S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Salesforce begins restoring headcount after slashing 10 percent of staff

Plus: Plurilock finds gains in selling safety, Databricks raises $500M.

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As enterprises dip their toes into generative AI, Plurilock finds gains in selling safety (BETAKIT)

A few years ago, a strong password and antivirus software were all businesses needed to stay safe online. According to Ian Paterson, CEO of Victoria-based Plurilock, that era has ended.

Plurilock, which offers zero-trust authentication products based on technologies like behavioural biometrics and data loss prevention (DLP), has scaled significantly—executing a roll-up strategy that has seen the company make four acquisitions and grow its revenue from roughly $500,000 to over $64 million in just two years.

Databricks raises $500M more, boosting valuation to $43B despite late-stage gloom (TECHCRUNCH)

Data analytics and AI software maker Databricks has raised a Series I round worth more than $500 million, earning a valuation of $43 billion.

This round sticks out, particularly as many late-stage startups are seeing their valuations being slashed amid a wider funding slowdown.

Paper cuts more staff in second round of layoffs since August (BETAKIT)

EdTech startup Paper has made another round of layoffs just slightly a month after letting go 105 “paperites” in early August.

The Montréal-based startup’s founders wrote in a message posted to the company’s website September 12 that “we are sharing that we’ve made the difficult decision to part ways with 87 Paperites on our corporate non-tutor team, roughly 4% of our total workforce, as we future-proof our business.”

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Salesforce to Hire 3,300 People After Layoffs Earlier This Year

Salesforce Inc. is hiring 3,300 people across departments, marking a new investment after it eliminated 10 percent of its workforce in a restructuring earlier this year.

The new hires restore 40% of the headcount that was slashed in January, when Salesforce said it would eliminate 8,000 jobs amid an effort to boost profits. But executives have said further strategic cuts may still occur.

SaaSquatch acquired by US-based partnership management platform Impact.com (BETAKIT)

Victoria, BC-based customer referral software startup SaaSquatch has been purchased by Impact.com.

California-headquartered Impact.com sells software that helps brands engage people for influencer and affiliate marketing as well as broader business development. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Janet Bannister exceeds target for first solo fund as other venture capitalists struggle to raise (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Janet Bannister, one of Canada’s best-known startup financiers, has exceeded the target for her first solo venture capital fund as some counterparts struggle to do the same amid a tech sector slump.

Bannister’s Staircase Ventures last week completed raising its first fund, bringing in more than $34-million – topping her $30-million goal.

How CIOs can prepare for the "tectonic change" of generative AI (BETAKIT)

Nearly every company leader in the world is thinking about the potential opportunity—and risk—of generative AI for their business and customers.

In an interview with BetaKit, Coveo CEO Louis Têtu shared takeaways from his world tour, the growth in AI-enabled experiences, and how CIOs can prepare for the “tectonic change” of generative AI.

Inovia announces $34-million CAD Discovery Fund for early-stage VCs (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based Inovia Capital has launched its first Discovery Fund, closing $34 million CAD ($25 million USD) to invest in emerging North American venture capital (VC) fund managers focused on pre-seed and seed-stage startups.

The Discovery Fund formalizes Inovia’s existing efforts to invest in emerging VC firms as many face difficulties fundraising.

What Google’s trial means for the company — and your web browsing (VOX)

The first big trial of the modern Big Tech antitrust movement is here: On September 12, the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google’s search engine monopoly begins. What’s at stake? Oh, nothing much — just the future of the internet. Or maybe the future of antitrust law in the US. Maybe both.

Spring Activator acquires Future Capital to bring wealth creation to underrepresented communities (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based incubator and accelerator Spring Activator has acquired EdTech startup Future Capital. The combined investments of the two organizations are just over $50 million CAD, said Keith Ippel, co-founder and Co-CEO at Spring Activator.

“This acquisition marks an incredible step forward for bringing wealth creation opportunities to underrepresented communities,” Ippel said.

TikTok fined $379M in EU for failing to keep kids’ data safe (TECHCRUNCH)

TikTok has been found in breach of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in relation to its handling of children’s data.

Under the decision issued by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), the video sharing platform has been reprimanded and fined €345 million (~$379 million) and ordered to bring its offending data processing into compliance within three months.

Ontopical closes $3.3 million seed extension to help companies navigate the local government procurement process (BETAKIT)

Calgary-based software startup Ontopical wants to make it easier for companies across North America to discover and win government contracts.

Now armed with $3.3 million CAD in fresh funding and a new CEO in Clayton Feick, Ontopical has set its sights on layering on AI to help its private sector clients derive as much insight as possible from data on local government procurement.

Adobe Offers Tepid Sales Outlook Despite Growing AI Optimism

Adobe Inc. provided a sales outlook that met analysts’ expectations, but disappointed investors who expected demand for the company’s artificial intelligence tools and price increases would boost revenue.

Some analysts expressed caution about whether the price increase would affect demand. “We do see more risk around this year’s price increase given the company just raised prices 18 months ago, and the competitive landscape is rapidly evolving,” Tyler Radke, an analyst at Citigroup, wrote ahead of the results.

Streamforge raises $1.6 million CAD to scale AI-driven influencer marketing (BETAKIT)

Artificial intelligence (AI) marketing startup Streamforge has raised $1.6 million CAD ($1.2 million USD).

Founded in 2018 by Xavier Constantin and Nick Lombardi, the Streamforge platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help brands and publishers identify content creators and audiences who best align with their goals.

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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