Microsoft Has Reportedly Laid Off More Workers 🚨
Scott D. Clary | Daily Business, Tech & Finance Newsletter
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Here’s what’s happening:
- Spotify is reorganizing its app
- Chipotle to Pay $20M to NYC Workers
- Crypto bank Nuri files for insolvency
- Boulevard gets Series C funding
Microsoft Has Reportedly Laid Off More Workers 🚨
Microsoft has reportedly laid off its Modern Life Experience (MLX) team that has been working on consumer-focused features for a couple of years.
- The MLX team was created in 2018 to win back the non-enterprise customers it let down to focus on professional consumers (prosumers).
- The team later partnered with Microsoft’s Family Safety group to build the first version of the Family Safety apps for iOS and Android.
- In June 2020, MLX launched Money in Excel — a template that lets users connect to bank, credit card, investment, and loan accounts to Excel.
- Overall, the team’s goal was to create new products and experiences that would appeal to consumers living in the Microsoft ecosystem.
But now, the tech giant is laying off nearly 200 employees from its customer-focused R&D projects.
The fresh layoffs come just weeks after Microsoft laid off 1% or 1,800 employees in the last month, with job cuts in consulting and customer & partner solutions.
FCC Rejects ❌ Starlink’s Bid For Rural Internet Subsidies
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied SpaceX’s bid for nearly $885 million 💰 in subsidies to support rural broadband customers through the Starlink satellite internet network.
The FCC has also denied the subsidy awarded to LTD Broadband.
But why did the FCC deny the subsidy? 🤔
The FCC says Starlink “failed to meet program requirements and convince the FCC to fund risky proposals.”
- The funding is part of the broader $9.2 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which offers an incentive for telecom companies to extend internet service to rural and underserved locations.
- SpaceX sought funding to provide satellite internet service to nearly 650,000 locations in 35 states.
- In 2020, Starlink had won an initial $885.5 million subsidy as part of a Phase 1 rollout of the funding program.
What did FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel say?
“We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks. We cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements.”
Crypto Criminals Laundered Money 💰 Through RenBridge 🌁
According to new research from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, the cross-chain bridge RenBridge has been used to launder over $540 million over the past two years.
This claim from Elliptic comes two days after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash’s decentralized privacy protocol for allegedly facilitating money laundering.
How did RenBridge launder money?
According to the report, RenBridge facilitated the laundering of at least $540 million in proceeds of crime since 2020 through a process known as chain hopping — converting one form of cryptocurrency into another and moving it across multiple blockchains.
What’s more interesting is that the amount includes over $153 million in ransomware proceeds as well as crypto assets believed to have been stolen by North Korea.
Elliptic noted that decentralized cross-chain bridges provide “an unregulated alternative to exchanges for transferring value between blockchains.”
Why does this issue matter?
Elliptic says that blockchain bridges such as RenBridge pose a challenge to authorities trying to stop individuals and groups from using the emerging crypto technology for illegal activities.
Finix Raises $30 Million in Fresh Funding 💰
This payments technology company for software platforms has raised $30 million in fresh capital, bringing the company’s total funding to $133 million.
Who invested money in Finix?
New and existing investors, including The General Partnership, Franklin Templeton, Insight Partners, Inspired Capital, American Express Ventures, Acrew Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Cap Table Coalition, Homebrew, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Precursor Ventures, PSP Growth, and Vamos Ventures participated in the round.
How will this funding help Finix?
Finix is dedicated to becoming the payment provider of choice for software platforms.
Over the next few months, the company plans to announce more features to help software platforms manage their payments and merchants better.
Founded in 2015, Finix is trusted by startups and publicly traded companies to build and scale their payments infrastructure.
The company makes it easy for software platforms of all sizes to process payments while increasing revenue and reducing costs.
Since its inception, the company has powered billions of dollars in total annual payments volume. It has grown to support over 12,000 active sub-merchants each month.
That’s a wrap for today, ladies & gents. See ya next week!
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