S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Prodigy’s got a new plan, a new CFO, and a leaner team to boost growth

Screenshot of Prodigy Education’s flagship math game.
Plus: It’s getting (slightly) easier to sell software.

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EdTech game developer Prodigy Education adds CFO to refreshed leadership team

After seeing “massive growth” during COVID-19 as schools turned to tech, Prodigy raised a huge funding round, overextended itself, and “reset” in late 2022.

Now, with a smaller workforce, a revamped leadership team, and a renewed focus on its core business and market—learning-based games in the United States (US)—Prodigy co-founder and co-CEO Rohan Mahimker says the EdTech company is ready to grow again.


Canva CFO Damien Singh Leaves Ahead of Potential IPO

Damien Singh, chief financial officer of Canva, the design software firm last valued at over $25 billion, has left the company.

People familiar with the matter have told The Information that a Canva initial public offering was expected to happen in 2025. Singh’s departure likely all but rules out an IPO happening before then. The company has been profitable since 2017 and doesn’t need new capital, according to a person familiar with the matter.

(The Information)

Unbounce among the latest #CDNtech companies making changes at the top

Vancouver-based Unbounce led another wave of executive turnover in Canadian tech, replacing CEO Felicia Bochicchio with Steve Oriola, the company announced on its Medium page at the end of January.

The company said incoming CEO Oriola brings two decades of experience in scaling B2B SaaS platforms, adding that the company plans to “leverage his extensive experience and fresh perspective to drive both growth and innovation at Unbounce.”

Other companies that made leadership changes this month include WeCook, Aifred Health, and Stream Systems.


Firefox Maker Mozilla Is Cutting 60 Jobs After Naming New CEO

Mozilla Corp., the maker of web browser Firefox, is cutting about 60 jobs as part of a shake-up under a new chief executive officer.

Mozilla said that the move affects about five percent of its workforce and that the cuts were primarily in the product development organization. The company informed employees of the decision on Tuesday.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Supply chain software company Nulogy receives strategic backing from US private equity firm Rubicon

Toronto-based Nulogy has secured a major strategic investment from Colorado-headquartered Rubicon Technology Partners to ramp up the expansion of its supply chain collaboration platform.

Nulogy declined to disclose the size of the investment, however, according to a November statement from Rubicon announcing its fund close, the firm typically invests $50 million to $350 million per company.


BlackBerry says more job cuts coming this quarter as part of ongoing separation

BlackBerry Ltd. says it’s taking action to streamline costs, including cutting jobs, as part of the ongoing process to separate two of its business divisions.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company says last quarter it cut around 200 jobs as part of efforts to slash costs.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Why this Canadian VC strongly recommends SR&ED financing to his portfolio companies

In a funding landscape growing increasingly challenging for tech startups, the quest for capital has led many to explore alternatives to traditional equity investment, such as government tax incentives and grants.

While it’s a common belief that chasing this type of funding can be a time-intensive distraction for founders, Jason Robertson, co-founder and partner of Nimbus Synergies, an early-stage, healthtech-focused venture capital firm headquartered in Vancouver, has a different perspective.


It’s Getting (Slightly) Easier to Sell Software

After a rough couple of years, software companies are finding it easier to sell their products to businesses. New data show that privately held software companies selling subscription services spent less time and money in the fourth quarter of 2023 to secure new customers, compared with earlier in the year.

Businesses that tightened their wallets in 2022 and much of 2023 have been more willing to buy software as inflation has cooled and interest rates have leveled off.

(The Information)

Visa Canada, Plug and Play host Toronto FinTech Innovation Showcase to spotlight Canadian startup ecosystem

Earlier this month in Toronto, leaders from across Canada’s financial sector convened at the Plug and Play Toronto FinTech Innovation Showcase to highlight the tech set to transform Canada’s financial services ecosystem.

The event looked to explore opportunities for collaboration among members of the Canadian financial services community, to spotlight leading companies, and to discuss how Canada can accelerate the momentum of its FinTech sector.


Cisco says it’s cutting 5% of global workforce, amounting to over 4,000 jobs

Cisco announced plans to cut 5% of its workforce on Wednesday, a decision that will result in the elimination of about 4,250 jobs. Shares of Cisco were down as much as 9 percent in extended trading.

It’s the latest tech company to downsize in 2024, as the industry continues to squeeze out costs following the market downturn that hit two years ago.


Professor Esma Aïmeur discusses the double-edged sword of GenAI ahead of the World AI Cannes Festival

Esma Aïmeur, a professor at the computer science department of Université de Montréal (Canada), focuses her academic body of work on how humans interact with and are impacted by AI.

Speaking with BetaKit ahead of her talk at the World AI Cannes Festival (WAICF), Aïmeur shared more about the explosive power of GenAI and why she calls it a double-edged sword.


Scribe raises $25M Series B to automate internal knowledge capture

Scribe, a San Francisco-based startup, has figured out a way to easily capture and document internal processes in an automated way.

It’s an idea that is apparently resonating with customers, with revenue up a whopping 400 percent last year, according to the company. That kind of growth will definitely get investor attention, and the company announced a $25 million Series B today, certainly a healthy amount by today’s standards.


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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