S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Earnings week for Q4, Thinkific, Magnet Forensics

Magnet Forensics founder Jad Saliba and CEO Adam Belsher
Plus: Tailscale makes corporate VPNs as easy as ABC.

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Tailscale closes $128 million CAD Series B to scale VPN service, amass more developer evangelists (BETAKIT)

A slew of American investors have backed Canada’s newest unicorn, as Tailscale has raised $128 million CAD ($100 million USD) to begin scaling its operations by spending “a lot” on engineering, and investing “a bit” in marketing and sales.

NYSE-owner ICE to buy Black Knight in $13.1 bln deal (REUTERS)

The acquisition of Black Knight, which provides software, data and analytics to the real estate and housing finance markets, is the latest in a string of deals since 2016 by ICE to support its mortgage servicing business as it bets on a windfall from the automation of the home financing process.

Magnet Forensics acquires assets from Comae Technologies, posts 35 percent revenue growth in Q1 2022 (BETAKIT)

The Kitchener-Waterloo-based company grew its revenue to $19.8 million USD in Q1, a jump compared to the $14.7 million Magnet pulled in during the same period in 2021. However, Magnet also posted a loss of $900,000 in Q1—its second consecutive quarterly drop in net income—after generating net income of $2.8 million in the first quarter of last year.

Elon Musk raises $7 billion in new funding for Twitter buyout (AXIOS)

Musk secured around $5.2 billion in equity commitments from 18 investors, plus a rollover of nearly 35 million Twitter shares from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The largest equity commitment is $1 billion from Oracle founder and major Tesla shareholder Larry Ellison, followed by $800 million from Sequoia Capital, $700 million from VyCapital, $500 million from crypto company Binance and $400 million from Andreessen Horowitz.


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Boast.ai leadership transition makes Alok Tyagi CEO to scale R&D tax credit company (BETAKIT)

The Vancouver-founded company has made a leadership change, with founding CEO Alex Popa stepping back from the role and Alok Tyagi stepping in to help the R&D tax credit company scale. The move is part of a broader shift that started about a year ago when Boast.ai raised its first institutional capital and staffed up to scale the business.

Cameo, a Celebrity Shoutout App, Lays Off 25% of Workforce (THE INFORMATION)

Chicago-based celebrity shoutout app Cameo has laid off 80 employees—25 percent of its workforce—to balance its costs with its cash reserves. Cameo wasn’t the only startup to announce layoffs this week: San Francisco online collaboration company Mural and emerging founder and fund manager support firm On Deck followed suit.

Q4 Inc. records 23 percent YoY revenue growth, halves net losses in Q1 2022 earnings (BETAKIT)

According to the company’s Q1 2022 earnings report, which was released today, Q4 Inc. pulled in $13.9 million USD in revenue, a 23 percent rise year-over-year compared to the $11.3 million it generated in Q1 2021. Q4 Inc. also more than halved its net losses, year-over-year. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported a net loss of $6.6 million, or $0.17 per share, a far cry from the $13.5 million it lost during the same period in 2021.

Facebook Parent Meta Hits the Brakes on Hiring as Growth Stalls (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

After seeing its growth stall, Facebook parent Meta has announced a sharp slowdown in hiring, ending an extended period in which the tech giant added thousands of jobs a year. The move comes shortly after Meta shared plans to open an engineering hub and hire up to 2,500 workers in Canada. According to The Logic, this shift in hiring plans will slow down the company’s expansion north of the border.

Thinkific sees revenue rise, net loss jump in Q1 2022, following recent layoffs (BETAKIT)

During the first quarter of 2022, Thinkific posted 42 percent revenue growth and a much higher net loss compared to the same period in 2021, in the company’s first results since laying off 20 percent of its staff in an effort to cut costs amid a difficult capital-raising environment.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi says U.S. regulator is investigating its $4 billion IPO (CNBC)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Didi after its tarnished initial public offering, adding further pressure on the Chinese ride-hailing giant.

Visier makes first acquisition, acquiring Yva.ai’s tech and team to expand understanding of how employees work (BETAKIT)

Vancouver workforce analytics startup Visier has acquired the assets of California-based employee experience platform Yva.ai. Meanwhile, Calgary’s Validere has purchased Clairifi to offer regulatory reporting capabilities to its oil and gas firm clients, while Toronto-based Playmaker has acquired New York sports media company The Sports Drop.

Uber reports surging revenue as drivers return, but posts massive loss on investments (CNBC)

Uber reported surging revenue during the first quarter as the ride-hailing company said it’s recovering from its coronavirus lows and wouldn’t have to put up “significant” investments to keep drivers on the platform. But it also reported a $5.9 billion loss during the period that was largely attributed to the revaluation of equity investments.

Boundless Life secures $2 million seed round to help families transition to digital nomad lifestyle (BETAKIT)

Montréal-headquartered Boundless Life has raised $2 million in seed funding to serve families who want to transition to a digital nomad lifestyle. Elsewhere, Vancouver’s Supportbench has snagged $1.9 million to become a Zendesk for B2B companies, while Toronto-based talent intelligence platform Tilr has secured a $1.3 million grant from the province of Ontario.

New York City sues Activision, targeting CEO Bobby Kotick (AXIOS)

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick rushed to secure a takeover bid from Microsoft to escape liability for misconduct at the company, a new lawsuit from New York City officials alleges. The lawsuit is an action in Delaware’s Court of Chancery that allows stockholders to press companies to open their books and potentially expose wrongdoing.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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