S|W: The SaaS Weekly – OpenText sells off mainframe business for over $2 billion USD

OpenText building
Plus: MaRS IAF returns and is ready to invest.

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BetaKit partners with Good Future

BetaKit has announced a new strategic partnership with Good Future to fuel the growth of Canada’s leading startup and technology publication.

Good Future, the family office of Canadian entrepreneurs Arati Sharma and Satish Kanwar, will support the advancement of BetaKit’s business and inject capital as the new majority shareholder. Good Future’s investment will accelerate the growth of BetaKit’s editorial and business teams from coast to coast, with new hires already on the way!


Open Text makes rare divestiture, selling off recently acquired mainframe business for US$2-billion-plus

Serial technology company acquirer OpenText has made a rare divestiture, selling off a mainframe-computer business it acquired earlier this year in its US$5.8-billion purchase of British technology stalwart Micro Focus International PLC.

The Waterloo software company said it would sell Micro Focus’s application modernization and connectivity unit for $2.275-billion USD in cash before taxes and fees to Rocket Software, which is owned by private equity giant Bain Capital.

Open Text said it would use the proceeds to improve its financial position and focus on its cloud and artificial intelligence businesses.


InBC leads $13.5-million financing round for ThoughtExchange

Rossland, BC-based engagement software startup ThoughtExchange has secured a $13.5-million equity financing round led by InBC Investment Corp.

ThoughtExchange offers software designed to allow leaders, educators, and employers to ask open-ended questions to groups ranging from 10 to 100,000 people. The software then uses data analysis and artificial intelligence to provide insights to leaders, with the goal of helping them create organizational change.



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Oxx Closes $190 Million For New European SaaS Fund

London and Stockholm-based software investor Oxx has closed its new fund at $190 million to invest in software-as-a-service companies in Europe.

The specialist firm focuses on SaaS start-ups in Europe and will invest in Series A and Series B rounds with investments between $7 million and $10 million.


Two years after Graphite Ventures spinout, MaRS IAF is ready to invest again

Since its launch in 2008, the Toronto-based MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) has grown into one of the country’s most active early-stage venture capital (VC) firms. But after Graphite Ventures was spun out from IAF in late 2021 as a private sector fund, IAF lost nearly all of its employees. Emil Savov was hired and tasked with rebuilding the IAF team.

His work is now getting closer to completion.

“We’re ramping up,” Savov, IAF’s managing director, told BetaKit in an exclusive interview. “The idea is to bring [IAF] to the strength that it was before the [Graphite] spinoff, and maybe even go beyond that.”


How talent across Canada can break into tech

Despite layoffs and economic uncertainty, Canada still faces a tech talent shortage. Yet many viable candidates who could help fill the gap often struggle to build the networks and skills necessary to break into the industry.

Speaking with BetaKit, Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of ComIT, explained more about how Team-UP’s programming and structure help people successfully break into tech.


Adobe’s $20 Billion Purchase of Figma Would Harm Innovation, U.K. Regulator Provisionally Finds

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said it has provisionally found Adobe’s planned $20 billion acquisition of collaboration-software company Figma would likely harm innovation for software used by the vast majority of U.K. digital designers.

Following a detailed investigation, the regulator said it provisionally found that the deal would eliminate competition between two main companies in product-design software, reduce innovation and the development of new competitive products, and remove Figma as a threat to Adobe’s flagship Photoshop and Illustrator products.


Getting hybrid work right requires building a long-term plan

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

In a recent BetaKit Live, three experts—Denis Gaudreault, the country manager for Intel Canada, Michael Almeida, a business unit leader at Softchoice, and John Trougakos, a professor at the University of Toronto—all shared their perspectives on how other companies of all sizes can get hybrid work right.


Elon Musk claims advertisers are trying to ‘blackmail’ him, says ‘Go f— yourself’

Speaking at the 2023 DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday, Elon Musk, the owner of social media site X (formerly Twitter), scoffed at advertisers leaving the platform because of antisemitic posts he amplified there.

He called those tweets, “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.” “I’m sorry for that tweet or post,” he added, but still held contempt for the advertiser boycott.

“If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f—yourself. Go. F—. Yourself. Is that clear?” Musk singled out Disney CEO Bob Iger in the audience, saying “Hi Bob!”


With $2 million raised to date, Omnicart aims to serve hyperlocal last-mile delivery

Vancouver-based last-mile delivery platform Omnicart has secured $1 million CAD in fresh funding from sole participant Foodhub, a United Kingdom-based company that provides online food ordering and management software to restaurants.

Omnicart describes itself as a hyperlocal “plug and play delivery platform,” claiming it sets itself apart from other last-mile services by providing the technology for local businesses in small towns to address the last-mile gap themselves.


Snowflake Earnings, Revenue Top Estimates As Cloud Spending Rebounds

Shares in Snowflake popped after the software maker reported third quarter earnings and revenue that topped estimates amid stabilizing growth at cloud computing partner Amazon.

The company released its Snowflake earnings report after the market close on Wednesday. Revenue climbed 32% to $734.2 million, the enterprise software maker said. Analysts projected Q3 revenue of $713.8 million.


Vancouver, Toronto-Waterloo, Calgary among the top 50 global cleantech ecosystems

Startup Genome released its climate tech-focused startup ecosystem report Thursday, which ranks global ecosystems based on the current state of startup activity in cleantech and the “blue economy,” which the report defines as technologies specific to ocean innovation.

The report ranked Atlantic Canada eighth in the top blue economy startup ecosystem rankings, and an impressive third-place in the top five blue economy startup ecosystems in North America.

As for Startup Genome’s cleantech ecosystem rankings, three Canadian regions cracked the top 50 list: Vancouver, Toronto-Waterloo, and Calgary.


Unity Software to cut 3.8% of staff in ‘company reset’

Video game software provider Unity Software will eliminate 265 jobs or 3.8 percent of its global workforce and end an agreement with a digital video effects company founded by the “Lord of the Rings” director as part of a “reset,” the company said.

More changes are in store to “refocus” Unity’s business, CEO Jim Whitehurst told Reuters. “While no additions have been finalized, it’s clear that we will reduce the number of things we are doing overall,” he said.


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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