly.
  • ChatGPT comes to Microsoft Azure. (TechCrunch)
  • Cigna hit with ERISA class-action lawsuit. (Benefits Pro)
  • Accolade partners with Lyra Health. (Press Release)

Around the shop

Things we’re talking about or find interesting right now.

  • Grammarly’s new ChatGPT-like AI generator can do a lot more than proofread your writing. (Digital Trends)
  • Three rhetorical techniques to increase your impact. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Can AI predict if you’re going to quit? Probably. But so can humans. (Fast Company)
  • Nickelback could have started life on earth, scientists say. Not so fast, said people who actually like good music. (New Atlas)

That’s it for this week!


Everybody love everybody,

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Partner & Chief Marketing Officer

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