S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Q4 Inc. joins pandemic IPOs returning private, Ambyint returns to Calgary

Plus: Slack names longtime Salesforce executive Denise Dresser as new CEO.

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TSX-listed Q4 Inc. to go private with $257-million buyout by Sumeru Equity Partners

Just over two years after going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Toronto-based investor relations software company Q4 Inc. is entering into a $257-million CAD buyout agreement with American private equity firm Sumeru Equity Partners that will take it private.

With the buyout, Q4 Inc. is set to join a wave of other Canadian tech companies that went public during the pandemic, have seen their stock prices fall and fail to recover amid the tech downturn, and elected to go private once more.


Slack names longtime Salesforce executive Denise Dresser as new CEO

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Monday that Slack had named Denise Dresser as its next CEO. She’ll succeed Lidiane Jones, who’s leaving at the end of the year.

Dresser, who has worked for Salesforce for 12 years, is president of accelerated industries at Salesforce.

Jones departed Slack after one year to succeed Whitney Wolfe Herd as the CEO of Bumble, marking a rare handoff between two female leaders in tech. 


InBC invests $29 million into 4AG Robotics, Clarius Mobile Health, Pender, Amplitude Ventures

InBC Investment Corp. (InBC) has announced $29 million CAD worth of investments into two tech startups and two venture capital funds with a presence in British Columbia.

$4 million went into AgTech startup 4AG Robotics, $5 million into wireless ultrasound producer Clarius Mobile Health, and $10 million apiece into Pender Ventures’ and Amplitude Ventures’ second funds, which both have a focus on healthtech.


Dye & Durham stock jumps on news of possible divestitures

Dye & Durham shares shot up Monday after the legal software company announced it might sell non-core assets in order to pay down debt.

The company now has a borrowing leverage of 5.1 times net debt to forecast 2024 operating earnings including its convertible debentures.

The legaltech also got good news regarding the $200-million class action lawsuit it faced, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissing the suit which alleged price hikes breaking a price-freeze promise.



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How Proposify Reshaped its Financials

When veteran startup executive Kathy Doucette joined Proposify in 2021, what she saw in the company’s finances made her feel like “the canary in the coal mine.”

“We had the capital, as many companies did in 2020, 2021, and like most companies, we were spending like drunken sailors,” said Proposify CEO Kyle Racki. “We were just throwing people at every problem. ‘Money’s there, don’t even think about it, just hire.’

“Kathy said, ‘Look, the numbers are [saying that] we’re heading off a cliff.’”


Hoping to be the go-to platform for blockchain devs, Uniblock secures $3.1 million CAD

Toronto-based Web3 startup Uniblock has secured $3.1 million CAD ($2.3 million USD) in pre-seed financing as it looks to become the default platform for blockchain developers.

The startup’s goal is to consolidate Web3 integrations into one toolkit, allowing developers to easily scale their projects. Uniblock claims to have over 1,000 customers using its platform.


To Revive Snap, Evan Spiegel Promotes Hardcore Work Culture

Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel has lately taken to walking around his company’s Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters in the evenings, stopping at employees’ desks and asking what they’re working on. He has noticed, however, that he always spots the same handful of people working late in the office, he told employees at a recent all-hands meeting.

The comment was interpreted as a clear message from Snap’s 33-year-old CEO: The boss wants everyone else to step it up.


Revenue growth is more complex than ever. Here’s how your finance team can drive value

The finance department touches every single area of the business, from internal operations to customer contracts. Yet the finance function has been relatively stagnant, often seen as “bean counters” warning of new spending while the rest of the organization embraces technology and new techniques.

A recent report by Float featured interviews with startup finance experts, exploring in detail why financial transformation is essential for startups now, impacting their people, processes, and systems.


Running Signal Will Soon Cost $50 Million a Year

For the first time, the Signal Foundation that runs the non-profit encrypted messaging app has published a full breakdown of Signal’s operating costs: around $40 million this year, projected to hit $50 million by 2025.

Signal’s president, Meredith Whittaker, says she published the detailed cost numbers to call attention to how competitors pay these same expenses: monetizing user data or locking users into networks operating a corporate surveillance business model.


Q3 2023 marked a three-year low for venture deal volume in Canada

The third quarter of 2023 marked Canada’s slowest quarter for venture capital (VC) activity in three years, according to a new report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

The CVCA partly attributed the slowdown in investment to a decline in megadeals during the quarter and its resulting impact on average deal size. Per the report, only seven megadeals closed in Q3, nearly halving the average deal size quarter-over-quarter to just $8.9 million.


Cybersecurity investor Ballistic Ventures seeks $300M for new fund

Ballistic Ventures, a venture capital firm dedicated to funding and incubating early-stage cybersecurity startups, is looking to raise as much as $300 million for a new fund, according to a regulatory filing.


BDC’s Thrive Lab announces 25 co-investment partners

The Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Thrive Lab is ready to begin deploying capital in women-led businesses from its $35 million envelope following the announcement of 25 co-investment partners.

Thrive Lab said its partners were chosen based on their track record of supporting women entrepreneurs or their expertise in social impact.

Thrive Lab’s first phase will target firms aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as food security, responsible agriculture, health and well-being, education, reduced inequalities, and responsible consumption and production.


Two Startups Reject Web Summit Money in Fallout From Ex-CEO’s Remarks

Two Israeli startups, Lasso Security and Ask-AI, are rejecting the investments of Web Summit’s venture arm after former Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave referred to Israel’s retaliatory strikes on Gaza as “war crimes.” Startups rarely attempt to return investments after the money is wired, underscoring how the conflict is dividing companies and institutions and their backers.


Exclusive: Apple to pause advertising on X after Musk backs antisemitic post

Apple is pausing all advertising on X, the Elon Musk-owned social network, sources tell Axios.

The move follows Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as Apple ads reportedly being placed alongside far-right content. Apple has been a major advertiser on the social media site and its pause follows a similar move by IBM.


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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