This week’s picks are all about some impressive features that have been rolled out by popular SaaS products along with some significant fund-raising activities. We follow that up with some interesting podcasts and videos that are worthy of your time.
News of the week
Slack has long been suggested as the tool to replace emails, and it seems that the collaboration software is moving in that direction. With Slack Connect, businesses will be able to communicate with other organizations, right from Slack itself. The feature supports up to 20 organizations to come together in a single Slack channel.
Related read: Why Slack’s CEO doesn’t want to ‘Kill Email’
The no-code platform space is getting a lot of attention these days, and now Amazon is throwing its hat in the ring. Dubbed Honeycode, the service offers a visual interface to help people build applications without having any knowledge of coding. The service is free for up to 20 users.
When the Redmond giant had announced Microsoft 365, it was evident that it’s settings its sight on the personal usage of its offerings and not just the professional use-cases. Worth noting that Microsoft isn’t announcing a new version of Microsoft Teams for consumers; it’s offering consumer-focused features. Users simply need to add their personal account to use these features, and these capabilities will roll out in the coming weeks.
At its Trailheadx Conference, CRM provider Salesforce announced the launch of Salesforce Anywhere. As the name indicates, the tool lets the team collaborate and share data from any device and anywhere. It’ll be available as a beta starting next month, with a public rollout scheduled for Q4 2020.
Workplace collaboration software Flock recently added some interesting features. These include the ability to do a Zoom call directly from the app, record video calls (made via Flock), and the option to set up emojis as a channel avatar. Users can also request features using the Flock Feedback tool.
E-Commerce software BigCommerce is planning to go public this year. The company is valued at approximately $1billion, and has seen a huge spike during the ongoing pandemic. Founded in 2009, it has raised over $200million to date.
Dell Technologies is looking at options for 81 percent stake in cloud software VMWare in a bid to pare down its debt and increase its market valuation. The stake is worth ~$50billion, though the deal wouldn’t happen before September 2020.
ScaleFactor, a buzzy financial services company, has raised $100million over the course of a year from renowned names such as Bessemer Venture Partners and Coatue. However, due to coronavirus, the demand for its software diminished. The company will be laying off half of its employees immediately, while a few would remain till August when the Texas-based company will formally close its operations.
SaaS companies that got the funding this week
It was just in February that Pipe, a SaaS subscription financing platform, raised its seed funding of $6million. But now, the company has announced a seed extension of $60million, which is quite unusual for, specifically in such a short span of time. The company is growing rapidly, and is planning to expand internationally as well.
The cloud-based customer support category is gaining steam, and various companies in the space are getting benefitted. The San Francisco-based Ujet has raised $55million as part of its Series C round. The funding was led by Sapphire Ventures.
With virtual events coming to the fore amidst COVID-19, Hopin, a platform for organizing such conferences, has announced its Series A fundraise. The round was led by IVP, and the company has received $40million to hire more. The company has seen the hockey-stick growth, with the no of attendees growing from 16,000 in March to 175,000 in May.
ClickUp, a cloud-based productivity software, has garnered $35million funding. The Series A round was led by Craft Ventures, and the company will be using it for marketing, expanding to more geographics and hiring aggressively.
The API economy is very well here, and Nylas, which provides APIs for email, calendar, and contact to developers, is aiming to make the most of that. It has gotten $25million as Series B funding to expand further.
Rasa is a machine learning platform that helps developers to build AI assistants easily. What separates it from others is that it’s open source, uses the power of community and applied research. It has raised $26million Series B which was led by A16z to continue its mission.
SaaSworthy’s first-ever report measures the impact of COVID-19 on SaaS software popularity
If there’s one podcast (series) that you should listen to this week, it has to be “How Notion works”. In the series, Outliers host Pankaj Mishra records conversations with Notion‘s CEO Ivan Zhao, its COO Akshay Kothari, Head of Marketing Camille Rickets, Product Marketer David Tibbits on why the note-taking tool exists, how it operates, its story, and what makes it unique, respectively.
State of SaaS in India ft. Nikhil Kapur, Partner at Strive VC
A lot of SaaS companies are starting from India, but as Nikhil Kapur, Partner at Strive VC suggests, it’s important to understand the differences between the global-focused Indian SaaS companies and India-focused SaaS companies. He also shares about the evolution of the space in the subcontinent over the years, and where it can go from here.
Jeroen Corthout of Salesflare
Salesflare is one among hundreds of CRM software available on the market today. Its CEO Jeroen Corthout shares how Salesflare is able to stand out by focusing specifically on small businesses. He also talks about how he and his team created a “Customer Value Machine”, which helped the company’s growth.
PagerDuty CMO Julie Herendeen on attribution and accountability within marketing teams, the optimal relationship between marketing and product and more
PagerDuty‘s CMO Julie Herendeen shares her journey to coming towards the enterprise world, how marketing can be made more accountable by tying it with revenue, how and why sales and marketing can work together, among others. She also discusses why customer success is an important facet of marketing.
Cashing in on the new normal with Anand Jain, CSO and Co founder, CleverTap
CleverTap, a mobile analytics software, has grown significantly since its inception in 2013. Its Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Anand Jain shares his learnings on their initial days to how they grew to having over 8,000 customers, fundraising, and more.
This SaaS business will make over $100million
Sam Parr and Shaan Puri, the duo behind “My first million podcast” talk about Arc Publishing, a company that’s started by Washington Post and offers its CMS tools to several hundreds of companies. They posit that the company will be able to generate over $100million annual revenue in the coming years.