SaaS weekly roundup #19: Google Meet goes free for everyone, Atlassian, VMware’s acquisitions and more

Here’s everything that you need to know about the happening in the world of SaaS in the past week

Another week has gone by, and it was abuzz with news, acquisitions, and investments in the SaaS space. So let’s dive right into this week’s picks.

News of the week

Google Meet is here to host your video meetings, for free

Google’s assault on Zoom continues as it made the Meet totally free for video conferencing. The search behemoth highlighted that Google Meet has witnessed 30x growth in daily usage, with roughly 3million new users joining the platform every day. It’s also adding new features to make video calls more productive, such as real-time captions and low-light mode.

Slack updates iOS and Android apps with new navigation features

A couple of months after revamping its desktop app, Slack has updated its mobile apps as well. If you’re using the desktop app, then you know what to expect – new navigation icons, and a new compose button. Along with that, mobile app users can also use gestures for various actions.

Amazon launches cognitive search service Kendra in general availability

The e-commerce giant is rolling out some interesting features in the SaaS space. After introducing AppFlow, it has announced the general availability of Kendra, an AI and ML-powered service for enterprise search. It collects data from various sources such as OneDrive, Salesforce, Amazon S3 and more and then help in providing automated answers.

Atlassian acquires Halp

Atlassian continues to add more SaaS offerings in its portfolio, with the latest being Halp, which makes Slack an internal help desk. Thus, it allows users to track the tickets, get their queries answered and more right from Slack itself. Halp also connects with Atlassian’s Jira and Confluence.

VMware announces intent to acquire Octarine to extend VMware’s intrinsic security capabilities for containers and Kubernetes

Dell-owned VMWare has announced the acquisition of early-stage startup Octarine, which offers security for containers and Kubernetes environments. The startup will work with VMWare’s Carbon Black Cloud to enable intrinsic security.

Kustomer acquires to deepen intelligent automation capabilities

CRM software Kustomer has acquired to bring artificial intelligence to customer service. Reply, which is ranked among Forrestor’s Top 10 AI providers for customer service, will integrate with Kustomer’s AI-focused Kustomer IQ to offer chatbots, automated knowledge base, and more.

SaaS companies that got the funding this week

DispatchTrack, a last-mile logistics platform, raises $144M in its first-ever funding

The last-mile logistics platform, DispatchTrack has raised has managed a whopping fundraise of $144million, which is its first-ever external investment. Since its inception in 2010, the company has managed to scale to more than 60million deliveries per year.

Corcentric receives strategic investment round to support global expansion

Spend and revenue management software Corcentric has announced a significant raise to fuel its next phase of growth. The company has received $80million from the New York-based PE firm Bregal Sagemount.

DigitalOcean raises $50M at $1.15B valuation

DigitalOcean is the latest unicorn as it gets $50million Series C funding. The round was led by Access Industries and will help the company achieve a “profitable growth rate”.

SirionLabs raises $44 Mn to strengthen end-to-end Contract Management SaaS

India’s SirionLabs, a startup that offers contract management, has raised $44million Series C funding. Led by Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital, the company will be using the money to enhance its sales and marketing activities along with expanding globally.

Paradox raises $40M Series B to help companies embrace the future of work with conversational AI

Conversational AI platform, Paradox, has got $40million Series B funding led by Brighton Park Capital. The startup helps HR departments to automate administrative tasks such as screening resumes and scheduling interviews.

Lyon-based SaaS startup Agicap snags €15 million for SMB cash flow forecasting tool

Cash flow management software Agicap has garnered €15 million just seven months after raising its seed round. It provides companies a view of their cash flow by integrating with bank accounts as well as CRM, ERP, and more, to generate forecasts.

PlayPlay raises €10M to help brands easily produce ‘high quality’ video content

Billing itself as “the simplest video maker”, PlayPlay has raised €10million as Series A funding. The Paris-based startup wants to make it extremely easy for anyone to create videos.

Related read: 9 tricks to be “Series-A ready”

Must reads

Inside the life, death, rebirth, failure and resurrection of a beloved email app

The pandemic is emptying call centers. AI chatbots are swooping in

After losing co-pilot, SAP CEO plots solo path through pandemic 

Indian SaaS companies wired to weather Covid-19 storm

Listen to

Tobi Lutke – building a modern business

Shopify’s founder and CEO Tobi Lutke shares his views on building Shopify, how its growth has accelerated due to COVID-19, his principles, and more. He also talks about why he believes that video games help in building products and organizations.

Drift CEO David Cancel

While this podcast isn’t really about the SaaS companies per se, it does an excellent job of telling why creating a narrative around your company is important. Drift‘s CEO David Cancel mentions about how he coined the term conversational marketing, created awareness around the topic, and more.

How startups can grow from a single-product to a multi-product company with Jeff Titterton, CMO, Zendesk

Most SaaS startups struggle with the fact whether they should continue to focus on one offering or launch multiple offerings to diversify and multiple their income streams. In the podcast, Zendesk‘s Jeff Titterton gives his views on the topic, how to go about it, and common pitfalls among other things.

Spencer Fry of Podia

Podia aims to be a one-stop shop to help individuals sell online courses, conduct webinars, offer membership options and other such things. In this podcast, its Founder and CEO Spencer Fry discuss scaling up the company to 20 employees, the evolving role of a CEO, and the vision behind Podia.


SaaS innovation: 3 sure ways to growth over COVID-19 challenges

As the SaaS industry is seeing a decline in sales, and renewals are being kept on hold, this video talks about three ways in which companies can follow to come out stronger during the crisis.

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