Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft

Big Tech roundup

Construction recruitment firm Skillit announced a $5.1 million seed round led by Building Ventures

It’s been a big month in Big Tech with Microsoft Corp. announcing its multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT. Skillit also reported a $5.1 million seed funding round, Spotify announced layoffs, and employer-of-record platform Deel reported revenue…

Microsoft

Microsoft announced the third phase of a long-term partnership with OpenAI, the San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research firm, through a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to accelerate AI breakthroughs. OpenAI is the startup behind ChatGPT, an AI tool that enables users to ask questions everyday language and delivers responses that appear as if humans wrote them. Some see ChatGPT has having an impact on the workforce solutions ecosystem.

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft said: “We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform. In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

The agreement follows Microsoft’s previous investments in 2019 and 2021 and extends its ongoing collaboration across AI supercomputing and research. It also enables commercializing of the resulting advanced AI technologies.

Skillit

Skillit, a recruiting platform for skilled, full-time construction labor based in New York, announced a $5.1 million seed round led by Building Ventures with participation from MetaProp, Holt Ventures, Great North Ventures, 1Sharpe Ventures and Takeoff Capital.

Fraser Patterson, CEO and founder of Skillit commented: “Deskless workers make up 80% of the global workforce. In construction, they are the foundation of the built world and make the $1.6 trillion in annual construction spending happen. Yet we know almost nothing about them because there have been very few purpose-built solutions that meet the needs of skilled workers and hiring managers.”

Skillit provides contractors with vetted candidate profiles, custom matching, automated workflows and data-driven compensation and labor market insights.

Spotify

According to CNBC, Spotify announced that it is cutting 6% of its global workforce as the music streaming company contends with a gloomy economic environment that has seen consumers and advertisers limit their spending. Spotify has a workforce of around 9,800 people, meaning the layoff impacted about 600 employees.

Deel

Employer-of-record provider Deel has announced in a blog post that it had annual recurring revenue of $295 million in 2022, became EBITDA-positive and hit a valuation of $12 billion.

Deel also announced it was launching a global HR platform to enable companies to manage their entire workforce, including directly hired employees, international workers and contractors. In addition, it announced a set of HR Slack plugins and began offering an in-house payroll engine.

Earlier this month, Deel announced it acquired Capbase, a fintech firm based in San Francisco.

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