S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Atlassian to buy video messaging provider Loom for nearly $1 billion

Vendasta co-founder and CMO Jeff Tomlin.
Plus: Vendasta closes $20M in new funding following layoffs.

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Vendasta closes $20-million Series E to fund acquisitions, converts existing debt into equity (BETAKIT)

After buying four companies in the past two years, Saskatoon-based Vendasta has secured $20 million CAD in equity Series E funding to continue its acquisition spree.

This announcement comes shortly after BetaKit reported on layoffs at Vendasta as part of a push to reach profitability by the end of 2023.

Atlassian to buy video messaging provider Loom for nearly $1 billion (REUTERS)

Atlassian said on Thursday it had agreed to acquire privately held video messaging platform Loom for about $975 million, beefing up its team collaboration tools to tap into resilient demand fueled by the adoption of hybrid work.

The acquisition of Loom, which has more than 25 million users globally, will enable customers communicate and collaborate more effectively, Atlassian said.

Ten Key Labs secures $10.5 million, launches AI equity management tool for founders (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based software startup Ten Key Labs has announced $10.5 million in seed funding and launched a new equity management platform called Mantle.

Through Mantle, Ten Key Labs aims to help startup founders simplify and automate capitalization table management, equity issuing, fundraising options, planning, forecasting, and signing and data rooms for documents.

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Toronto to put a cap on ride-hail licences (TORONTO STAR)

Toronto will freeze the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles operating on its streets, after a surprise council vote Wednesday that Mayor Olivia Chow said would benefit app company workers and reduce emissions.

Toronto’s cap on the number of gas-burning Uber and Lyft vehicles on Toronto’s streets stands to disrupt an industry that critics say is unfair to its drivers.

Buddybuild founder is back with new code-assist platform Unblocked (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based Unblocked emerged from stealth last Tuesday with a coding workflow platform and news of a January 2022 $8.3-million USD ($11.3-million CAD) seed round.

Unblocked claims to use large language models that connect with platforms where teams discuss their code, including Slack and Github, to learn how a team’s codebase works. A coder can consult Unblocked for insights on codebase formatting instead of asking a team member, which the startup says can save teams time. 

How Dropbox is tackling AI—and why it’s glad it ditched its offices (FAST COMPANY)

Fast Company spoke with cofounder and CEO Drew Houston about what’s new with Dropbox the product, AI, and Dropbox the company, which made the move to be one of the first entirely virtual workplaces during the COVID pandemic.

Looking back, Houston doesn’t seem haunted by the era when Dropbox signed the biggest commercial real estate lease in San Francisco history and had a cafeteria so remarkable that the urban legend it had earned a Michelin star seemed plausible.

HaiLa Technologies closes $14 million CAD strategic investment featuring Japanese manufacturer Murata Electronics (BETAKIT)

Montreal-based HaiLa Technologies has announced that it has raised a $10.35 million USD ($14.15 million CAD) investment with participation from a new strategic investor, Japanese electronics manufacturer Murata Electronics.

The fabless semiconductor and software company, which develops IoT communications chips and solutions, says the new funding will help drive R&D development, grow its team, and bring HaiLa’s ultra low-power system-on-chip solutions to market.

Data transformation startup Prophecy lands $35M investment (TECHCRUNCH)

Prophecy, a low-code development platform for companies to transform their data, today announced that it raised $35 million in a Series B funding round.

The new cash, which brings Prophecy’s total capital raised to $67 million, will be put toward scaling the Prophecy platform and customer acquisition efforts.

BetaKit Live: Bridging the cybersecurity gap for SMBs (BETAKIT)

Ahead of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023, Mastercard found that only 16 percent of small business owners are certain of next steps to take following an cyber attack, with just 18 percent totally confident their business could fully recover within six months.

In partnership with Mastercard, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on what Canadian small business owners can do to bridge their cybersecurity gap.

Newsom signs bill that would make it easier to delete online personal data (LOS ANGELES TIMES)

Californians will be able to make a single request asking that data brokers delete their personal information, under a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Tuesday.

Data brokers include businesses that gather and sell people’s personal data such as addresses, spending habits and employment status.

Newsom also passed a bill this week mandating any VC firm operating in the state to release investment diversity information.

Federal government announces first VCCI inclusive growth stream VC fund recipients (BETAKIT)

The Government of Canada is investing up to $25 million CAD into five Canadian venture capital (VC) funds through the inclusive growth stream of the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).

These VC fund recipients include Calgary-based District Ventures Capital and The51’s Food and AgTech Fund, Toronto's BKR Capital and Ripple Ventures, and Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures.

John Riccitiello is out at Unity, effective immediately (THE VERGE)

Unity, the company behind the game development engine of the same name, has just announced that its president, CEO, and chairman John Riccitiello “will retire” effective immediately.

While the press release makes no mention of it, this is happening amidst a giant game industry controversy after Unity introduced a new pricing model and retroactively changed its Terms of Service, breaking trust with many game developers in the process.

Neo Financial, Jobber, WaitWell among winners of sixth annual Start Alberta Tech Awards (BETAKIT)

Twelve awards were handed out to companies and members of Alberta’s tech ecosystem at the Start Alberta Tech Awards hosted in Edmonton this week.

The 2023 awards not only celebrated some of this year’s standout deals and capital raises, but also turned the spotlight to the province’s emergent ventures. Operations management software company Jobber was recognized for facilitating the Deal of the Year by raising $100 million USD in its most recent funding round.

The Unsinkable Melanie Perkins: After 100 Rejections, the Canva CEO Faces Her Greatest Threat Yet (THE INFORMATION)

In little more than a decade, the expectations placed on 36-year-old Melanie Perkins have gone from negligible to near impossible.

Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Canva, a rapidly-growing graphic design platform and one of tech’s most highly valued private companies, was a complete unknown from Perth, Australia, when she appeared on the Silicon Valley scene in 2013. Today, she’s talked about by investors and colleagues in almost mythic terms.

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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