Welcome to the latest SaaS weekly roundup, your one-stop place for all things software-as-a-service. Unsurprisingly, we have lots to unpack this week, so let’s begin.

News of the week

Twilio launches Twilio Engage, eyes marketing automation

Twilio is expanding itself to foray into the marketing automation space. Dubbed Twilio Engage, the platform will allow marketers to manage their campaigns across various channels. Built atop Segment’s customer data platform – a company it acquired last year – and Twilio’s APIs, it also offers data integration and analytics.

Couchbase relaunches cloud service

Couchbase is relaunching its cloud database-as-a-service, which is named “Capella”. Its hosted mode will allow customers to specify the number and configuration of nodes, instead of needing to order their own Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Alongside, Couchbase has also introduced version 7.0 that adds new features such as “Scopes” for materialized views of relational databases’ mainstays.

Qualtrics raises full-year sales forecast above Wall Street expectations

After being hived off from SAP, it seems Qualtrics has been growing at an unprecedented pace. Its third-quarter results have managed to beat analyst expectations with sales of $271.6million (vs expectations of $258.19million). It has also raised its expectations for the revenue of 2021 at $1.057billion, higher than estimates of $1.012billion.

Olo to acquire Wisely, a leading customer intelligence and engagement platform for restaurants

Restaurant ordering space is getting warmed up. While Toast IPOed not-so-long-ago, Olo has acquired Wisely, customer intelligence and engagement platform for restaurants. The deal is worth $187million in a mix of cash and stocks.

SaaS companies that got the funding this week

Brex just signed a term sheet for $300millon at a $12.3billion valuation

Within just six months after its last round, Brex has become a decacorn with its latest funding round of $300million. While the deal hasn’t been announced publicly, sources suggest that Greenoaks has led the investment.

Parker Conrad’s Rippling is now valued at $6.5 billion — more than Zenefits at its peak

HR software Rippling has nabbed a $250million investment, which values it at $6.5billion. Led by Sequoia Capital, the company has mentioned that it has roughly 800 employees, has doubled its number of customers in the last year.

Software observability platform Honeycomb raises $50million

Observability platform Honeycomb has raised $50million in Series C funding. Led by Insight Partners, the startup will be expanding in Europe along with having a dedicated team for the region.

Related read: Interview with Christine Yen, co-founder and CEO at Honeycomb

HR Acuity raises $47million to track and manage workplace issues

Employee relationship management software HR Acuity has gotten a $47million investment from K1 Investment Management. The funding will be used for hiring and expanding the platform capabilities.

Automation startup SaaS Labs raises $17million in maiden round

The makers of JustCall and Helpwise have raised external capital for the first time. The Series A investment worth $17million was led by Base 10 Partners and Eight Roads Ventures. The company has 70 employees and aims to double the headcount with this funding.

Related read: Interview with Sandeep Gaur, International Business Manager at JustCall 

Must reads

How Asana is helping big companies achieve goals, not just manage projects

Rippling: the rebundling of enterprise software

He wanted make his revolutionary code free. But Ali Ghodsi is now a billionaire with a $28 billion startup

Listen to

How community-led growth drives product-led growth with Notion’s CRO, Olivia Nottebohm

More than ever, communities have come to the forefront this year. In this podcast, Notion’s CRO, Olivia Nottebohm shares how community-led growth can be unlocked for all kinds of sales motions – top-down, bottom-up, or event product-led growth. She also shares examples of what Notion has done to grow faster by leveraging its community.

Related read: Meet the productivity app influencers

Building an 8-figure SaaS by focusing on one market – with Dave MacLeod

Sometimes, instead of casting a wider net, it helps to target a specific niche – and that’s what this podcast talks about. ThoughtExchange’s co-founder and CEO Dave MacLeod share how they were able to reach $20million in ARR by focusing on the education sector. He also talks about the early challenges and how they overcome them.


SaaS business ideas: how to come up with a SaaS business idea in 2021

With more than 90 percent of SaaS businesses eventually failing, it’s important to zero in on an idea that won’t go away. In this video, host TK Kader shares three principles that one should keep in mind to decide the business idea for a SaaS or micro SaaS business.