S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Sheryl Sandberg leans out

Sheryl Sandberg
Plus: BC startups Kardium, HTEC, Kobalt, Symvivo receive cumulative $11.1 million from feds.

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Penny AI raises $33.9 million CAD Series B to expand direct sales solution (BETAKIT)

Maria Osipova, chief marketing officer at Penny, told BetaKit that this investment brings Penny’s total funding to date to $40.8 million CAD ($32.5 million USD). Penny previously raised a $650,000 seed round in 2018, and a $5 million Series A in 2020.

Facebook parent Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down (CNBC)

Sandberg joined Facebook in early 2008 as the No. 2 to Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and helped turn Facebook into an advertising juggernaut and one of the most powerful companies in the tech industry, with a market cap that topped $1 trillion at one point.

Nasdaq to acquire Montréal ESG software provider Metrio (BETAKIT)

Since its inception, Metrio claims that its corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform has helped more than 5,000 users at over 100 global companies. The startup’s ESG focus has attracted a client base that includes the likes of Air Canada, Bell, BMO, Cogeco, Desjardins, Hydro Québec, Loblaw Companies Ltd., RBC, and TMX, which owns and operates the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV).

BlackBerry’s $600-million patent sale hits a snag (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

The Waterloo, Ont., company said in a release Wednesday it is no longer under exclusivity with Catapult IP Innovations Inc., a U.S. special-purpose entity formed to buy the assets, “given the length of time that the transaction has taken” since the deal was announced Jan. 31.

How Start-Ups Set Up Data Infrastructure Without Engineering

Modern Treasury, a fintech start-up, had been funnelling all its data into a BI tool. But that wasn’t working anymore.

They struggled to answer questions that required data from different systems. And without a universal source of truth, it was hard to get accurate answers.

They needed a modern data stack.

Using Mozart Data, they got an out-of-the-box data stack set up in hours without any engineering.

With scalable data infrastructure in place now, they have a better understanding of product usage, customer success managers can produce quarterly reports for customers, and 47% of the company is regularly working with data.

Read the story to learn how Modern Treasury did this.

Acquisitions drive revenues at Emerge Commerce and Plurilock Security (BETAKIT)

Emerge, which manages a network of e-commerce sites, lived up to its name and emerged from the first quarter of 2022 well-positioned for expansion. The company announced record revenues of $15.8 million up from $7.1 million in the same period last year. The company also reported positive adjusted EBITDA of $1.1 million compared to $270,000 for the same quarter in 2021.

Israeli mobile games co Playtika to lay off 250 (GLOBES)

The measures are not expected to harm the company’s activities in Israel, Germany and its development centers and studios in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Romania. Earlier this month, Playtika reported that it has 4,000 employees.

Why Canalyst’s Damir Hot thinks every entrepreneur should have a co-founder (BETAKIT)

“Every time I left the company, I joined the next one in an earlier and a more senior role, and less cash comp and more stock,” said Hot. “And then eventually there was nowhere to go but start from ground zero, and so I found an amazing co-founder and then off we went.”

BC startups Kardium, HTEC, Kobalt, Symvivo receive cumulative $11.1 million from feds (BETAKIT)

Kardium is expected to receive $5 million through the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program. Founded in 2007, Burnaby-headquartered Kardium offers medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder.

a16z-backed Loom lays off 14% of staff, one year after becoming a unicorn (TECHCRUNCH)

The company was founded by Thomas and Vinay Hiremath in 2015, hitting 1.8 million users across 50,000 businesses just three years later. Per its website, Loom currently boasts 14 million users across 200,000 companies — including Netflix, Atlassian, HubSpot and Juniper Networks.

Unbounce expands leadership team with addition of Indochino, RBC Ventures, Mapbox alums (BETAKIT)

Housley brings over 20 years of C-Suite level experience at a variety of consumer brands to Unbounce, including Indochino, Milestones, Lavalife, and Hudson’s Bay. Meanwhile, Sieben comes to Unbounce after spending the last four years at RBC Ventures and Toronto-based, RBC-powered cashback application Ampli, while El-Hilo most recently worked as head of data platform at Washington location data firm Mapbox.

Guild Graduates To $175M Series F At $4.4B Valuation As ‘Upskilling’ Startups Raise Billions (CRUNCHBASE NEWS)

Oprah Winfrey also participated in the round, adding a plug for Guild to accompany its funding announcement with the statement: “I believe deeply in the power of education to change the trajectory of a person’s life, and Guild is creating a more equitable path to quality education.”

SoulRooms launches initiative to help Ukrainian refugees find homes in Canada (BETAKIT)

“If we all come together as an industry, we can make a positive impact during an unthinkable time,” said Max Steinman, CEO of RentSync. “We hope that our clients see the urgency in this situation, and can create more availability for Ukrainians looking for a place to live when they arrive.”

Microsoft’s currency hedging alarm raises new worry for software stocks (BNN BLOOMBERG)

The world’s largest software maker cut its profit forecast for the current quarter on Thursday and blamed the surging US dollar for an upcoming drag on its earnings to the tune of US$460 million. The company’s rare mid-season revision took markets by surprise and briefly sent futures on the S&P 500 Index tumbling.

Canadian human resources startup Humi secures $31 million Series B (BETAKIT)

With a focus on providing HR tech specifically tailored to Canadian companies, Humi is looking to expand its platform’s capabilities and meet what it says is a rising demand for its solution.

Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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