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Layoffs at ‘unicorn’ startups, Google announces chatGPT rival robot and what matters in the market


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More layoffs at unicorns

The logistics startup Loggi, one of the Brazilian unicorns (companies valued at US$ 1 billion or more), announced a new wave of layoffs this Monday (6), with the cut of about 7% of the staff.

  • The company did not report the total number of layoffs, but the Layoffs Brasil website, which records the number of layoffs in startups, points out 250 layoffs on Monday.
  • The startup’s justification for the cuts was that the action seeks to increase operational efficiency and results from a careful assessment of priorities.
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In August of last yearLoggi had fired 15% of its staff, in a process that also led to the change in command of the company. At the time, the argument used was to “adapt the company to the new global scenario”.

  • Considering the two cuts, approx. 750 employees have been laid off in the past six months.

It wasn’t just her. C6 Bank – another unicorn – also laid off part of its staff this Monday. The digital bank did not inform the number of disconnected people, but the Layoffs Brasil website mentions 500 dismissals.

  • The company claims that these are “readjustments” and also says that it will maintain the hiring schedule planned for this year, with the aim of ending 2023 with 800 new professionals.
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This Monday’s waves of layoffs are added to others announced by Brazilian unicorns, which were concentrated in the first half of last year.

In the USAit was Dell’s turn to cut about 6,650 workers, or 5% of its employees at a time of declining sales in the personal computer market.

Google speeds up ChatGPT rival

Google, which had been adopting a more cautious tone in releasing its AI (artificial intelligence) projects to the public, announced on Monday the launch of Bard, a text-generating robot to compete with ChatGPT.

  • Big tech says the technology is in testing and should be made available in the coming weeks. The decision came after the resounding debut of ChatGPT, which sparked a red alert for the search engine.
  • OpenAI’s tool has conquered 100 millions of users in less than two monthsmuch shorter term than TikTok (nine months), Instagram (30 months) and Spotify (55 months), to name a few successful apps that have reached this level.

The Google bot: Bard will ship with a lighter version of LaMDA, the Language Model for Dialog Applications. The AI-based feature must also integrate the search engine.

  • As Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai hinted on the company’s blog, Bard will use real-time information to formulate responses.

Big tech war: Microsoft, which has invested heavily in OpenAI to be able to use the startup’s technology in its programs, is testing the integration of a superior version of ChatGPT, called GPT-4, in its Bing search engine — and is expected to talk about it in this Tuesday (7).

The difficulty of ensuring accuracy in the contents of generative AI, it is pointed out as one of the factors considered by big techs to prefer a slower pace in the dissemination of their projects. Content that can reproduce prejudices is also a cause for concern.

After criticism of BC, more interest and inflation

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) reinforced, this Monday, the criticism of the BC’s actions and said that the country’s current basic interest rate, the Selic, is a disgrace.

  • “There is no justification for the interest rate to be at 13.50% [ela está em 13,75%]. Just look at the letter from the Copom for us to know that this interest rate increase is a disgrace,” said Lula at the inauguration of Aloizio Mercadante as the new president of the BNDES.

The president also asked the sectors of the business community to make demands on the Selic level. “The business class needs to learn to demand, to complain about high interest rates,” he said.

For the government, Campos Neto burned bridges from the Copom decisions and the harsh tone of the last communiqué and reduced his chances of influencing the nomination of new directors of the autarchy.

Lula’s criticism BC conduct has increased inflation expectations and put pressure on interest rates, generating an effect contrary to that intended by the government.

In numbers: the Focus bulletin, a BCB survey that gathers market projections, showed high expectations for the IPCA this year – from 5.74% to 5.78% – and the next – from 3.90% to 3.93%.

  • In Focus, which heard the market last week, economists still see the Selic falling 1.25 percentage points, to 12.5% ​​per year, but the calculations may change with the release of the minutes.

At 2 years old, open finance is still skating

Initiated in 2021, the BC project baptized as open banking and later transformed into open finance has not yet managed to be popularized among Brazilians.

After two years of operation, only 15 million of customers (8% of the population with a bank account) allowed their data to be shared between financial institutions.

Understand: the main objective of the ecosystem is to encourage innovation and stimulate competition to expand and make the offer of financial services cheaper (cheaper credit, higher loan limits, lower fees, etc.).

What crashes? For those involved in the project, the institutions have not yet managed to make clear to customers the benefits they will have in exchange for agreeing to share their history.

  • today are 800 institutions participants, including banks, credit unions and fintechs, with 45 products and services offered, including, for example, financial aggregators and solutions for better credit conditions.
  • The expectation of the BC and the institutions is that the ecosystem will gain more robustness this year with the implementation of the fourth phase of the project, when other sectors will enter, including insurance companies, investment brokers, foreign exchange and social security.
  • Open finance is treated as a medium and long-term project, so a timid adherence at the beginning is not a big concern.
  • Over time, the expectation is that new solutions will be created from the sharing of information, generating more attractiveness for the system.
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