S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Reddit’s power users will get first dibs on its IPO

Plus: Golden Ventures talks success in closing fifth seed-stage VC fund.

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Reddit is going public and inviting power users to invest

On Thursday, Reddit filed its S-1 registration statement with the SEC detailing its finances and business goals ahead of its imminent initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RDDT.

In an unusual twist, Reddit is also giving an unspecified number of its top users, including moderators and those with high karma scores, the chance to buy shares in its IPO. That’s a privilege usually reserved for professional investors who want to buy stock at a theoretically lower price before everyone else gets to purchase it on the public market.

(The Verge)

1Password acquires Boston-based device security platform Kolide

Toronto-based password management startup 1Password has acquired Boston-based contextual access management firm Kolide for an undisclosed amount.

Kolide’s platform looks to address security in the era of remote work, where employees often access company applications from multiple devices. With Kolide, employees accessing a company application from an untrusted or insecure device will be blocked from logging in, then prompted with instructions to secure their device without the need for IT or security teams.


Byju’s investors vote to remove founder

A group of Byju’s investors on Friday voted to remove the edtech group’s founder and chief executive Byju Raveendran and separately filed an oppression and management suit against the leadership at the firm to block the recently launched rights issue in a surreal moment for the startup, once India’s most valuable.

The decision on Friday comes after more than a year of unrest among some of Byju’s largest investors, who assert that the $22 billion Indian edtech startup has played fast and loose with accountability.


BC’s tech companies stand out in 2024 TSX Venture 50 list

The TSX Venture Exchange has released its yearly list of the 50 best-performing companies for 2024, and tech companies out west made a particularly strong showing. The rankings are based on three key metrics: market capitalization growth, share price appreciation, and trading value.

Of the 10 technology companies on this year’s list, seven hail from British Columbia. These included Hive Digital Technologies, Digihost Technology, Tiny, Neptune Digital Assets, Gatekeeper Systems, and Total Telcom.


Nextdoor Board Discusses Replacing CEO Friar or Selling Company

Board members at the struggling local networking site Nextdoor have been debating the company’s future, including whether to bring in a new CEO or to find a buyer, a person familiar with the matter said.

Among the options that have been discussed is the replacement of CEO Sarah Friar with co-founder Nirav Tolia, who served as CEO between 2010 and 2018. Nextdoor on Friday announced that Friar would, in fact, step down and be succeeded by Tolia.

(The Information)

Canadian late-stage VC funding continued to slip in 2023

For the second consecutive year, venture capital investment in Canada fell as investors remained cautious, according to new data from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

The CVCA tracked $6.9 billion invested across 660 deals during the year. Investment fell by 34 percent compared to 2022, whereas deal volume remained relatively flat year-over-year, declining by six percent.


Avast to pay $16.5 mln to settle US charges linked to user data sale

Software provider Avast must pay $16.5 million and stop selling any web browsing data for advertising purposes to settle U.S. charges that the British firm misrepresented how it uses browsing data, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

The charges are linked to U.S. allegations that Avast, through its Czech subsidiary Jumpshot, collected consumers’ browsing information through the company’s browser extensions and antivirus software and sold it without adequate notice or consent.


BEKH, Volta and Tribe launch new initiatives to support Black Canadian founders

Tribe Network has partnered with Atlantic Canada accelerator Volta to launch a new residency program for Black founders, while the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (BEKH) is developing a new ecosystem mapping tool for Black entrepreneurs.

The new joint program between Tribe and Volta, called Accelerate Black Tech, will combine Volta’s startup mentorship model with Tribe’s network to support Black tech entrepreneurs and their startups.

Meanwhile, BEKH is developing an ecosystem mapping tool meant to help users tap into a network of resources, support, and opportunities.


Naver Taps Goldman, Morgan Stanley for Webtoon Unit’s US IPO

Naver, a leader in Korea in online services from search and shopping to social media, is pushing to list US-based Webtoon Entertainment Inc., which owns the online comics platform Naver Webtoon and the internet novel service Wattpad that they acquired in 2021. It’s considering a US debut in part to drive its ambitions abroad.

The company could seek to raise as much as $500 million at a valuation of $3 billion to $4 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

(BNN Bloomberg)

Golden Ventures closes nearly $140 million CAD for fifth seed-stage VC fund

Toronto-based Golden Ventures has secured about $103 million USD ($139 million CAD) for its fifth venture capital (VC) fund focused on seed-stage technology startups across North America.

Golden will focus on leading or co-leading rounds across the seed spectrum, companies in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montréal, and Vancouver, with initial cheques of $500,000 to $3 million.


Feature image courtesy Brett Howden via Unsplash.

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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