S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Exec turnover trend hits Top Hat and Alida

Top Hat CEO Joe Rohrlich and CRO Matt Schurk
Plus: SAP faces hefty fines, Salesforce and Slack might be pausing tech/product hiring.

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Top Hat CEO Joe Rohrlich and CRO Matt Schurk depart EdTech company

These leadership changes come about five months after BetaKit reported that Top Hat laid off 42 employees, or less than 10 percent of its team, as part of a “workforce optimization initiative” in August 2023.

Following publication, Top Hat told BetaKit that the decision behind Rohrlich’s departure was made “collaboratively and mutually” while Schurk departed for a new role outside of higher education.



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Exclusive: Salesforce and Slack ‘pause all hiring’ in tech and product divisions, according to leaked memo that Salesforce says was a misstatement

Salesforce will pause all hiring in technology and product divisions, including in its chat subsidiary Slack, according to a message from Ross Harmes, chief of staff to the Slack CTO, seen by Fortune.

The memo’s characterization of an extensive hiring pause was disputed by Salesforce, which told Fortune that the company was “not freezing hiring in any departments,” and said it would continue “strategic hiring.”

Salesforce did not dispute the authenticity of the memo.


Requity Homes secures $26 million for rent-to-own platform as high interest rates loom over prospective homeowners

Toronto-based proptech startup Requity Homes, which aims to help Canadians bridge the gap between renting and homeownership with its rent-to-own platform, has secured a $26 million mix of equity and debt funding.

With a similar offering, United States-based Divvy Homes recently went through three rounds of layoffs within one year reportedly due to high interest rates, while Requity said it has been operating in Canada relatively uncontested since its founding in 2020 and has now secured capital rather than downsizing. 


SAP to pay more than $230 million to settle bribery charges, U.S. authorities say

SAP, the $192 billion German enterprise tech company, will pay more than $230 million to settle investigations into worldwide “recidivist” foreign bribery practices, U.S. authorities announced Wednesday.

The settlement is one of the largest of its kind and is the second time SAP has settled bribery allegations with U.S. regulators.


US-based JMI Equity buys out Safe Software co-founder in strategic investment

JMI, which had been tracking Surrey, BC-based Safe Software for over a decade, has acquired a minority stake in the 30-year-old data-integration software company. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In tandem with this news, Safe co-founder Dale Lutz is stepping down from his position as co-CEO and taking on a new part-time role. 


PerformYard lands $95M to grow its staff performance management platform

PerformYard has announced a raise of $95 million. CEO Ben Hastings said that the new cash will be put toward building out PerformYard’s apps and services suite and growing the company’s 70-person team.

Performyard’s platform provides a collection of software-based retention, staff management and upskilling tools.


Alida appoints Efrem Ainsley CEO as software firm targets “long-term sustainability”

The experienced software executive takes over from Ross Wainwright, who was brought on to help rejuvenate the customer feedback software company in late 2019. According to Alida, Wainwright recently stepped down to explore other opportunities.


Exclusive: Unity Software to cut 25% of staff in ‘company reset’ continuation

Videogame software provider Unity Software will target laying off approximately 25 percent of its workforce, or 1,800 jobs, the company said in a regulatory filing and internal company memo on Monday.

The layoffs come shortly after interim CEO Jim Whitehurst announced a “company reset” in November.


Workforce micro-learning platform Spiffy acquired by Oliver Solutions

Toronto-based Spiffy, which provides a digital training platform for workplaces, has been acquired by regulated e-learning and compliance solutions firm Oliver Solutions.

The deal, which closed in December, will see Spiffy’s entire team of six absorbed into Oliver. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Finn raises $109M on a $658M valuation, taking its car subscription platform up another gear

Finn, a startup based out of Munich that operates a platform for new car subscriptions has raised €100 million ($109-110 million), a Series C that values the company at €600 million post-money ($658 million at current rates). 

The company, which currently manages 25,000 subscriptions in Germany and the U.S., plans to use to expand its tech and reach, with a move into more electric vehicles and cloud-based tools to manage its services.


Paul Patterson named CEO of enterprise data startup Cinchy

Paul Patterson assumes the reins of CEO from Cinchy co-founder Dan DeMers, who is shifting to the role of “chief simplification officer,” according to a statement from Cinchy, a role that will see him “develop a first-of-its-kind data product marketplace.”


SentinelOne acquires Peak XV-backed PingSafe for over $100 million

Cybersecurity company SentinelOne’s deal to acquire PingSafe values the Peak XV-backed young startup at over $100 million, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, in one of the strongest and fastest exits emerging from India.PingSafe is a relatively new and small security company with fewer than 100 employees and over 50 customers, mostly in India. 


Operto to acquire US-based proptech firm Dack, bolster property management platform

Vancouver-based hospitality software startup Operto has entered into an agreement to acquire Dack, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based proptech, for an undisclosed amount.

Dack, founded in 2018, provides similar offerings with its platform, allowing property operators to provide guests with digital access, contactless check-in and checkout, and guest verification.

Operto CEO Steve Davis told BetaKit that Dack’s “advanced guest-facing app” was arguably 12 to 24 months ahead of Operto’s own technology, making it an attractive acquisition target.


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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