Similar to Indonesia, tech layoffs were one of the biggest talking points in 2022, with around 1,500 tech jobs being cut in Singapore.
We shared about the companies that were affected by layoffs in 2022 and found a trend that the layoffs were mostly in part due to company restructuring, economic slowdown, and pressure from investors to be profitable.
While we are still fresh into 2023, we are still hearing much news on tech layoffs. We break down the cause behind the layoff, how much they are paying their employees, and how it affected Singapore workers.
Disclaimer: Companies included in this article are only based on media-reported layoffs.
Spenmo, a Singapore-based fintech firm founded in 2019, provides an all-in-one platform enabling companies to track their expenses effectively.
Spenmo is set to lay off approximately 60 to 70 employees across its Asia-Pacific markets, affecting around 25% of its estimated total staff.
The affected employees will receive retrenchment benefits, career transition support, and pro-rata entitlements to their stock options.
The layoffs will impact staff across all of Spenmo's business operations.
The layoff is a response to Spenmo's aim to focus on achieving profitable growth. The decision is also influenced by the company's previous round of layoffs in late 2022, which was aimed at extending its financial runway amidst market challenges.
This indicates the company's effort to adapt to market conditions and streamline its operations for sustainability and profitability.
Foodpanda is an online food and grocery delivery platform owned by Berlin-based Delivery Hero and is headquartered in Singapore.
The company has not disclosed the exact number of employees affected by the layoff. The statement mentioned a need to streamline operations for increased efficiency and agility.
Earlier in February, Foodpanda had already undertaken a similar undisclosed staff reduction due to challenging economic conditions.
The potential sale would involve operations in Southeast Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and the Philippines.
foodpanda's CEO, Jakob Sebastian Angele, emphasized the necessity of establishing the right operational setup. The decision to downsize was driven by the company's aim to adapt to the current market dynamics and become more competitive.
Additionally, its parent company, Delivery Hero, is exploring the possibility of a sell-off, reflecting a strategic shift in their business portfolio. One of the potential buyers for Foodpanda is Grab, a significant player in the Southeast Asian food delivery market.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at foodpanda (excluding managerial levels) based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all foodpanda salaries.
Bake is a crypto investment platform based in Singapore, formerly known as Cake DeFi, and is part of the Cake Group.
Since January, Bake has undergone a significant layoff, with at least 34 employees let go. Former staff suggest the actual number is closer to 60. The layoffs affected both remote workers and those based in Singapore.
Termination dates ranged from November 2022 to June 2023.
The company stated that these cuts were due to a reorganization prompted by the current bear market and individual performance concerns.
The layoff was primarily attributed to the financial impact of the crypto winter, following a crash in crypto prices in May 2022. Bake's business saw a sharp decline, with revenue falling from US$631 million in 2021 to US$266 million in 2022. Profit also dropped significantly from US$134 million to US$23.5 million in the same period.
Additionally, concerns were raised about the stability of the algorithmic stablecoin, Decentralized USD (DUSD), which former employees claim is no longer backed by any assets.
This, coupled with a decline in traffic to the platform's website, led to the decision for major changes in December 2022 if the situation did not improve by mid-2023.
LingoAce is an edtech company founded in 2017, specializing in online classes for children aged three to 15. Its flagship product focuses on Chinese-language learning via interactive livestreamed classes.
Headquartered in Singapore, LingoAce operates in multiple countries, including the US, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Spain.
Over the past year, LingoAce has undergone several rounds of layoffs, affecting hundreds of employees across various departments, including HR, finance, marketing, sales, curriculum, product, and engineering.
The layoffs occurred in China, the US, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. Some of these cuts took place without prior notice. The company also shifted some operations to lower-cost locations like Wuhan and Malaysia.
The layoffs were accompanied by a shift in the business structure towards product-based units rather than regional units.
The layoffs were prompted by the need for the company to streamline its global operations for efficiency and financial sustainability. This restructuring followed a period of expansion in regional offices that led to redundancies.
Economic shifts, changes in business needs, and challenges in raising additional funding of $200 million also contributed to the decision.
Furthermore, the company faced difficulties in achieving gross profitability in 2022, and efforts to develop new subjects and expand the customer base fell short of expectation.
Circles.Life is a telecommunications company that offers mobile services in various countries, including Singapore and Australia. They are known for their innovative and customer-centric approach to mobile plans and services.
Singapore-based digital telco Circles.Life experienced another round of layoffs, affecting approximately 20-30 employees, following a previous wave of job cuts in May. This recent bout of layoffs impacted various departments, including marketing, engineering, product, people and culture, and the entire Circles X team, which is the company's cloud platform.
Additionally, one of the company's co-founders was asked to leave and his position changed to a non-executive director after pressure from the board.
Complaints about a toxic workplace culture and a lack of clarity surrounding layoffs and company plans were also raised by employees during a townhall meeting.
The departures of the former chief financial officer and chief growth officer added to the company's challenges.
The underlying cause of these layoffs appears to be cost-cutting measures as Circles X, the company's cloud platform, is singled out as the biggest contributor to Circles.Life's financial struggles. The company has been grappling with profitability issues for some time, and the failure of partnership deals expected to materialize with Circles X led to a loss of confidence in the platform, prompting the need for cost reductions.
Furthermore, internal politics and perceived threats from new hires, including the chief financial officer and chief growth officer, resulted in both individuals being forced out after their performance reviews mentioned they were "not a good cultural fit." Allegations of discriminatory hiring practices favoring a specific culture and manipulations involving employment passes also surfaced.
In response to the situation, Circles.Life denied all allegations and the layoffs, stating they are a people-focused organization and conduct frequent employee engagement feedback to monitor employee satisfaction and well-being.
The company also emphasized its compliance with local regulatory laws in hiring processes.
View all Circles.Life salaries.
Grab is a Southeast Asian on-demand startup that operates as a supper app, providing services such as ride-hailing and food delivery. It offers its services in countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
Grab has been a major player in the region's on-demand economy and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors to expand and compete in various sectors.
Grab recently laid off over a thousand employees, which accounts for approximately 11% of its staff. These job cuts mark the company's first significant layoffs since 2020.
According to CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan, the layoffs were not solely driven by the pursuit of profitability but were rather a response to changes in technology, the state of the capital markets, and increased competition.
Tan emphasized the need for adaptation in the fast-evolving business environment and pointed out the rapid pace of technological advancements, such as Generative AI.
He also highlighted the rising cost of capital, which directly affects the competitive landscape.
However, the decision to downsize the workforce came after Grab reported slowing user growth, decreasing user spend, and ongoing net losses in its quarterly results. Additionally, the company experienced the departure of one of its co-founders from the business.
Binance is the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, offering a platform for users to buy, sell, and trade a wide range of digital currencies.
Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao (also known as "CZ"), Binance quickly gained popularity and became a dominant player in the crypto industry.
A report by independent journalist Colin Wu claimed that Binance may have laid off as much as 20% of its staff.
A Binance's spokesperson denied the company is cutting 20% of staff.
According to the Binance spokesperson, the decision to lay off employees stems from the company's need to adapt and remain agile in preparation for the next major growth phase in the cryptocurrency market.
Binance has experienced remarkable expansion over the past six years, growing from a team of 30 employees to nearly 8,000 worldwide. To ensure continued efficiency and flexibility, Binance intends to concentrate its resources on talent density, streamlining operations, and reflecting the evolving demands of users and regulators.
Nansen Research is a blockchain data analytics firm that was founded in 2019. Over the course of less than three years, the company experienced significant growth and gained traction in the market.
Nansen raised $75 million in a Series B funding round led by Accel, with participation from GIC, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and Tiger Global.
The company has recently announced a significant workforce reduction, with layoffs affecting 30% of its employees.
This downsizing is part of a broader trend in the cryptocurrency industry, where many companies have been forced to make similar cuts due to challenging market conditions.
Nansen's CEO, Alex Svanevik, cited the organization had scaled up its team during a period of rapid growth in its initial years of operation. While other companies were scaling back, Nansen chose to invest and expand. However, this organic growth led the company to take on projects and ventures that were not truly aligned with its core strategy.
With the market conditions turning unfavorable, Nansen's cost base became unsustainable, leading to the need for a more focused and sustainable business approach.
The CEO acknowledged the difficulty of the decision and expressed optimism about the future of the organization, emphasizing the importance of targeting fewer things but doing them extremely well.
Nansen aims to build a sustainable business and ensure the employees affected by the layoffs receive severance and support.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is a social media giant that has been focused on combating foreign influence campaigns and misinformation while emphasizing integrity and safety measures.
Meta is preparing to lay off thousands of workers in its business divisions, including teams handling content moderation, policy, and regulatory issues.
The layoffs are part of Meta's downsizing effort, and affected employees are being notified gradually.
The company is facing increased competition, privacy rules, and economic challenges, leading to a need for cost-cutting measures.
However, concerns have been raised that the layoffs may hamper Meta's ability to address viral political misinformation, foreign influence campaigns, and regulatory challenges, especially during upcoming elections worldwide.
View all Meta salaries.
Shiok Meats is a cell-based meat company based in Singapore that specializes in producing alternative crustacean products. It was founded in 2018 and is considered the first cell-based meat company in Southeast Asia.
Shiok Mats has experienced significant staff turnover, with about half of its team leaving the company over the past six months. This was a result of two rounds of layoffs and employees departing due to concerns about the company's future.
The funding market turning sour, and the looming recession affected the company's ability to secure necessary investments.
The company also acknowledged that it made hiring mistakes and struggled with team culture and structure, particularly during the pandemic.
Furthermore, Shiok Meats encountered significant hurdles in researching and developing cell-based seafood products, leading to a decision to temporarily shift its focus to red meat, which is a more well-studied area in the field of cellular agriculture.
Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Shopify is the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.
As the company unveiled its quarterly results, surpassing expectations with a remarkable 25% revenue increase, Shopify also made the announcement regarding the layoffs. The positive financial performance led to a 25% surge in the company's shares as the stock market opened.
The layoff will result in a 20% reduction in its workforce, marking the second major round of layoffs in less than a year.
This layoff affected over 2,300 employees, with the company targeting managerial roles rather than software-related positions. The decision was made as part of a strategic shift and cost-cutting measures.
Impacted employees have received notifications via email regarding their job status and will be provided with a minimum severance package of 16 weeks, along with an additional week for each year they dedicated to the company.
Shopify decided to sell its logistics division to Flexport and refocus its business, resulting in the layoffs. The move aims to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and align with the company's new direction.
View all Shopify salaries.
Oddle is a food and beverage (F&B) tech startup based in Singapore that offers an online-to-offline solution to help restaurants manage their operations.
Oddle has reportedly laid off dozens of staff across its four markets (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Taiwan) to reduce costs and drive the firm to profitability.
The job cuts affected staff in human resources, marketing, product, and data, according to an employee.
Oddle has not revealed the total number of affected employees, but it employs 112 people according to its LinkedIn page.
Oddle is not profitable overall, despite its food delivery unit turning profitable in 2020. The company posted an operating loss of US$578,000 in its financial year ending March 2021.
Oddle is exploring other funding options after a potential deal with an investor did not materialize. The company has made “significant investments” in talent and technology to grow the team in the past 18 months.
However, the slowdown in online food delivery orders across Southeast Asia has led to a shift towards other parts of the F&B value chain.
Amazon has begun a retrenchment exercise that expects to affect 9,000 employees, and staff in its Singapore office are among those affected.
The retrenchment exercise was announced in March and comes on the back of layoffs that cut 18,000 jobs between November 2021 and January.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the firm’s most profitable division, but it is experiencing slowing growth, and corporate customers are reeling in their spending.
Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS, said that the current macroeconomic climate calls for resources to be placed behind the things that matter most to customers.
He said the cuts would affect staff primarily in AWS, as well as in human resources, advertising and gaming divisions.
View all Amazon salaries
Endowus is a Singapore-based fintech platform that provides investment solutions to clients, backed by SoftBank. The company was founded in 2017 and manages over US$4 billion in assets.
Endowus has laid off less than 10% of its workforce due to a decline in the financial markets and technology sector last year.
The news was announced to employees on March 30, with affected employees receiving a severance package.
The company has also slowed down in hiring and cut back on costs, including a volunteer reduction in salaries by management.
The company's CEO, Gregory Van, confirmed the retrenchment and cited a slowed growth trajectory amid the shaky economic landscape. The move comes as the company focuses on building exciting technology for clients efficiently and moving towards profitability.
Despite the setback, Endowus remains one of the largest wealthtech players in Southeast Asia, having raised a total of about US$49 million in funding.
The company also expanded to Hong Kong after acquiring a majority stake in wealth manager Carret Private in October 2022.
View all Endowus salaries.
Traveloka is an online travel unicorn that offers various products and services in the travel, local services, and financial services verticals across Southeast Asia.
The company has been trimming its workforce across different markets since January, including senior managers in Indonesia and at least seven managerial positions in Singapore.
The layoffs were not related to the performance review, and affected employees in Indonesia stayed "silent" out of fear of not receiving compensation.
The recent reductions in Traveloka's financial services workforce suggest it is refocusing on travel, which includes accommodation and transportation services, after having to adapt to the new normal during the pandemic, including launching e-grocery and food delivery services that were later terminated.
The company has raised significant funding over the past years and was valued at around US$3 billion in Q3 2020.
View all Traveloka salaries.
Indeed is a US-based job search platform that operates in over 60 countries.
The company has cut roughly 2,200 jobs across almost all of its teams and functions, which represents about 15% of the company’s total workforce.
Many Singapore employees have expressed their grievances online over the “major” job cuts in the city-state that have affected most of its local office.
The company expects the jobs market to continue slowing down, and revenue from HR tech will drop in the next two financial years, leading to the layoffs.
Total job openings in the US were down 3.5% year over year while sponsored jobs were down 33%.
View all Indeed salaries.
Accenture is a global IT services and consulting company.
The company announced it will lay off 2.5% or 19,000 of its employees over the next 18 months, with over half of the job cuts affecting non-billable corporate functions.
It was unclear how many of the affected employees were from the Singapore’s office.
Accenture stated it had to streamline operations to reduce costs in the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, despite continuing to hire to support strategic growth priorities. The impact of the layoffs on employees in different countries was not clarified.
Crypto payments platform XanPool offers fiat-gateway software solutions for exchanges, wallets, and other crypto businesses.
XanPool has laid off nearly 40 of its employees, leaving an estimated headcount of fewer than 100 staff members. The company, which raised $41 million in funding last year, has also closed its offices in Singapore and Malaysia.
XanPool cited global market turbulence and a lack of funding options for startups as reasons for the layoffs. The firm had planned to use its latest funding to expand into Europe, North Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, but confirmed that the job cuts will affect its expansion into Latin America.
View all XanPool salaries.
GoTo carried out another round of job cuts that will affect around 600 employees. It was unclear how many of the affected employees were from the Singapore’s office.
Around 12% of GoTo's workforce, which equated to 1,300 jobs, was cut by the company in November 2022.
GoTo has identified a number of teams that carry out similar functions and intends to combine various units within GoTo Financial's merchant business to establish a unified merchant services team.
Based on user submissions and past job listings, the salary of a Software Engineer at Gojek ranges from $8,000 to $15,800. On the other hand, the salaries of a Data Scientist at Tokopedia ranges from $4,000 to $20,000.
Fazz is the Southeast Asian digital financial services group created by the merger of Payfazz and Xfers. In September 2022, Fazz raised series C money of US$75 million and received a US$25 million debt facility.
Fazz confirmed it carried out a layoff on 1st March 2023. The company did not reveal how many employees were impacted.
Affected employees received a severance package and notice period in accordance with local regulations, healthcare benefits for two months, financial and professional mental health assistance, and support to secure new employment opportunities.
Fazz shared that the restructuring initiative affected staff from all of its regional offices, and these efforts are aimed at shifting the focus to its core strengths – payments, credit, and stablecoins.
Google is a provider of search and advertising services on the internet. They are headquartered in California with over 78 offices in 50 countries.
An estimated 190 employees from Google’s APAC headquarters in Singapore were laid off on 16 February 2023. This comes after Alphabet, the parent company of Google, cut 12,000 jobs in January 2023.
The layoffs hit people from various departments including Google Cloud, Google Pay, HR and sales.
The layoffs were part of restructuring efforts into their core business as well as to venture into the artificial intelligence scene, similar to what Microsoft is facing.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Google based on user submissions and past job listings:
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Dell Technologies offers the necessary technology infrastructure to help organisations develop their digital capabilities, modernise their IT systems, and safeguard their valuable information.
Dell Technologies shared that they cut 6.650 jobs on 8 February 2023. Dell Singapore also confirmed that the layoffs would impact 5% of Dell Technologies’ global workforce but did not mention how much of it would affect the Singapore office.
Co-COO Jess Clarke wrote in a memo to employees stating that the market uncertainty is their top reason for laying off employees in order to sustain their long-term goals.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Dell Technologies based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all Dell Technologies salaries.
Daraz is an online marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to connect and purchase or sell a wide range of products.
Daraz shared that they were reducing their workforce by 11% on 6 February 2023.
CEO Bjarke Mikkelsen shared that the decision was made in order to achieve the company’s long-term vision in view of market disruptions in 2022.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Daraz (excluding managerial levels) based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all Daraz salaries.
PayPal is a global online payment system that allows individuals and businesses to transfer funds electronically and securely, as well as process online transactions.
PayPal shared that they were planning to cut 7% of their workforce, amounting to 2,000 employees on 1 February 2023. This is their 2nd job cut after the first round of layoffs in May 2022.
PayPal was cited to be lowering their operating cost caused by the reduction in transactions due to the fall in purchasing power with the economic uncertainty and recession.
Matrixport is a digital asset financial services platform that offers trading, custody, lending, and investment services for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
Matrixport announced on 27 January 2023 that they were downsizing their workforce by 10%. They had more than 290 employees in 40 countries. The job cuts were said to affect the marketing department the most.
COO Cynthia Wu shared that the move comes as a realignment of the company’s strategic goal in shifting towards a regulatory stance. This meant that they will continue to hire in compliance, legal and product development and reduce manpower in marketing.
Huobi is a global cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows users to buy, sell, and trade a wide range of digital assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many other cryptocurrencies.
It was announced on 5 January 2023 that Huobi plans to lay off 20% of its staff. This amounts to around 220 employees affected.
Huobi shares that the layoff comes as a cost-cutting measure with the ongoing crypto winter. This comes after the founder, Leon Li, sold his full stake to Tron founder Justin Sun. Sun describes the move to be a short-term restructuring pain to move the company forward in the long run.
Crypto.com, established in 2016, has a customer base of over 10 million and offers various crypto-related services, including the fastest-growing crypto app, a crypto Visa card, an exchange, a DeFi wallet, and an NFT platform.
Crypto.com announced on 12 Jan 2023 that they were cutting its workforce by around 20% worldwide, which amounted to around 490 employees. This is their 3rd layoff since 2022.
Crypto.com shared that the economic downturn of the crypto market and the FTX implosion were the primary reasons amounting to the layoff. The company grew ambitiously in 2022 but is heavily impacted by the crypto winter.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Crypto.com (excluding managerial levels) based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all Crypto.com salaries.
The following companies were affected by layoffs but did have any reports of Singaporean workers affected. Though its inconclusive to define their stance on layoff from the perspective of their Singapore offices, this serves as an outlook into the companies’ current situation globally.
Salesforce shared plans to cut 10% of their workforce on 4 January 2023 and close some of their offices.
Salesforce attributed the layoff to their rapid pandemic hiring. Additionally, businesses relying on cloud services are getting more conservative and trying to reduce expenses, which is hurting Salesforce’s revenue stream.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Salesforce (excluding managerial levels) based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all Salesforce salaries.
Microsoft laid off more than 10,000 employees starting on 19 January 2023. Microsoft conducted layoffs in July and October 2022. Engineering roles were cut in the recent layoff.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared that the company is undergoing a refocus on their growth and long-term competitiveness. This was evident in their $10 billion investment in OpenAI later that month.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Microsoft (excluding managerial levels) based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all Microsoft salaries.
Spotify is said to have cut 6% of their global headcount on 30 January 2023, accounting for around 580 workers.
CEO Daniel Ek shared that the company was too ambitious in investing ahead of their revenue growth and the layoff was in part due to pressures from investors to sustain their long-term goals.
View all Spotify salaries.
Zoom eliminated 15% of its global workforce on 8 February 2023, amounting to 1,300 jobs worldwide. Zoom operates across 5 countries (including Singapore), and not much information was revealed as to which region was impacted the most.
CEO Eric Yuan shared that the move was due to restructuring efforts after the company faced slower consumer spending after the pandemic boom.
Average salary ranges for the different positions at Zoom (excluding managerial levels) based on user submissions and past job listings:
View all Zoom salaries.
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