SaaS weekly roundup #42: Billtrust to go public via SPAC, Descript makes editing videos as easy as editing text, and more

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

The world of SaaS continues to be abuzz with new launches, funding announcements, and more. And in a bid to bring everything that matters, we try to crunch them in a weekly newsletter. So as another week has gone by, let’s take a look at what all you may have missed.

News of the week

Billtrust to go public via SPAC in $1.3 billion deal

SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have been in the news of late as a way for companies to go public easily, and it seems even SaaS companies are getting attracted towards them. Billtrust, a cloud-based fintech company behind Quantum Invoicing, will be merging with South Mountain Merger Corp. in a deal valued at $1.3billion.

Related read: Billtrust CEO talks going public via SPAC and goal of being the ‘Venmo for B2B’

Google Cloud launches Lending DocAI, its first dedicated mortgage industry tool

The search titan’s cloud arm has launched a dedicated version of Document AI for the mortgage industry. Dubbed Lending DocAI, the service will make it easier for mortgage companies to speed up their evaluation process, thanks to machine learning.

This app makes editing videos as easy as editing text

Descript is expanding its capabilities from an audio transcription tool to become a video editor. However, it works differently; for it allows the video to be edited by rearranging the text. It allows sfor multiple files to be edited together in a single project, and supports the addition of titles, image overlays, and transition effects.

IBM’s Q3 solid with strength in Red Hat, hybrid cloud

While IBM has announced its plans to hive off its hybrid cloud business, the company has announced solid earnings in the Q3. Its revenue was $17.6billion, with the cloud arm accounting for $5.6billion.

Wrike launches new AI tools to keep your projects on track

Project management software Wrike rolled out a major update to its platform with the inclusion of AI. These features will help keep individual projects on time by providing project risk prediction, task prioritization and offering tools for speeding up the project workflow. Along with that, there’s also support for voice commands, smart replies, and budgeting feature among others.

Call analytics platform Invoca expands into sales, e-commerce and customer experience

Invoca, a call analytics platform, is adding new features to its suite with the launch of Invoca Exchange. It’s a platform for other apps to work on top of the insights provided by the software in the field of sales, e-commerce, and customer experience. There are already 40 integrations live including the likes of Salesforce, Five9, FullStory, and more.

SaaS funding

Ex-Tesla CIO’s auto retail startup turns unicorn in new funding

Tekion, a cloud-based auto retail startup that provides software connecting manufacturers, dealers, and car buyers, has raised $150million. Led by Advent International, the company has managed to reach unicorn status.

Retool nears $1billion valuation with funding from Sequoia

Yet another SaaS company that’s nearing the unicorn valuation is Retool, which has nabbed a $50million financing. Led by Sequoia, the startup makes it easier for developers to build applications as it rides the low-code software wave.

Output announces $45million Series A investment from Summit Partners

Output is a tech company built by musicians and offers loops, samples, and melodic content in one place for music creation. The software has already used by who’s who of the music industry, and now it has received a $45million Series A investment from Summit Partners.

ShopUp raises $22.5million to digitize millions of mom-and-pop shops in Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s ShopUp is aiming to digitize the neighborhood brick-and-mortar shops, and for that, it has gotten the country’s largest Series A Round. It has closed a $22.5mnillion funding from the likes of Sequoia Captial India and Flourish Ventures.

Sym raises $9million Series A for its security workflow platform

Sym lets developers integrate security and privacy workflows, and it has raised a $9million Series A round led by Amplify Partners. The startup will be using the funding to hire engineers and build out sales and marketing teams over time.

Jam raises $3.5million to Figma-tize product collaboration

Collaboration software are becoming more and more important with the world going remote. Jam aims to make product collaboration more seamless by offering chat, comments, task management and more into one place. The company has raised a seed round led by Union Square Ventures.

Must reads

Understanding activation and product qualified leads — and why they’re not the same thing

For some Indian software startups, it’s almost like the Covid-19 lockdown never happened

Listen to

Okta CMO, Ryan Carlson on how to measure marketing attribution effectively, why people think about category creation incorrectly today & how you have to think through the product vs the company story

Okta is a market leader in the identity and access management space, but how it become the juggernaut that it is today? Listen to its CMO Ryan Carlson sharing his journey into the world of SaaS, how Okta grew over the years, the difference between company story vs product story, and more.

How SEMrush went from challenger brand to SEO market leader

SEMrush dominates the SEO software space, which is quite interesting considering the fact that it was up against some notable competitors when it started. Its Head of Global Marketing Olga Andrienko talks about what they got it right, how the company has expanded to become an all-in-one marketing platform, and how the team pulled off a 24-hour summit last year. 

Chili Piper: How to Pre-Sell and Bootstrap a SaaS to Profitability – with Nicholas Vandenberghe

Chili Piper is a startup that helps companies convert their inbound leads into qualified meeting automatically. However, most might think that this problem is already solved or isn’t big enough. So its co-founder and CEO Nicholas Vandenberghe does a great job in explaining the origins of Chili Piper, its evolution, and his learnings along the way.


Business networking success – Alex @ SaaStock

Alex Theuma is the founder of SaaStock, one of the most popular SaaS conferences. In this episode, he discusses how he created the business by focusing on the content first, why networking is important at a conference, and more.

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