This space throws surprises every week, and the past few days were no different. While we didn’t hear many funding announcements, a lot of leading players introduced an impressive set of features, and there were some significant acquisitions too. So, here’s everything you need to know in the world of SaaS.
News of the week
Google is aiming to compete with the likes of Airtable, Notion, and more with the launch of Tables. As the name suggests, it’s a work tracking tool that offers automation with Bots, offers the ability to import data from Google Sheets, share data with Google Groups and assign tasks to one’s Google contacts, among other things.
At its annual conference Inbound, popular SaaS company HubSpot has announced HubSpot Sales Hub Enterprise which is a CRM for not just salespeople, but management and system admins as well. The company is targeting smaller companies with this offering, and hence won’t need to compete with the likes of Salesforce, though HubSpot also believes that if it’s able to catch companies earlier in their evolution, they’ll continue to use its offering even when they grow.
As social media statistics suggest, LinkedIn is a leading professional social network, and now it’s aiming to become more useful. With the support for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and BlueJeans, its users will be able to do video chats with each other. It’s also adding Stories to its platform, which has become the preferred medium for modern-day social platforms.
The software behemoth is adding more features to its collaboration software Microsoft Teams. With Together Mode, meeting participants can use a variety of scenes such as auditoriums, coffee shops, and conference rooms. Then there are custom layouts, which lets presenters customize how their presentations and their video feeds appear. While Breakout rooms allow organizers to split participants into small groups.
The Redmond giant is taking a crack at Twilio, a popular cloud communication platform, as it has launched Azure Communication Services. Developers can access various capabilities via APIs and SDKs, and on offer are usual features such as voice and video calling, support for chat and more.
Popular email marketing software Mailchimp is continuing to add new features to become much more useful to small businesses. In a bid to become a marketing automation platform, it has now launched a slew of AI-based tools that will offer personalized product recommendations to shoppers as well as a tool that will help people write better email subject lines.
Popular task manager Todoist has added a Trello-like feature to its service – Kanban boards. Simply dubbed Boards, it lets you organize and visualize your projects in a better manner. The feature is being rolled out to all the users.
Popular email app Superhuman which aims to help users save time while browsing emails and reach inbox zero faster has introduced a new plan aimed at students and academics. Priced at $10/month (versus $30/month), the service could be used by those that have a valid school-issued email address. Superhuman’s CEO Rahul Vohra also mentioned that it’ll be bringing support for Office 365 and Android app by the end of the year.
CrowdStrike, a company that provides endpoint and cloud protection solutions, has announced the acquisition of Preempt Security. The deal is worth $96million and will allow the CrowdStrike Falcon platform to offer “enhanced protection against identity-based attacks and insider threats”.
Airship (formerly Urban Airship) is a customer engagement platform, and to strengthen its positioning, the company has acquired ReplyBuy. The startup works with entertainment venues and sports team to send messages to their fans via SMS and allowing them to purchase tickets as well. While this may not be done in the ongoing pandemic, Airship would integrate this functionality to drive in-app purchases among other things. The price of the acquisition wasn’t disclosed.
It was just earlier this month that Snyk had raised $200million, and now it seems, that the company is putting it to a good use. It has acquired DeepCode, a startup that bills itself as a Grammarly for coders. The Zurich-based startup will continue to exist separately, though Snyk will also be integrating DeepCode’s tech to its platform.
Point Nine, a renowned VC in the SaaS space which has backed the likes of Algolia, DocPlanner, Typeform, and more, has raised €100million (well, €99,999,999 to be exact, befitting its name). The firm invests between €0.5million to €2.5million per company and can also participate in Series A rounds.
It seems that text messaging is still a holy grail for marketing. Perhaps that’s what explains the third fundraise for Attentive this year, which has announced a $230million Series D funding after raising Series C rounds in January and April. Led by Coatue, the company has been valued at $2.2billion.
Product information management (PIM) software Salsify which helps brands and companies in tracking their inventories across online and offline has nabbed a $155million Series E round which was led by Warburg Pincus. The company will be using the funds to expand its product stack and focus on international markets.
IRL pivoted to virtual events in the beginning of COVID-19, and its efforts seem to have been paid off. The company has raised a $16million Series B round which was led by Goodwater Capital. With the funding, the company will be expanding its efforts to focus on remote events with the launch of a college network.
EasySend is a no-code platform that leverages AI and has closed a $16million in funding. The round was led by Hanaco and the startup will be using the money to expand its customers in the US, Europe, and Asia along with optimizing its product development.
Scale with Shane Murphy-Reuter and Brian Halligan at INBOUND
In this episode of Scale by Intercom, Intercom’s Shane Murphy-Reuter talks to Brian Halligan, CEO and Co-founder of Hubspot about customer relationships, how they build them and how they can drive business growth.
Lessons on perseverance from a SaaS startup that almost failed – with Panos Siozos
LearnWorlds, a white-label SaaS platform that allows anyone to create their own online school and learning management system, might be quite successful now, but it wasn’t always so. Its co-founder and CEO Panos Siozos shares about the company’s unusual journey, their missteps along the way, and how they are growing now.
The 5 things that kill startups after their seed rounds and how to avoid them with Michael Seibel, CEO @ Y Combinator
Y Combinator’s CEO Michael Seibel has seen hundreds of startups over the years in YC’s batches and knows what they’re doing right or wrong. He mentions that investments don’t necessarily mean that the company has found the product-market fit, and hence talks about the risks that founders should be aware of after funding.
Story of a “Made for India” SaaS product company By Paramdeep Singh
FieldAssist is a sales automation platform that helps field sales teams make smarter sales decisions to focus on short- and long-term growth. In this video, its CEO Paramdeep Singh shares how the company can disrupt the Indian businesses.