This week, we’ve got a ton of interesting things for you, right from membership-related platforms to help creators and businesses make money to video conferencing software continuing to battle it out. There’s of course a ton of funding announcements too. So strap yourselves, and let’s get going.

News of the week

Squarespace’s new feature could help more businesses survive the pandemic

Website building platform Squarespace is introducing the ability of paywall, letting website owners put up some of their content for members only. Users can access the same by availing regular subscription or one-time fee.

Introducing Gumroad Memberships

Gumroad, one of the most popular services, allowing creators to sell their products to the world, is going beyond one-time sales. It’s introducing the Memberships feature, allowing creators to create paid communities, launch courses, newsletters, and more.

Microsoft Teams takes on Zoom with free all-day video calling on the web

Microsoft Teams is aiming to eat Zoom’s lunch by offering 24-hour video calls – for free – from the browser itself. One can create a meeting for up to 300 friends and family, and they don’t even need Microsoft account to join the same.

That’s not the only reason the collaboration software was in news; it’s also introducing the ability to use workplace apps directly during meetings. One can integrate up to 20 apps from the Teams App Store, which boasts of 700 apps currently.

Virtually raise your hand to ask a question in Google Meet

Google Meet also found a reason to be in the news as it has released the option for meeting attendees to raise their hand during the call. The feature is being rolled out gradually and would allow the attendees to raise their questions and share their point of view without disrupting the conversation.

ServiceNow and Workplace from Facebook Expand Integrations to Improve the Employee Experience

Facebook’s collaboration software Workplace has partnered with Service Now to create tools to support frontline and remote workers. These include better the ability to have better communication with the workers, and offering them automated support, among others.

Related read: Workplace VP Julien Codorniou on Facebook’s enterprise-wide appeal and roadmap

IBM acquires Instana for its AI-powered app performance monitoring

The Big Blue has purchased Instana, a company that develops application performance monitoring software. While the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, the acquisition will help IBM expand its AI-powered automation capabilities.

Druva acquires sfApex to bolster Salesforce data protection and governance

Data management software Druva has announced the acquisition of sfApex, the company that provides data migration and transfer for Salesforce. CRM provider Salesforce discontinued its recovery feature in July 2020, which makes Druva believe that it has a massive opportunity to take that space with its latest purchase.

SaaS companies that got the funding this week

Enterprise AI platform DataRobot lands $270million at $2.7billion valuation

Artificial intelligence company DataRobot has nabbed significant funding of $270million. Led by Altimeter Capital and taking the valuation of the company to $2.7billion, the amount will be used for R&D, global expansion, building out operations, and more.

Marketing automation platform Klaviyo scores $200million Series C on $4.15billion valuation

Boston-based Klaviyo has raised $200million Series C funding led by Accel. The marketing automation platform has over 50,000 customers across 125 countries. The funding will be used to expand the features of the platform, and going to more markets.

Sales readiness platform MindTickle raises $100million led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2

MindTickle has closed a $100million financing with both debt and equity. The eight-year old startup help companies train their customer-facing teams to make better sales. The funding was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, and will help the company to grow further in European and the US markets.

Paddle raises $68million to help SaaS companies sell software globally

Billing and invoicing software Paddle makes it easier for SaaS companies to expand internationally by handling all the payment-related aspects. To accelerate its growth, Paddle has received $68million in Series C round led by FTV Capital.

Udemy raises $50million to fuel accelerated global demand for online learning

Learning platform Udemy has gotten $50million Series F funding at a pre-money valuation of $3.25billion. The money was raised from EdTech and growth funds and will enable it to grow its customer-centric as well as business offerings.

CloudBolt announces $35million Series B debt/equity investment to help manage hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud management platform CloudBolt has raised $15million equity and $20million in debt, totalling to $35million in funding. The Series B round was led by Insight Partners, and it was closed last quarter itself (and publicly disclosed now) and it allowed it to acquire companies like Kumolus and SovLabs.

ControlUp raises $27million to apply AI to remote machine monitoring

ControlUp offers a spreadsheet-like status dashboard for companies to see the status of desktops, virtual machines and servers being used by their remote employees or otherwise. The company has raised $27million led by Jerusalem Venture Partners and K1 Investment Management.

Zeotap raises $18.5million for a customer ID platform it says was built with privacy in mind

Zeotap has received $18.5million as part of its extended Series C round from a single investor, SignalFire. The startup ensures that in a privacy-centric world, companies can manage customer identity and build marketing around that without needing third-party data.

Must reads

How Uses Data-driven Marketing to Guide Strategy

Raising your next funding round? Here’s what to know

5 interesting learnings from Shopify. At $3billion+ in ARR.

Listen to

Going upmarket and how things have changed in a decade, @ Trello, with Co-Founder Michael Pryor and Jason Lemkin, CEO @ SaaStr

Trello, a popular project management software, has come a long way in its inception in 2011. In this podcast, its co-founder Michael Pryor talks about its journey, how the company moved upmarket, its life under Atlassian, and more.

Moving your SaaS company up market with LB Harvey, Front

While we’re at the topic of moving upmarket, listen to this episode with Front’s CRO LB Harvey where she talks moving from bottoms-up approach to up-market. She also shares her journey at Intercom, where she led its growth from $40million to $200million in revenue.


You get what You Pay For In SaaS (with Jamin Ball)

With SaaS companies going public this year and seeing a lot of growth in their valuations in public markets, this video acts as a good primer of understanding the landscape from the stock market perspective. Redpoint Ventures’ Jamin Ball shares examples of SaaS companies and why the high valuation of such stocks is justified.

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