S|W: The SaaS Weekly – 1Password’s CEO isn’t worried about Apple

Plus: ApplyBoard CEO says market downturn isn’t slowing down international expansion or IPO plans.

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As Apple moves to kill the password, 1Password CEO says he’s not worried (BETAKIT)

“When we look at the Apples and Googles and Microsofts, they have an ability to educate at a level we just don’t,” Shiner told BetaKit at Collision 2022. “Every time they’ve introduced something our business has gone up significantly as a result of that.”


Zendesk agrees to go private for $10.2 billion (AXIOS)

Buyout firms Hellman & Friedman and Permira announced a $10.2 billion deal to buy Zendesk, a San Francisco-based customer engagement software provider that’s been under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.


ApplyBoard CEO says market downturn isn’t slowing down international expansion or IPO plans (BETAKIT)

Basiri expressed confidence that even in the present market, an ApplyBoard IPO would generate a “very positive” response from investors, citing the amount of money available for good companies and the stability of the market for international education. “I’m not gonna worry about it at all,” he said. “In fact, actually, it’s a good time for us because we can stand out more.”


MasterClass cuts 20% of 600-person staff to ‘get to self-sustainability faster’ (TECHCRUNCH)

While it is celebrated for leading the edutainment category, MasterClass has always had some clear hurdles to surpass, including getting users who gravitate to the platform for one class to stick around for other classes. In 2017, the Hollywood Reporter said that most MasterClass instructors are paid at least $100,000 up front and receive a share of at least 30% of the revenue; it seems likely that those numbers have increased over the last five years.


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M&A likely to be a significant driver of value for Canadian tech firms in 2022 (BETAKIT)

Canada will soon close out the first half of 2022, and already, the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) appears unrecognizable from that of 2021. PwC’s Canada-focused M&A report found M&A activity across the country saw similarly explosive growth last year.


German startup Personio raises $200 mln at $8.5 bln valuation (REUTERS)

A weaker market condition has pushed many startups to scramble for new funding, even at a lower valuation, delaying plans to go public and causing them to cut jobs and costs to find a path to profitability.


Hyatt brothers’ BlueCat to be acquired by another US private equity firm (BETAKIT)

The deal comes just over five years after BlueCat co-founders and owners Michael and Richard Hyatt sold BlueCat for $400 million to another United States (US) PE firm in Madison Dearborn Partners. The Hyatt brothers maintained a minority stake as part of the 2017 acquisition.


Indian SaaS firm turns unicorn with $153m series C funding (TECH IN ASIA)

“To support our growth, we plan to double our headcount in the next 18 months,” said Nilesh Patel, LeadSquared co-founder and CEO. LeadSquared helps businesses by offering a customer relationship management platform, capturing and managing leads from different channels, and directing them to the right teams.


Ataccama secures $150 million from Bain Capital’s Tech Opportunities Fund (BETAKIT)

When asked why it decided to raise funding now, a spokesperson for Ataccama told BetaKit that the startup is at a point where it would be “the right thing to invest in growth.”

“We put together a three-year growth plan, and bringing an external investor was part of this plan, as we could see that an injection of capital would allow us to move faster,” a spokesperson said.


Google Says It’s Time for Longtime Small-Business Users to Pay Up (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

When Google told some small businesses in January that they would no longer be able to use a customized email service and other workplace apps for free, it felt like a broken promise for Richard J. Dalton Jr., a longtime user who operates a scholastic test-prep company in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Axonify acquires employee communication startup Nudge (BETAKIT)

Axonify contends that the labour shortage has showcased how integral frontline workers are to the economy and everyday life, but highlighted that they are vastly overworked. Axonify considers frontline employees people working in sectors such as retail and grocery sales, call centres, and distribution warehouses.


CEO and COO of MindGeek, parent company of Pornhub, have resigned (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Alongside the management changes, two sources with close links to the company said that MindGeek had begun laying off a number of its staff, in an attempt to cut costs after suffering revenue declines since 2020. The sources said that Mr. Antoon, Mr. Tassillo and Mr. Bergmair still retain majority ownership and that they intend to maintain majority shareholder control.


Why VC Deven Parekh doesn’t mind “overpaying” for a good deal (BETAKIT)

Parekh has invested in software for his entire VC career but has never seen growth quite like during the COVID-19 pandemic. He chalks this growth up to a massive acceleration of companies adopting software, first for working remotely during the depths of the pandemic but now for a hybrid and flexible work future.


Parallelz raises $3 million to challenge how app stores deliver, distribute apps (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based mobile computing software startup Parallelz has raised $3.8 million CAD in equity pre-seed funding led by Maple VC general partner Andre Charoo to make sharing a mobile app as easy as sharing a meme. Meanwhile, Montréal’s Beehivr has closed $1 million in equity seed financing from Investissement Québec to launch a new digital sales room solution to add more talent.


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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