US startups laid off more than 3,000 workers in January — a 1,700% jump from the same month last year

  • Economic uncertainty has led to a wave of layoffs in the tech industry.
  • After the 2021 boom in venture capital investing, startups are cutting costs and slashing jobs.
  • More than 3,000 US startup employees lost their jobs in January, according to data from

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Economists may still be debating whether or not the US is entering a recession, but for the tech industry, the pullback is fully underway.

Layoffs have dominated headlines since the end of 2022, with big tech giants like Google, Meta, and Amazon all announcing job cuts of thousands of employees.

The startup world has taken a huge hit as well: According to data from, US startups — categorized as companies that have raised at least seed funding and up to Series J funding — laid off over 3,000 employees in January. Layoff totals for some companies were not available. By contrast, in January 2022, only about 180 startup employees faced layoffs.

That’s about a 1,700% jump in job eliminations year-over-year — a stark illustration of how the economic outlook in tech has shifted over the course of the past 12 months.

Many of these companies raised large sums of venture capital funding before the market pullback. While 2021 was a record-breaking year for venture capital investing, 2022 saw a sharp decline in dealmaking towards the end of the year, and many startups have struggled to raise more funds.

This has contributed to the wave of cost cutting throughout the industry. In the first month of 2023, 62 US startups laid off staff. And the job cuts have continued into February, with unicorns Clari and Workato among the companies trimming their staff.

Here’s the full list of the US startups that conducted layoffs in January, according to data from


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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