S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Databricks nabs Arcion for $100M, 1Password detects “suspicious activity”

Plus: CentML gets Google and Nvidia backing to boost ML model performance.

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Deloitte spinout Arteria AI closes $46-million CAD Series B to help banks turn documents into data (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) startup Arteria AI, which helps some of the world’s largest banks address documentation challenges, has secured about $46 million CAD ($30 million USD) in Series B funding to fuel its go-to-market and product development efforts.

Byju’s CFO quits in six months amid delayed accounts (TECHCRUNCH)

Byju’s CFO Ajay Goel, who joined the edtech giant in April this year, has already resigned, the two said Tuesday, in the latest setback for the startup that is grappling with scores of challenges. Goel will leave Byju’s after completing the long-delayed audit formalities for the financial year ending March 2022.

Google and Nvidia-backed CentML secures $37 million CAD to help companies deploy AI amid chip shortages (BETAKIT)

CentML, which has secured $37 million CAD ($27 million USD) in seed funding and support from a host of big-name investors, looks to help companies figure out what hardware they can use to boost the performance and reduce the cost of their ML models.

“Essentially, what we’ve done is we get way more juice out of the available hardware for customers,” CentML co-founder and CEO Gennady Pekhimenko told BetaKit in an interview.

Navigating the Downturn: Learn How to Manage the Key Financial Drivers to Steer Through Economic Uncertainty with Confidence to Ensure your Company Survives

The economy will always ebb and flow, and there will always be times of relative prosperity and economic difficulty.

Recession-proofing your SaaS finance tech stack before a recession hits–or worsens–is one of the best moves you can make for your company. If you follow the 5 steps in this eBook, your business can remain calm and confident even during a recession.

Download the eBook.

Databricks, the $43 billion analytics firm, acquires data startup Arcion for $100 million (CNBC)

Databricks has agreed to acquire Arcion, an enterprise data company, for about $100 million, including incentives, CEO Ali Ghodsi told CNBC.

The acquisition comes after Databricks announced a $500 million funding round in September at a valuation of $43 billion. Arcion is Databricks’ first acquisition since acquiring MosaicML, an AI infrastructure startup specializing in training large language models, for $1.3 billion.

After pivoting focus from sellers to buyers, Kiwiz hopes to be the Uber for car inspections (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based Kiwiz has raised $600,000 CAD in pre-seed funding for its platform that connects auto inspectors to prospective car buyers and brings inspections out of repair shops and to the point-of-sale.

Kiwiz was initially founded in 2020 as CAR2SELL, a platform that targeted sellers. Following a pivot and rebrand, Kiwiz is now looking to address what the company perceives as a lack of confidence and transparency in the car buying process.

1Password detects “suspicious activity” in its internal Okta account (ARSTECHNICA)

1Password, a password manager used by millions of people and more than 100,000 businesses, said it detected suspicious activity on a company account provided by Okta, the identity and authentication service that disclosed a breach on Friday.

“We immediately terminated the activity, investigated, and found no compromise of user data or other sensitive systems, either employee-facing or user-facing,” the company said.

QuoteMachine adds $3.7 million in new funding to streamline the sales stack for merchants (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based retail tech startup QuoteMachine has raised $3.7 million in new seed financing as the startup looks to personalize the online selling experience for merchants.

Founded in 2018, QuoteMachine has developed software aimed to help retailers take custom big-ticket sales online and deliver more streamlined and personalized sales experiences, from quoting to order fulfillment and payment.

Censys lands new cash to grow its threat-detecting cybersecurity service (TECHCRUNCH)

Censys, which provides customers with insights about critical internet-connected infrastructure, announced that it raised $50 million in a Series C funding round plus a $25 million debt round, bringing its total raised to $128.1 million.

Censys offers a range of tools to keep tabs on internet hosts and services and their security statuses. Customers get a database of vulnerable infrastructure “enriched with context,” as well as a platform for monitoring and analyzing their internet-facing assets.

Version One Ventures explains how to fundraise when capital is no longer a commodity (BETAKIT)

What’s a founder to do if you’ve only just started your company in 2023—right on time to miss the COVID-19 stimulus-fueled boom cycle and see capital dry up?

Angela Tran, General Partner at Version One Ventures, on the #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast shared more about the first major venture “winter” since the Great Recession and what founders can do about it today.

Hivebrite secures $37M Series B to expand global community engagement platform (TECH.EU)

Community and engagement platform Hivebrite announced that it has raised a $37 million series B funding round.

Founded in Paris in 2015, Hivebrite has developed an all-in-one SaaS community engagement platform, enabling organisations across industries to launch, manage, and grow private, fully-branded communities.

How to get hybrid work right for the long term (BETAKIT)

Experts in support of remote work say employee difficulties are the fault of leadership, while leaders driving the return-to-office push say hybrid work is fundamentally flawed.

For John P. Trougakos, a professor of organizational behaviour at the University of Toronto and a workplace productivity consultant, both parties have a point, so what are businesses to do?

Speaking with BetaKit, Trougakos explained how to truly get hybrid work right—and why no two organizations should use the same strategy.

Uber begins offering rides in self-driving Waymo cars (CNBC)

Customers ordering an Uber in Phoenix now have the option to take their ride in a fully autonomous vehicle, the company announced in a blog post Thursday.

The autonomous Uber rides will be serviced by Waymo vehicles, and rides will be the same price as the traditional car rides Uber offers.

How to navigate the “imperfect storm” of startup cybersecurity (BETAKIT)

What would you do if your business was the victim of a cyberattack—and to top it off, you lost half your customers because of it?

In a recent BetaKit Live conversation, three expert panellists discussed the very real business risks of a cyberattack and how small business and startup owners should engage with those risks.

Learn about the rapid growth of cybercrime from Aviva Klein, VP of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions at Mastercard in Canada, Darryl Julott, Managing Lead at Digital Main Street, and Charles Finlay, Executive Director of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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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