S|W: The SaaS Weekly – John Chen retires, Hyatt brothers return with DataStealth

Plus: Uber, Lyft to pay $328 million to settle wage-theft allegations.

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Richard Lynch will replace John Chen as interim CEO as BlackBerry prepares to split company (BETAKIT)

BlackBerry has officially announced the retirement of John Chen, its CEO and executive chair of 10 years.

Under Chen’s leadership, BlackBerry pivoted from a consumer-oriented mobile phone manufacturer to an enterprise security and IoT solutions provider. Chen will retire upon the completion of his contract, which is set to expire November 3, and will be succeeded by current board member Richard “Dick” Lynch on an interim basis.

X, formerly Twitter, valued at $19 billion in new employee stock plan (FORTUNE)

X, formerly Twitter, is now valued at $19 billion, based on the company’s employee equity compensation plan. The privately-held company, owned by Elon Musk, is giving employees RSUs at a share price of $45 according to two sources familiar with the matter. The company previously offered employees stock in March at a $20 billion valuation.

Elon Musk bought the company last year for $44 billion.

Hyatt brothers aim to build their “next big thing” with majority ownership of DataStealth (BETAKIT)

Michael and Richard Hyatt have acquired a majority stake in Mississauga-based DataStealth, an enterprise cybersecurity firm that helps banks and hospitals protect their data.

For the brothers—both successful Canadian tech entrepreneurs-turned-investors who previously built, scaled, sold, and exited Toronto-based Dyadem and BlueCat in deals totalling more than $1 billion—the transaction marks a return to operations.

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.

Edtech group Byju’s faces shrinking empire with creditors at the gates (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Byju’s had used loans and a war chest of more than $2bn, gathered from venture capital during the pandemic, to go on an acquisition spree, aiming to capitalise on the trend towards online learning and become a global edtech powerhouse.

But overexpansion and a post-pandemic contraction in its market have left it desperate for cash to pay off creditors.

BDC Capital recommits to leading seed deals in startups across Canada with new $50-million fund (BETAKIT)

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has launched a new $50-million CAD Seed Venture Fund, committing $10 million annually over the next five years to pre-seed and seed-stage software startups across Canada through BDC Capital.

The software-focused Seed Venture Fund will be sector-agnostic, with an eye towards enterprise software-as-a-service, FinTech, healthtech, artificial intelligence (AI), and proptech startups.

The Seed Venture Fund marks BDC’s first foray back into general seed-stage investing since its Strategic Initiatives Program (SIP) ceased making investments in new companies around 2017.

FigBytes acquired by Irish software company AMCS in trans-atlantic ESG deal (BETAKIT)

Ottawa-based FigBytes, which offers a sustainability insights platform, has been acquired by Irish software company Advanced Manufacturing Control Systems (AMCS) for an undisclosed amount.

“I’m incredibly confident that our alignment with AMCS will unlock tremendous opportunities for organizations to make an even greater positive change for people and the planet,” CEO Ted Dhillon said in a statement.

Okta hit by third-party data breach exposing employee information (BLEEPINGCOMPUTER)

Okta is warning nearly 5,000 current and former employees that their personal information was exposed after a third-party vendor was breached.

Okta is a San Fransisco-based cloud identity and access management solutions provider whose Single Sign-On (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and API access management services are used by thousands of organizations worldwide.

Bridge the gap: SMB cybersecurity challenges threaten customer trust and business viability (BETAKIT)

Cybercrime is up over 600 percent since the start of the pandemic, but according to new Mastercard Canada research, only 16 percent of Canadian SMB owners surveyed say they know what to do in the event of an attack.

Speaking with BetaKit, Aviva Klein, the Vice President of Digital Payments and Cybersecurity Solutions for Mastercard in Canada, explained the disconnect between the priorities of customers and the actions of SMBs, and how conversations about cybersecurity need to be reframed.

Brickeye secures $5 million CAD in convertible debt round with participation from BDC and Graphite Ventures (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Brickeye, a construction-focused internet of things (IoT) and data analytics company, has secured the first $5 million CAD tranche of its convertible debt financing round led by BDC Capital with its IP-backed Financing Fund.

The company’s IoT offerings provide construction companies with job site monitoring, intelligent alerts and analytics, and smart automations.

Uber, Lyft to pay $328 million to settle wage-theft allegations in New York state (CNBC)

Uber and Lyft agreed to pay a total of $328 million to settle allegations that they unlawfully withheld wages from drivers and failed to provide mandatory paid sick leave in New York state.

The companies also agreed to ongoing changes in how they pay drivers and offer benefits in the state. The attorney general’s office said it’s the largest wage-theft settlement it’s won.

BetaKit Live: Getting Hybrid Work Right (BETAKIT)

The future has arrived early for Canadian businesses, as hybrid work shifted from a COVID-19 emergency response to a permanent reality: sixty-five percent of Canadian knowledge workers now work in a remote or hybrid format.

In partnership with Intel Canada, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on the new best practices to ensure that businesses in 2023 are getting hybrid work right for the long term.

Chainguard, an Open-Source Security Firm, Raises $61 Million

Chainguard has raised $61 million in a Series B investment round, as the security of open-source software has become a subject of gathering concern.

Founded in 2021 by developers from Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft, and VMware, the company provides vetted and secure versions of free open-source software, with known vulnerabilities fixed.

PLATO’s Keith McIntosh among EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 regional winners (BETAKIT)

Keith McIntosh, CEO of PLATO, was among the regional winners of EY’s 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

McIntosh's Fredericton-based software testing and technology services startup is made up of more than 30 percent Indigenous employees, while its board of directors boasts 58 percent Indigenous representation.

All the regional winners now vie for the title of Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The winner of the national title will go on to compete against the recipients of 50 other countries to be named the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

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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