S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Instabase notches $2 billion valuation on the back of AI

Plus: Montreal-based HR platform GSoft secures $125M.

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GSoft secures $125-million CDPQ investment to pursue growth through acquisitions (BETAKIT)

Montreal-based GSoft, which provides software solutions for employee experience, has secured a $125-million investment from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to pursue more acquisitions.

GSoft's first acquisition was of Quebec City learning management system company, Didacte, in February and was followed by a significant period of growth.

Startup Instabase Notches $2 Billion Valuation, Incorporates New AI (BLOOMBERG)

Business services startup Instabase Inc. has raised a new round of funding of $45 million that doubles its valuation to $2 billion, a deal buoyed by the company’s use of new generative artificial intelligence tools in its suite of corporate products.

Saskatoon startups Rivercity, 7shifts team up to enhance food temperature monitoring for restaurants (BETAKIT)

Rivercity Innovations (RCI) has launched the integration of its cold chain monitoring sensors and software with 7shifts, which provides a restaurant team management platform.

In this partnership, RCI will deliver its temperature monitoring services to 7shifts’ more than 40,000 clients.

Addressing Canada’s talent gap in the tech industry boils down to removing the barriers for equity-deserving groups
The Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) program is a cost-free digital and professional skills development initiative that bridges the employment gap. It equips students in their final semester and post- secondary graduates with in-demand skills for entry-level tech roles.

ADaPT supports a diverse group of talent from varied educational backgrounds, with 79% of participants identifying as belonging to at least one equity-deserving group. Backed by 70+ hours of intensive training, the program exposes participants to tech career pathways.    

The ADaPT program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and led by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute in collaboration with TECHNATION Canada. 

To support future talent in thriving tech careers within Canada’s changing job market and become an ADaPT employer, find out more here.

Byju’s to lay off ~1,000 employees (THE MORNING CONTEXT)

India’s largest edtech company, which was valued north of $22 billion in its last funding round, is on course to fire around 1,000 people.

The last mass layoffs happened in January this year, when the company let go of around 5,000 people.

Here’s how Canada’s top 10 cities rank in the global startup ecosystem (BETAKIT)

Though Canada maintains the rank of fourth place among 100 countries in StartupBlink’s global index for 2023, the report found that regions within the country experienced significant changes in the last year.

Former ByteDance Executive Claims Chinese Communist Party Accessed TikTok’s Hong Kong User Data (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

A former executive at ByteDance, the parent company of the hit video-sharing app TikTok, alleges in a legal filing that a committee of China’s Communist Party members accessed the data of TikTok users in Hong Kong in 2018—a contention the company denies.

York University partners with OneEleven to launch joint venture studio for new tech MBA degree (BETAKIT)

York University’s Schulich School of Business is partnering with Toronto-based tech hub OneEleven to establish a joint venture studio.

The venture studio will match students with member companies from both OneEleven and Schulich’s startup communities, who will complete pro bono product and fundraising analysis for select startups.

Managed cybersecurity provider Blackpoint Cyber reels in $190M from investors (SILICON ANGLE)

Blackpoint Cyber, a startup that provides managed cybersecurity services using an internally developed software platform, has raised $190 million in fresh funding.

The main highlight of the company’s product portfolio is an MDR, or managed detection and response, service. The service allows MSPs to have Blackpoint Cyber monitor their corporate customers’ infrastructure for breach indicators.

PSG makes investment in Hostaway to expand its vacation-rental software amid travel rebound (BETAKIT)

Growth equity firm PSG has provided Toronto startup Hostaway, which provides software for managing short-term and vacation rentals, with $237.7 million CAD ($175 million USD) in growth financing.

Sources indicated to BetaKit that this has led PSG holding a majority ownership stake in Hostaway, but Hostaway declined to confirm.

GitLab shares rocket 31% as software vendor boosts forecast, announces generative A.I. plans (CNBC)

GitLab shares rose 31 percent on Tuesday after the provider of code-deployment software notched a loss that was narrower than analysts expected while reporting an improved full-year forecast.

Sid Sijbrandij, GitLab’s CEO, said more revenue could come from a generative artificial intelligence add-on that will cost $9 per user per month when billed annually.

Vrify secures $6 million Series A to help attract mining investment (BETAKIT)

Vrify, a mining communications startup, has announced a $6-million Series A raise that the company hopes will drive market expansion and updates to its technology platform.

Mining companies use Vrify’s 3D visualization technology and 360-degree mining site virtual tours to refine communications and help attract and secure investments.

Pigment secures $88 million for its business planning tool that will make you forget about Excel (TECHCRUNCH)

Paris-based startup Pigment has raised a Series C round of $88 million to take on Microsoft Excel and offer a business planning platform that works better than products from enterprise software behemoths, such as Oracle or SAP.

Reddit to Lay Off About 90 Employees and Slow Hiring Amid Restructuring (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Social-media company Reddit is laying off roughly 90 employees and slowing hiring as it restructures key parts of its business, such as the controversial decision to charge third-party apps to use its API, ahead of its IPO.

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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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