Half of 2020 has passed, and we’re continuing to see companies evolving themselves to manage the ongoing pandemic along with several innovative SaaS startups raising funds to expand. So without further ado, let’s look at the newsmakers as well as the content that’s worth your time in the 26th edition of the SaaS weekly roundup.
News of the week
Google updates Meet to remove the background noise; introduces Connected Sheets in G Suite
The Alphabet-owned company made some significant updates to its G Suite offerings. After several weeks of hearing about this capability, Google Meet will now be able to filter the background noise using AI, and its available for users on the web. It’ll soon be available for mobile users.
The company has also announced an interesting feature for Sheets. Dubbed Connected Sheets, the feature will analyze BigQuery data and automatically offer insights for operations like formulas, charts, and pivot tables. There’s also a feature called Smart Fill that provides the autocomplete suggestions. For example, if you want to split a column of full names into two columns of first and last name, Sheets will automatically detect what you’re trying to do and autocomplete the rest of the rows.
Speaking of Google Meet and video conferencing, make way for India’s leading telco – Reliance Jio. The company has just announced JioMeet, which is a Zoom lookalike, and offers unlimited video calling in 720p for up to 100 participants simultaneously. There’s support for usual set of features such as password protection for meetings, ability to share screen, and more.
Related tweet: https://twitter.com/shrinivassg/status/1278911557137649664/
Of course, video conferencing is one thing that’s keeping the entire world connected during this time, and a lot of companies are raking in the moolah. One such company is Agora.io, a video and voice communication platform, as its price increased more than 150 percent since its IPO.
Amidst talks of Dell hiving off VMWare, the cloud giant is continuing its acquisition spree. The latest to join its fold is a disaster recovery platform, Datrium. The company has raised $170million in total over the years, though the terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.
The e-commerce behemoth has rolled out CodeGuru, which users and AI and ML, to help developers improve the code. Comprising CodeGuru Review, and Profiler, the service features a bug scanner and the ability to identify codes that can cause CPU over-utilization, respectively. Available for a trial for 90 days, it’ll cost $0.50 for Reviewer, and $0.005 per hour.
After raising $105million in Series G funding, Couchbase is introducing its Cloud service. The DBaaS (database as a service) will be available on major cloud platforms like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS.
SaaS companies that got the funding this week
With communication becoming front and center as the world continues to follow the shelter-in-place, there are many companies that are gaining users. While Microsoft Teams and Slack are obvious contenders, Discord, a messaging app especially focused on gamers, is also making waves. In a bid to have a larger appeal beyond its core target group, it has raised $100million and redesigned its website too.
Fivetran, a data integration company, has reached the unicorn status as it has garnered $100million Series C round at a valuation of $1.2billion. The company offers the ability to connect to individual data sources without the need to build data connectors, making it easier to get a one-stop view of various data in one place. The latest round was led by A16z and General Catalyst, and the company will be using it for adding more features and expanding its adoption.
While Couchbase is offering a database as a service, Fauna makes it easier for anyone to add a database with an API call. The company has received $27million in new funding, which is interestingly, an extension of Series A which was done in 2017. The funding was led by Madrona Venture Group.
OurPeople, the UK-based startup that offers communication and engagement platform for deskless workers, has gotten $2million. The Series A round was led by Alpine Meridian. The startup highlights that it has an upper edge over other workplace social networks or workplace communication software by ensuring that employees read the important messages.
How to turn your SaaS startup into an army with David Sacks, General Partner at Craft Ventures
Listen to David Sacks, currently a GP at Craft Ventures on how startups should scale in terms of growth and employee count. He shares his learnings from founding Yammer, and scaling it within four years to get an exit with an acquisition by Microsoft.
Icertis: the making of a SaaS unicorn
Icertis, a contract management software company, came to notice when it became a unicorn last year. In this podcast, host Pankaj Mishra holds a conversation with the company’s co-founder Manish Dorda on the journey of the company, why the company is built to last, and how he applied his past failures to make Icertis a resounding success.
Finding product-market fit in the new normal, with Des Traynor, Intercom [SaaStock Remote]
Earlier last month, SaaStock held its first virtual conference SaaStock Remote, and now it’s published a podcast episode from the same. Listen to SaaStock’s CEO Alex Theuma talking to Des Traynor, co-founder of Intercom on how companies can find PMF during the current situation, difference between nice-to-have and must-have software and more.
5 steps to nailing your SaaS product positioning – with April Dunford
It’s important to understand that product positioning is separate from PMF as well as the company’s vision or mission statement. That’s what April Dunford, author of “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning, so Customers Get it, Buy it, Love it” discusses in this podcast. She highlights the five components which are essential to get effective positioning for any product.
How to find your perfect SaaS investor
In this discussion, Entrepreneur India’s Punita Kapoor talks with prominent VCs Rajesh Babu (Kalaari Capital) and Shashank Randev (100X.VC) on how SaaS companies should be raising funds. They also discuss on how technologies such as cloud computing, big data and more are creating a better customer experience.
How I would start a SaaS business today (and secure venture capital funding)
Keeping up with the theme of the video above, in this video, host TK Kader talks about how one should go about starting a SaaS business and eventually, go on to securing VC funding. He mentions steps such as defining your idea, validating it, and figure out whether its venture scale idea.