S|W: The SaaS Weekly – AmpMe accusations on the App Store

AmpMe startup
Plus: Vendasta closes second acquisition after dashed IPO plans, venture round.

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AmpMe accused of boosting app sales through fake reviews by noted App Store critic (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based startup AmpMe has found itself in the crosshairs of the App Store’s “one-man Bunco Squad.” Kosta Eleftheriou, an American entrepreneur, is alleging that VC-backed AmpMe has purchased thousands of fake reviews in order to boost the popularity of its music app on the Apple App Store.

Take-Two Interactive to buy FarmVille maker Zynga in $11 billion deal (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Take-Two Chief Executive Strauss Zelnick said a purchase of Zynga would give it a strong position in mobile, which has been the fastest-growing segment of the global videogame industry in recent years.

Vendasta makes second acquisition after dashed IPO plans, venture round (BETAKIT)

Saskatoon-based business solution startup Vendasta has acquired advertising tech company MatchCraft in its second acquisition deal in less than three months. The 14-year-old company is well-capitalized to make such purchases after putting its IPO ambitions on hold and securing $119.5 million CAD in venture capital in late May.

European Uber rival Bolt valued at $8.4 billion in new funding round (CNBC)

The investment values the eight-year-old company at about $8.4 billion, up from $4.8 billion just five months ago.

Unbounce acquires US-based marketing tech startup LeadsRx (BETAKIT)

Unbounce chief strategy officer Tamara Grominsky called the addition of LeadsRx an “opportunity to deliver conversion value to marketers across a wider spectrum of the marketing funnel.”

CEO of $10 billion open-source company Elastic steps down, president leaves (FORBES)

Shay Banon, co-founder of the $10 billion open-source company Elastic, who is known for his criticism of Amazon’s dominant position in the cloud computing sector, is stepping down as CEO and chairman of Elastic to focus on the engineering side of the business. He wasn’t the only high-profile tech CEO to reveal he was stepping down last week, as Moxie Marlinspike is also vacating his position as Signal CEO.

Review of 11 Canadian tech companies to watch in 2021 (BETAKIT)

Kevin Sandhu reviews his list of the 11 Canadian tech companies to watch in 2021 to check in on how they fared over the past year. In 2021, Sandhu tagged Bluedot, Clutch, Symend, Ollie Order, Craver Solutions, Synctera, Showbie, Elastic Garage, Synex Medical, Lufa Farms, and LifeSpeak as worth watching.

VC economics: why startup valuations are art while dilution is a science (BETAKIT)

Lewis Hower, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank, explains the investor mindset and how it can impact startup valuations.

Apple removes Wordle apps after user confusion stokes downloads (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Apple has removed several Wordle copycats from its App Store after users confused them with another version of the popular word-play game. Wordle games began to take off in the App Store in recent weeks, buoyed by a specific version that was created by former Reddit software engineer Josh Wardle. Wardle’s edition, which has caught on with celebrities and entertainers, is only available via his website.

Together lands $6.2 million CAD to pair mentors and mentees in companies (BETAKIT)

The funding round closed in December. Igor Ryabenkiy, a managing partner from AltaIR, is joining Together’s board.

Provision Analytics raises $6 million CAD to improve food safety with its SaaS platform (BETAKIT)

Provision also announced that DNV Global took an undisclosed, “major” equity position in the company as part of a new partnership.

Match Group sues Muslim dating app startup Muzmatch (BUSINESS INSIDER)

A lone Muslim dating app founder is battling Tinder-owner Match in court after turning down 4 acquisition offers, according to court filings.

Wagepoint makes first acquisition, purchasing Timesheet Mobile (BETAKIT)

Calgary-based FinTech startup Wagepoint has made its first acquisition, purchasing Massachusetts-based Timesheet Mobile, a provider of workforce management solutions. Wagepoint noted the deal was made possible due to the financing it received from Providence Strategic Growth, which acquired a majority stake in Wagepoint in 2020.

Redbrick acquires Indianapolis-based email marketing platform Delivra (BETAKIT)

Since its founding in 2011 by CEO Tobyn Sowden, Redbrick has bolstered its group of companies, acquiring startups such as Leadpages, Shift, Rebase, and Assembly.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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