S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Atlassian & Cloudflare score big, Zoom sends employees back into the office

Plus: Uber finally makes a profit.

The SaaS Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering major SaaS news from Canada and around the globe.

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SensorUp raises $12 million CAD to battle methane emissions (BETAKIT)

In the fight to reduce methane emissions, SensorUp has raised $12 million CAD in a Series B round. Climate Investment led the round, while notable BC-based cleantech investment fund Evok Innovations also participated.

SensorUp claims its software solution allows swift detection and mitigation of methane emissions by providing contextualized, integrated, and auditable data for its customers.

Uber’s Business Is Finally Making Money After Years of Losses

Uber Technologies posted its first-ever operating profit in the second quarter, a milestone in its long-term efforts to stem losses in its businesses carrying people and delivering food.

The quarter was the first since Uber’s 2009 founding that it reported its underlying operations were profitable. The company projected continued growth for the third quarter ending Sept. 30.

National Bank acquires Silicon Valley Bank's Canadian commercial loan portfolio (BETAKIT)

The National Bank announced Aug. 1 an agreement to acquire the commercial loan portfolio of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) Canadian branch.

The portfolio is comprised of approximately $1 billion CAD in loan commitments, of which some $325 million CAD are outstanding. The assets will be integrated into National Bank’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, under the leadership of Tuyen Vo, head of this group since 2019.

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Francisco Partners & TPG to take New Relic private in $6 billion all-cash deal (CNBC)

A consortium led by Francisco Partners and private equity group TPG will take software provider New Relic private in an all-cash, $87-a-share offer that values the company at nearly $6.5 billion, New Relic announced Monday.

New Relic, which builds software to help websites and applications track performance, will have a 45-day “go-shop” period, during which it can entertain offers from other qualified bidders.

Part3 serves North American construction mega-projects. With new funding, “the vision is bigger” (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Part3 set out to simplify the administration part of the construction process by bringing all documents and collaboration to a single platform, targeting architects and designers to start.

Founded in 2020 by a team with experience working in tech and construction, Part3 has now closed $2.8 million CAD in seed funding to enhance its platform and expand it to more players across the industry.

Even Zoom Is Making People Return to the Office

Revenue for the video conferencing company soared in 2020 — a jump driven by the millions of people who started working from home. Zoom was also part of the remote work shift that it powered, with most of its employees permitted to work from home.

But now, joining a swell of other tech firms pushing for in-person work, Zoom is requiring many of its 7,400 employees to start showing up at the office.

The company last week asked all employees within 50 miles of an office to work in person on a part-time basis, a plan Zoom said it would roll out in August and September.

Johnny Boufarhat steps down as CEO of Hopin (SIFTED)

Johnny Boufarhat is stepping down as CEO of British events scaleup Hopin following the sale of its original product — the Hopin events platform — to US listed SaaS company RingCentral.

Since the pandemic, the company has struggled with several rounds of layoffs.

Canadian startup struggles continue as Silofit closes up shop, Top Hat and Fable cut staff (BETAKIT)

More Canadian technology startups have made the difficult decision to cut costs or close down amid a sector-wide downturn.

Just this week, Silofit officially closed its doors and Fable announced that it laid off employees. Top Hat has also reduced its headcount, BetaKit has learned. This trio is far from alone.

Atlassian shares skyrocket as CEOs see wider margins returning (CNBC)

Atlassian shares jumped as much as 24% in extended trading on Thursday after the collaboration software maker announced stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results and promised wider margins in the future.

During the fiscal fourth quarter, Atlassian showed how it would bolster its applications with generative artificial intelligence to handle support requests and receive automated answers to questions about corporate documents.

Canadian venture status report: Q2 2023 (BETAKIT)

New data from briefed.in gives an optimistic outlook on the venture health of Canada's biggest tech ecosystems in Q2 2023.

Following a sluggish start to the year, Toronto and British Columbia's tech ecosystems saw a resurgence in venture funding in the quarter, mostly due to larger deals between fewer companies. 

Alberta tech is on pace to eclipse its 2022, with companies raising a lively $123.8M in Q2 2023. Québec followed suit, maintaining an upward trajectory in the quarter, growing 42 percent from Q1 2023 and 81 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, venture deal volume in the Waterloo Region reached a three-year low in the second quarter of 2023, but unreported deals could be shaping an unfair perception of the local tech sector.

Experienced developers share their career advice for young professionals (BETAKIT)

Growing as a developer is about more than finding new ways to ship code.

BetaKit spoke with two leaders–Ricardo Maldonado, a Development Lead at Calgary-based Suncor, and Betheena Elgincolin, Senior Technology Architect at TELUS–about their careers and what advice they would share with junior colleagues.

Cloudflare raises full-year forecasts as tech spending bounces back (REUTERS)

San Francisco, California-based Cloudflare, which sells tools and software, grouped as content delivery network services, raised its annual revenue and profit forecasts after delivering better-than-expected results for the second quarter on Thursday,

Companies are increasing their expenditure on technology as cooling inflation and the recent strength in consumer activity signal a stabilizing macroeconomic outlook.

Graphite Ventures closes $110-million Fund IV as firm builds its national presence (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Graphite Ventures has reached $110 million CAD in the final close of its Fund IV as the firm continues to expand its reach beyond Ontario to startups Canada-wide.

While Graphite is industry agnostic, it concentrates investments in B2B SaaS, FinTech, digital health, and “capital-efficient hardware” with many companies using AI and machine learning.

Fidelity deepens valuation cut for SaaS startup Gupshup (TECHCRUNCH)

Fidelity has slashed the estimated worth of its holding in SaaS startup Gupshup by over 20% in a month and by more than 50% since the original investment in the latest brutal markdown across private markets.

Fidelity originally invested $16.2 million from its Blue Chip Growth Fund in Gupshup in mid-2021 in a funding round that valued the business messaging services provider at $1.4 billion.

With school districts “striving to achieve more with less,” layoffs come to Paper (BETAKIT)

Montreal-based EdTech startup Paper laid off 105 “paperites,” or about four percent of its workforce, on Aug. 1.

Before this round of layoffs, the startup had been aggressively raising funds and making acquisitions including learning tool platforms Readlee and MajorClarity in March.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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