S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Certn targets global expansion, Huawei builds Oracle replacement

Plus: Salesforce is working on new generative AI-driven workflow tools.

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

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Certn targets global expansion of background check tech with $30 million USD Series B extension from EDC (BETAKIT)

Victoria-based background check technology firm Certn has closed a $30 million USD Series B extension to fuel its international growth.

Certn, which was founded in 2016, created a software platform to facilitate the pre-employment background screening process, enabling businesses to hire more quickly while also managing risk.

Ericsson to invest $470-million for research and job creation at Ottawa, Montreal facilities with federal funding

Ericsson chief executive officer Börje Ekholm said the company decided to invest in Canada because of the tech talent and cultural fit. Already, Ottawa is Ericsson’s largest research and development facility in North America.

Medfar secures $30 million CAD, looks to acquire more electronic medical record software providers (BETAKIT)

Medfar is part of a growing space for healthtech startups looking to cash in on the electronic health records market, which is expected to reach a valuation of $30.8 billion USD globally by 2030, according to market research from Precedence Research.

Osler releases multi-year study of 350+ Canadian VC and growth equity financings
Osler’s market-leading Emerging and High Growth Companies Group has released its second annual Deal Points Report: Venture Capital Financings, a study of 353 anonymized venture capital and growth equity financings from 2020 to 2022, valued at more than US$6 billion.

This comprehensive report is a must read for founders, entrepreneurs, investors and advisors who are contemplating transactions in 2023 and beyond.
Read the Deal Points Report now.

Silver Lake to buy Germany's Software AG in $2.42 billion deal (REUTERS)

The offer price of 30 euros per share in cash by Silver Lake-controlled Blitz 22-449 SE represents a premium of 53% to Software AG's closing price of 19.59 euros on Thursday.

Optable raises $26 million CAD to help companies improve advertising campaigns (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based Optable has raised $26 million CAD ($20 million USD) to expand the reach of its data platform designed to protect user data while making advertising campaigns easier to manage.

This latest funding round brings Optable total funding to date to around $30 million CAD ($23 million USD) after the startup first raised a $4.3 million CAD ($3.6 million USD) seed round in 2021.

Salesforce is working on a pair of new generative AI-driven workflow tools (TECHCRUNCH)

The new tools are Einstein GPT for Flow, which combines generative AI textual interaction to create a workflow with little or no code simply by typing an action you want the system to take, and Data Cloud for Flow, which uses data-driven event triggers to drive actions in Flow, such as generate a report once a salesperson reaches 100 sales.

Yung Wu to depart as MaRS CEO at end of 2023 as innovation hub begins search for next leader (BETAKIT)

Over the past five-plus years, Wu guided MaRS through the pandemic, helped MaRS launch its flagship scale-up program, a climate impact program, biotech accelerator, cleantech accelerator, Graphite Ventures, a $100 million private venture capital fund, and open a new waterfront campus.

Huawei creates own business software to replace Oracle

Huawei’s dependence on Oracle became untenable when the company stopped providing software upgrades and on-site technical services after Washington’s trade curb in 2019. Now, Huawei is developing in-house software and chips to shake off the effects of being placed on a US trade blacklist.

Raghwa Gopal to retire as head of Innovate BC, kicking off search for new leader (BETAKIT)

Innovate BC has announced Raghwa Gopal, its president and CEO, is retiring in August.

Gopal was appointed to lead Innovate BC in 2019 after the organization’s previous CEO, Shirley Vickers, resigned at the beginning of that year.

Google’s 80-acre San Jose mega-campus is on hold as company reckons with economic slowdown (CNBC)

What was poised to be a mega-campus called “Downtown West,” with thousands of new housing units and 15 acres of public parks, is largely a demolition zone at risk of becoming a long-term eyesore and economic zero. CNBC has learned that, as part of Google’s downsizing that went into effect early this year, the company has gutted its development team for the San Jose campus.

BBTV resolves dispute with Ethan Klein as YouTube creators raise concerns over revenue payouts (BETAKIT)

Klein argued that BBTV improperly withheld nearly $620,000 from his podcast dating back to December 2020, a concern other creators partnered with BBTV have echoed.

Lyft to cut at Least 1,200 jobs in new round of layoffs to reduce costs (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

The latest cuts could affect 30% or more of Lyft’s more than 4,000 employees and the company had planned to announce the move after a board meeting next week. The cuts could reportedly help Lyft reduce 50% of its costs. Lyft doesn’t count its drivers as employees.

KB Nam officially named president of Wattpad following recent leadership change (BETAKIT)

Nam was initially hired as interim president in December 2022, following significant leadership changes at Wattpad.

Nam assumes this permanent position after Wattpad laid off 15 percent of its employees in March.

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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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