The SaaS Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering major SaaS news from Canada and around the globe.
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BlackBerry considering breaking up its businesses to improve revenue, cash flow (BETAKIT)
BlackBerry announced it will initiate an assessment of the corporation’s businesses as it explores “strategic alternatives to drive enhanced shareholder value.” Among these alternatives include the potential separation of “one or more of BlackBerry’s businesses.”
IPO Hopeful Klaviyo Tries to Prove There’s More to Life Than Shopify (THE INFORMATION)
For years, Klaviyo’s best partner was e-commerce giant Shopify. Now, as the marketing software firm once valued at $9.5 billion gears up for an initial public offering, it’s looking to make new friends.
1Password CEO calls Google’s move to passkeys “tipping point” for eliminating passwords (BETAKIT)
Alongside Google and other tech giants like Apple and Amazon, Toronto-based 1Password is part of the FIDO Alliance, an open industry association whose mandate is to help reduce the world’s reliance on passwords.
“Passkeys are the first authentication method that removes human error – delivering security and ease of use,” Shiner said.
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Former Uber exec charged in hacking cover-up, prosecutors say (CNBC)
Joseph Sullivan, Uber's former chief security officer, was charged Thursday in federal court on allegations that he arranged to pay hackers $100,000 to cover up a high-tech heist that stole the personal information about 57 million of the ride-hailing service’s users and drivers during 2016.
Canadian venture capital investment in Q1 2023 drops by 82 percent compared to last year (BETAKIT)
In the first quarter of 2023, deals in Canada’s tech ecosystem plummeted. The latest data from Briefed.in shows Canada experienced a 82 percent decline in amount invested compared to the same time last year, and a 67 percent drop in number of deals.
Sabre Is Cutting 15 Percent of Its Workforce, Roughly 1,100 Jobs (SKIFT)
Sabre, a Texas-based company which provides operational software and distribution services to travel agencies, airlines, and hotels, has announced a round of layoffs that will cut 15 percent of its workforce in an effort to save $200 million annually.
RenoRun shuts down operations as it pursues sale of assets (BETAKIT)
Montréal-based construction tech startup RenoRun has shut down operations, according to multiple employees terminated by the company.
While RenoRun shuttered its business after failing to secure financing or hail mary acquisitions, the sale of its assets continues to roll through Québec courts as part of an insolvency process.
FTC proposes barring Meta from monetizing kids’ data (CNBC)
The Federal Trade Commission proposed barring Facebook parent company Meta from monetizing kids’ data, and much more, after it says the company violated a 2020 privacy order.
The proposed terms include a blanket ban on monetizing data from users under 18, impose a pause on the company’s ability to launch new or modified products or services, and require Meta to get affirmative consent from users for future use of facial recognition technology.
Brightspark seeks to recreate its "home run" exits of Think Dynamics, Radian6 as it launches $120-million fund (BETAKIT)
Brightspark Ventures thinks now is the right time to be investing in early-stage Canadian tech companies as it holds the first close for its latest fund, which has a target size of $120 million CAD.
Unity Conducts Its Third and Largest Round of Layoffs in a Year
(THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)
San Francisco-based Unity said it is slashing roughly 600 jobs, about 8 percent of its workforce as recession fears mount. The company, which will be left with around 7,000 employees after the layoffs, is also planning to reduce its global network of offices over the next few years to fewer than 30 from 58 today.
Odaia closes $34 million CAD Series B to fix “bottleneck” in drug delivery process (BETAKIT)
Toronto-based software startup Odaia has secured $34 million CAD ($25 million USD) in Series B financing co-led by Threshold Ventures and Monograph Capital, a pair of foreign venture capital investors focused on life sciences and healthtech companies.
Odaia’s software automates the data analysis process using AI and machine learning to collect and analyze phrama industry data sources, which is usually a long, intensive process needed to support sales and marketing efforts.
RapidAPI headcount down 82% from fresh layoffs less than two weeks after cutting 50% of staff (TECHCRUNCH)
Rapid (previously known as RapidAPI), a startup that built out an API marketplace valued at $1 billion last year, has laid off another 70 employees less than two weeks after letting go of 50% of its staff. The company allegedly has only 42 of its 230 staff remaining from April.
Bell to acquire Montréal cloud services provider FX Innovation (BETAKIT)
Canadian telecommunications company Bell is acquiring FX Innovation, which provides cloud consulting services and workflow automation solutions to businesses.
According to John Watson, group president of business markets, customer experience, and AI at Bell, FX Innovation’s cloud services will “complement” Bell’s product and services team for corporate clients.
The Untold Story of the Boldest Supply-Chain Hack Ever (WIRED)
It was late 2019, and Adair, the president of the security firm Volexity, was investigating a digital security breach at an American think tank. The intrusion was nothing special—until they noticed something strange: a second group of hackers was active in the think tank’s network.
This is the intricate story of the SolarWinds investigation.