The Scoop #28: Klarna’s struggles and Lyft’s freeze
Also: is the strategy of joining late-stage, pre-IPO companies for the big financial upside, now a dead end?
The Scoop is a bonus series covering insights, patterns, and trends I observe and hear about within Big Tech and at high growth startups. Have a scoop to share? Send me a message! I treat all such messages as anonymous.
The Scoop sometimes delivers firsthand, original reportage. I’m adding an ‘Exclusive’ label to news that features original reporting direct from my sources, as distinct from analysis, opinion, and reaction to events. Of course, I also analyze what’s happening in the tech industry, citing other media sources and quoting them as I dive into trends I observe. These sections do not carry the ‘Exclusive’ mark.
Today's topics are:
Klarna’s headcount changes over time. How has headcount changed at the company during the past twelve months? I got my hands on some internal data which tells an interesting story. Exclusive.
How many people did Klarna actually let go in September? Klarna executed another round of layoffs at the end of September. Although the company communicated that less than 100 people were impacted, Klarna staff whom I talked with, all said they thought the number was at least 300. Turns out, the people suggesting the cuts hit more people than claimed were right, as I found out after looking at some internal data reports. Exclusive.
Hiring freeze at Lyft. The #2 ridesharing company in the US has fully paused hiring. How does Lyft’s situation compare to Uber’s, and can we read anything else into this move? Analysis.
Is Klarna offering a separation package for some people to leave the company? The troubled buy-now-pay-later provider is upping expectations for some people and teams, and is offering a package for people who choose to leave. What is the mood inside the company? I talked with employees to get the scoop. Exclusive.
Meta bracing for a reorg? The company paused bootcamp graduations and people cannot move teams. Is doing so normal, or should employees be bracing for something unusual? Exclusive.
Is the strategy of joining late-stage startups for financial upside a dead end? The past decade, one of the best ways to maximize compensation outcomes was to join a pre-IPO company issuing generous equity, then wait for the IPO. This strategy seems to be less profitable in 2022. Will we see a change in which companies software engineers prefer to join? Analysis.
1. Klarna’s headcount changes over time
I got my hands on internal data showcasing how Klarna’s employee headcount has changed over the years. I was interested to see how the size of the company has shifted since its two fundraising rounds in 2021, when the company raised $1.6B and hit a valuation of $45.6B.
Here are the numbers:
A few interesting points are within this data set: