S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Social media’s next generation

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The SaaS Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering major SaaS news from Canada and around the globe.

Subscribe to S|W using the form at the bottom of this page to ensure you don’t miss out on the most important SaaS news every week!


Absorb Software to be acquired by US private equity firm at $630 million CAD valuation (BETAKIT)

WCAS has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the e-learning and performance management software company from Boston-based growth equity firm Silversmith Capital Partners.


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Alphawave to join growing ranks of Canadian ‘unicorns’ with IPO, investment from BlackRock, Janus (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

With a valuation of US$4.5-billion, the Toronto company has rapidly emerged as a critical supplier to global semiconductor makers.


SmartRent to go public through $2.2B SPAC deal (CRUNCHBASE)

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company is merging with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. I, the special purpose acquisition company created by prominent proptech venture capital firm Fifth Wall.


US private equity firm to acquire controlling stake in Axonify for $313 million CAD (BETAKIT)

A spokesperson for Axonify confirmed the controlling stake and size of the investment to BetaKit, adding that it gives the startup a valuation of $438 million CAD ($350 million USD).


IPO plan of TikTok maker ByteDance is set back by US-China tensions, sources say (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

TikTok and Douyin owner ByteDance faces difficulties in restructuring to meet US and China regulations, sources said. TikTok is also being sued for billions over the use of children’s data.


Thinkific pricing IPO at $13 per share to pull in $160 million (BETAKIT)

Thinkific initially filed to go public in March and earlier this month announced hopes to raise $160 million CAD with shares priced between $11 to $13.


How to become the next Shopify: Tap one of its directors (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Shopify’s Gail Goodman is to join the board at Edmonton-based home-service platform Jobber.


Why China is pioneering the next generation of social media (REST OF WORLD)

AIG CEO Andy Tian says the super-apps of the future will be “much more diverse, much more fragmented, much more interesting.”


Despite small decline in deals, Waterloo Region remained a healthy startup ecosystem in 2020 (BETAKIT)

Waterloo Region startups raised $689.6 million for all of 2020 — up 107 percent over 2019. An additional report from Hockeystick also indicated a potential investing gap for BC’s early-stage startups.


Legal tech startup Rocket Lawyer raises $223 million for expansion (FORTUNE)

The company, which has 25 million registered users, already offers online legal documents and virtual attorney meetings to businesses and individuals in the U.S., U.K. and parts of Europe.


Vertu Capital secures minority stake in Dejero with $60 million investment (BETAKIT)

Dejero plans to use the fresh funding to fuel the growth of its live video and real-time data solutions in global markets.


Netflix’s dominance starts to slow as rivals gain (NEW YORK TIMES)

The streaming service reported the addition of four million new customers for the first quarter, below the six million it had forecast.


Wayfair, Cloudflare join growing group of international firms opening Toronto offices (BETAKIT)

Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder, COO, and president of Cloudflare, spoke at Collision about how Toronto’s strength in artificial intelligence and hardware prompted the company’s expansion.



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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.