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SaaS weekly roundup #8: Microsoft launches 100x100x100 program, Freshworks acquires AnsweriQ, and more

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

The past week was filled with news from the fintech world. Intuit acquired Credit Karma and India-based PhonePe raised $59.6million, while Mastercard's CEO Ajay Banga decided to step down. A lot of things happened in the SaaS domain too, and that's what we are here to talk about. So let’s get going.

News

Microsoft launches 100X100X100 program for B2B startups

Earlier this week, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella arrived in India and made a barrage of announcements, including a partnership with India's leading telecom operator – Reliance Jio – for the use of its Azure Cloud. The company also announced a 100x100x100 program, which aims to boost SaaS startups from the subcontinent. As part of the initiative, Microsoft will bring together 100 companies with 100 SaaS startups from the country where the former will commit to spending $100,000 over the course of 18 months.

Sequoia-backed Freshworks acquires US-based AI startup AnsweriQ

Freshworks has added another startup to its kitty. AnsweriQ is a customer service platform that leverages AI to answer user queries and with the acquisition, it'll work with Freshworks' AI engine dubbed 'Freddy'.

ZoomInfo files for $500M IPO

More and more companies are aiming to go public this year. The latest addition to that list is ZoomInfo, which is a cloud market intelligence platform for sales and marketing teams. With annual revenue of $293million last year, it's filing an IPO worth $500million.

Investment quotient

Pipe, a financing platform for SaaS companies, raises $6M seed

SaaS companies like to charge on an annual basis, but since consumers like to pay for monthly subscriptions, that puts them in a spot. And when they raise funding, it dilutes their equity, Enter Pipe, which finances SaaS companies annually, basis their monthly subscriptions and without asking for equity.

Cioplenu, the SaaS for ‘deskless’ workers on the production floor, raises €4.2M seed

Billed as an operating system for the production floor, Cioplenue aims to make it easier for companies to maintain production floor processes such as maintenance, on-boarding, assembly, and inspection. The company has raised €4.2million as part of seed funding for expansion.

Accel leads $12m Series A for Process Street’s no-code workflow app

Process Street is a checklist-management tool and after getting good initial traction, it's now offering a no-code app that helps businesses create their own processes. It's being used by companies like Airbnb and Spotify, and has over 450,000 registered users. For the next phase of growth, it has raised $12million as part of its Series A from the likes of Accel and Salesforce Ventures. 

Must reads

The unbundling of Gsuite

Related: https://twitter.com/briannekimmel/status/1232011158036500480

Practical SaaS Retention Strategies That Move the Needle (Part Two)

Product Marketing Strategy: the key to a successful SaaS business 

Listen to

If you build it: why the software business is booming

Listen to Squarespace's founder and CEO Anthony Casalena providing an overview of the SaaS market and why it's booming. He also shares how companies can build sticky relationships with customers, how to acquire them and more. The podcast also discusses what the future might look like.

How Mutiny’s founders launched a SaaS MVP in 2 weeks

Mutiny is a SaaS product that helps companies personalize their websites to reach the target audience in a more effective manner, and thus close more sales. Listen to this podcast to know its journey and how its co-founder and CEO (Jaleh Rezaei) created the MVP for the product within two weeks.

Saving the company, with only $1,000 in the bank

Starting a business - SaaS or otherwise - is really difficult and there are several points where the going gets tough. Listen to Privy's founder Ben Jabbawy as he shares the pivotal point in the company when there was just $1,000 in the bank and how he managed to turnaround... by talking to customers and solving their problems.

Wrike CEO Andrew Filev on 5 do's and don'ts from my bootstrapping days

Wrike is project management service and considering it's in a cut-throat competitive segment, listen to its CEO Andrew Filev as he shares some do's and don'ts of how he managed to sustain his business. He also shares tips on hiring, raising funds after bootstrapping for six years and more.

Watch

How Baremetrics used transparency to grow to $1.5M ARR

Baremetrics is an analytics platform for SaaS companies and in this video, its Head of Growth, Corey Haines shares the company's growth models. He also sheds light on how Baremetrics' transparency makes it stand out from other companies.

Netflix for free?

Netflix recently allowed non-subscribers to watch the movie "To all the boys I've loved before" in a bid to cash in on its sequel and thus compelling those who've watched the former to pony up the subscription fees. This video acts as a good primer why the freemium model will become more prevalent going forward.

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