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Contrary Research Rundown #26: Remote hiring trends, and new memos on Coda, Hightouch and more

Published about 1 year ago • 6 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented shift to remote work. Some companies saw this as an opportunity and made it a permanent part of their work culture, investing in remote work infrastructure and creating policies to ensure remote workers feel empowered and productive. Some of these firms include Yelp and Shopify, which recognize the benefits such as less overhead and improved work-life balance for staff.

Some companies reluctantly adopted remote work policies during the pandemic, citing productivity concerns and the lack of ability to track employee performance. Companies such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are mandating employees to come back to offices. However, other companies, such as Apple and Amazon, are trying to find a balanced hybrid approach, combining office work and remote work. This allows employees to work remotely while requiring a minimum number of days in the office.

Three years into the pandemic, business leaders and city governments around the world are still trying to lure employees back into offices and revive local economies. Manhattan workers are spending at least $12 billion less a year due to about 30% fewer days in the office, according to a Bloomberg News analysis using data from Stanford University. While there is still no equilibrium in what the post-pandemic remote policies would look like, there’s growing evidence of the increased willingness of companies to become more open to having a diverse, global workforce and hiring remote workers.

In its State of Global Hiring Report, global payroll company Deel analyzed over 260,000 contracts’ worth of data and showed that 89% of contracts created through Deel in 2022 were for remote workers. Of the four global regions (Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and North America (NAM), APAC is hiring at the fastest rate. Australia, Hong Kong, and India are the countries growing the fastest in the region.

While remote roles are common in tech, Deel found a variety of roles getting hired globally. Remote jobs in accounting, therapy, law, and project management are gaining popularity, especially in countries seeking economic growth. Teachers are also becoming more in demand across all regions. Mexico is hiring English teachers from the US, while the US is sourcing educational expertise from places like the Philippines. To learn more about Deel, check out our memo.

Remote, another global payroll provider, surveyed 1,400 executives and hiring managers from organizations across Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 65% of hiring managers surveyed in the US, the UK, and Europe are looking to hire globally for tech talent, and 20% say they’re experiencing a tech talent crunch at home; most of the drivers for hiring internationally are entirely strategic.

Contrary Research has also covered a number of HR tech companies that are operating within similar trends, like Carta, Rippling, Pave, Lattice and, Gusto.

Coda is a new kind of document that brings words, data, and teams together. Anyone can combine its building blocks to create a doc as powerful as an app. To learn more, read our full memo here.

ICON is a construction technology company that uses 3D robotics, software, and advanced materials to advance homebuilding capacity. To learn more, read our full memo here.

Hightouch offers a simple way to sync data between a data warehouse and the tools a business uses every day — without the need to rely on engineering. To learn more, read our full memo here.

Apollo is a platform that provides sales teams with access to contact data and tools to engage with these contacts in one platform. To learn more, read our full memo here.

People.ai helps companies uncover revenue opportunities by capturing all customer contacts and engagement to drive insights across all revenue teams. To learn more, read our full memo here.


  • HSBC plans to acquire Silicon Valley Bank UK for £1, citing “strategic sense for our business”; as of March 10, SVB UK had ~£5.5B loans and ~£6.7B deposits.
  • A profile of Tim Mayopoulos, named by the FDIC as the CEO of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, who was Bank of America’s general counsel during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Sequoia’s Mike Moritz’s eulogy for Silicon Valley Bank, a partner to tech for 40 years, offered services when big banks would not.
  • The end of SVB, Silvergate, and Signature adds more stress to the crypto industry. Check out our memos on crypto companies Kraken, MoonPay, OpenSea & Sorare.
  • A look at how Silicon Valley Bank collapse led to a surge in demand for fintech players. Check out our memos on Brex, Ramp, & Sardine.
  • An inside look at the 72-hour scramble to save the United States from a banking crisis.
  • Qualtrics accepted a $12.5 billion all-cash offer from private equity firm Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to go private.
  • Y Combinator won’t raise another continuity fund, which backs mature tech companies, and the partners, Anu Hariharan and Ali Rowghani plan to leave the firm.
  • OpenAI debuts GPT-4, claiming the model “surpasses ChatGPT in its advanced reasoning capabilities,” available in ChatGPT Plus and its API, which has a waitlist.
  • Google unveiled generative AI features for Docs, Gmail, Sheets, Slides, and other Workspace apps, helping users write text, summarize content, and create images.
  • Techcrunch interview with OpenAI’s President Greg Brockman about the newly launched GPT-4.
  • Quora launched subscriptions for Poe, which will provide paying users access to bots based on GPT-4 from OpenAI and Claude+ from Anthropic.
  • Stripe and OpenAI collaborate to monetize OpenAI’s flagship products and enhance Stripe with GPT-4. Check out our deep dive on Stripe.
  • LinkedIn announced AI-powered writing suggestions, initially for writing profiles, using OpenAI’s GTP-4, and for recruiters writing job ads, using GPT-3.5.
  • Microsoft plans to bring OpenAI's GPT-4 to Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, and its other apps in the coming months.
  • Google opened its language model PaLM via an API. Businesses will be able to build on the system to create custom chatbots.
  • A look at the rapid surge of investor interest in AI startups. Check out our memos on AI startups OpenAI, Hugging Face, Jasper, Scale AI, DeepL & Cohere.
  • Duolingo debuted a Max subscription for $30 per month or $168 per year, offering GPT-4 features for English speakers taking Spanish and French courses on iOS.
  • Zipline announced the Platform 2 Zip drone, which can deliver packages to small landing zones using a tethered “delivery droid” from up to 300 feet high.
  • TikTok’s leadership is considering divesting itself from ByteDance as a last resort if CFIUS rejects the existing proposal, possibly leading to an IPO.
  • Mark Zuckerberg said Meta plans to cut 10,000 jobs and withdraw ~5,000 open roles, four months after cutting 11,000 jobs, and cancel lower priority projects.
  • Varda Space Industries has built a lab to make pharmaceuticals in a space capsule. Check out our memos on manufacturing startups Andruil and Hadrian.

What do companies like Vercel, HashiCorp, and Sourcegraph all have in common? As developer-centric tools, they're focused on building communities for their customers. Join us on March 21st for a virtual event with leaders from all of these companies, and our very own VP of Product at Contrary. If you’re an ambitious builder, PLG enthusiast, or customer-obsessed founder — register here. Space is limited, so sign up soon!

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