S|W: The SaaS Weekly – The Pepsi to Indeed’s Coke

Talent.com founders
Plus: Virtual Gurus closes $8.4 million amid US demand for diversity-focused virtual assistants.

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

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With $150 million USD in fresh funding, Montréal’s Talent.com is ready to take on Indeed worldwide (BETAKIT)

It has been a tumultuous few years for Montréal’s Talent.com. Founded in 2011, the job search platform had hit an inflection point in 2019: profitable, more or less bootstrapped, and with global scale – but still well behind the market leader, Indeed.

Indonesia’s tech giant GoTo Group raises $1.3 billion ahead of IPO plans (CNBC)

Backers in the pre-IPO funding round include tech titans like Google and Tencent, Singapore state investor Temasek, Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Permodalan Nasional Berhad as well as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Virtual Gurus closes $8.4 million amid US-driven demand for diversity-focused virtual assistants (BETAKIT)

Led by CEO Bobbie Racette, who is a Cree-Métis and LGBTQ+ woman, Virtual Gurus is on a mission to disrupt the virtual assistant market through curated matches and a talent marketplace that focuses on employing historically underrepresented individuals.

Amazon closes $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM (VARIETY)

The completion of the transaction comes two days after the Amazon-MGM deal received clearance from the European Union’s antitrust regulator, which “unconditionally” approved Amazon’s proposed acquisition of MGM, in part because “MGM’s content cannot be considered as must-have.” The European Commission, in its antitrust review, found that the overlaps between the Amazon and MGM businesses are “limited.”

While some Canadian tech companies move to support Ukrainians, others cut ties with Russia (BETAKIT)

In a microcosm of global events, some in Canada’s tech community are moving to aid Ukrainians while others are cutting ties with Russian affiliates as the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in its third week.

How B.C. tech is navigating risk of Russian cyberattacks (BIV)

The day after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security fired off a bulletin, warning citizens the war would be more than just an armed conflict.

Impact.com acquires Pressboard to ramp up branded content program for publishers (BETAKIT)

As part of an acquisition, Pressboard is being integrated into a company with which it was once a customer. Pressboard will join Trackonomics, an Impact.com company, to create a solution to power and scale sponsored and commerce content programs for publishers.

MinuteBox scores $5 million CAD to accelerate growth of its legaltech solution (BETAKIT)

Co-founded by a group of former lawyers, MinuteBox provides cloud-based legal entity management software. Like other legaltech startups, MinuteBox saw demand for its solution increase during the pandemic as COVID-19 led slow-moving, traditionally tech-conservative law firms switched to the cloud by necessity to stay in business.

Website builder Webflow hits $4 billion valuation as it nears $100 million revenue (FORBES)

Webflow said that it raised $120 million in a Series C round led by Y Combinator Continuity, with participation from existing investors including CapitalG and Accel. The round raises the San Francisco-based startup’s valuation to $4 billion and comes as it is on track to hit $100 million annual recurring revenue within a month.

Microsoft leads MedMe’s $3.4 million CAD seed round to help pharmacies expand beyond retail (BETAKIT)

To date, the Toronto-based Y Combinator graduate has amassed a list of over 3,600 Canadian customers ranging from independent pharmacies to some of Canada’s largest pharmacy chains, including Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Guardian, and Pharmasave, which it adapted its platform to serve during the pandemic.

Billionaire Kakao founder quits board as public backlash grows (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Kakao Group founder Brian Kim has stepped down from the board, relinquishing the reins after a series of scandals rocked the South Korean social media and fintech giant.

Scribble Data closes $2.2 million to help data science teams train machine learning models (BETAKIT)

The Bangalore, India-founded firm has already begun building a presence in Canada, where it says it has seen strong interest in the feature engineering for machine learning (ML) space. Feature engineering refers to the process of transforming raw data into trusted feature sets that can be used to train ML models.

Streamers crack down on password sharing as cancellations rise (AXIOS)

Password-sharing used to be a feature of the video subscription economy, allowing consumers to easily sample content across different services. Now that there’s so much competition, it’s a bug.

HubSpot opens first Canadian office in Toronto (BETAKIT)

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform company first announced its intent to expand to Ontario last fall, outlining plans to hire over 50 people in the province and establish a footprint in Toronto.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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