S|W: The SaaS Weekly – The UWaterloo experts building quantum-safe cybersecurity

the evolution Q executive team portrait on a dramatic staircase
Plus: Google pays $118 million for underpaying women.

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

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University of Waterloo quantum expert-led EvolutionQ aims to help orgs “prepare for the quantum age” (BETAKIT)

The Kitchener-Waterloo startup has raised over $7 million CAD ($5.5 million USD) in Series A financing led by Quantonation, a Paris-based, quantum technology-focused VC fund, with support from Toronto’s The Group Ventures, to “scale up” its quantum-safe cybersecurity tech.

Snowflake set to hire hundreds and open Toronto office to support U.S. cloud giant’s apps push (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Bilal Khan, the head of Snowflake’s Canadian operations, said the development hub will support the company’s new in-house marketplace populated by applications built by third-party developers for Snowflake customers. The company announced its app marketplace plans Tuesday at a user conference in Las Vegas.

BBTV reduces workforce by 14 percent following revenue decline in Q1 (BETAKIT)

BBTV called the layoffs part of its “cost optimization plan” through which the company also intends for a “more focused allocation” towards content management, direct advertising sales, and mobile gaming apps.

Redfin and Compass lay off a combined 900+ employees as mortgage interest rates continue to climb (TECHCRUNCH)

Meanwhile, a Compass spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is cutting about 10% of its staff, or about 450 people. He said: “Due to the clear signals of slowing economic growth we’ve taken a number of measures to safeguard our business and reduce costs, including the difficult decision to reduce the size of our employee team by approximately 10%.”

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With Canadian tech IPOs on pause, private markets face a higher bar (BETAKIT)

Last year, we saw many tech companies forgo private capital raises, opting for a public launch instead. After a sleepy decade averaging approximately one tech IPO a year, 16 tech companies with offering sizes larger than $50 million debuted on the Toronto Stock Exchange during this period of explosive activity.

But markets oscillate, and like a pendulum, it has swung the other way, with private market growth capital once again the pathway of choice for tech firms.

Google to pay $118M to settle lawsuit alleging it underpaid women (GLOBAL NEWS)

As part of the settlement, Google is set to pay US$118 million to approximately 15,500 workers who say they were paid less than their male counterparts for similar work.

Legaltech unicorn Clio now also a centaur after hitting $100 million USD in ARR milestone (BETAKIT)

After becoming a unicorn last year, Clio has now surpassed $100 million USD in annual recurring revenue (ARR), achieving centaur status—a title used to describe private software-as-a-service companies with over $100 million in ARR. According to San Francisco-based VC firm Bessemer’s State of the Cloud 2022 report, “being a centaur is the new milestone to celebrate.”

AlphaSense, analysis/business intel search engine, nabs $225M (TECHCRUNCH)

The funding is being co-led by two investors, the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (Goldman Sachs) and Viking Global Investors. Goldman Sachs is both a financial and strategic investor here, Finnish co-founder and CEO Jaakko (Jack) Kokko told me: the firm’s analysts use the platform for research and to post their own reports.

Startup Luxembourg wants Canadian founders to know its country is a gateway to the European market (BETAKIT)

Leaders of Startup Luxembourg, the brand for the country’s tech ecosystem, are on a trade mission to Canada, including a stop at Collision 2022, to entice Canadian founders to launch in Europe through Luxembourg.

Lyft will pay $25 million to settle claims it hid safety issues before its IPO (ENGADGET)

In their complaint, the shareholders said reports of sexual assaults by Lyft drivers that came out after the IPO represented an “existential risk” to the brand that should have been disclosed beforehand. Further, they said Lyft used promotions to boost its market share against Uber.

1Password adds Shopify alum Erin Zipes as chief legal officer, doubling C-suite over past year (BETAKIT)

1Password CEO Jeff Shiner said Zipes’ experience leading Shopify through its IPO and her commitment to diversity “will be essential” to the company’s growth trajectory.

With the addition of Zipes, 1Password has doubled the size of its C-suite over the past year. It is a year that also saw the company close two massive funding rounds and expand its headcount to almost 800, amid 70 percent year-over-year growth on the B2B side of its business.

Education Unicorn Upgrad Doubles Valuation With Murdoch Funding (BNN BLOOMBERG)

India’s UpGrad Education Pvt, founded by Ronnie Screwvala, increased its valuation to $2.25 billion in the round that included billionaire James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems LLC and US testing and assessment provider Educational Testing Service, according to a person familiar with the deal. ETS develops and administers standardized tests including the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Flare Systems eyes US expansion following $9.5 million Series A funding (BETAKIT)

Menz said the new funds will enable Flare to build out its sales and marketing team. Currently the startup has some 45 employees. Menz expects that to grow to just under 100 employees in the next year, and another 50 in the year after. Inovia Capital led the round with participation from White Star Capital and Luge Capital.

CoachHub raises $200M led by Sofina, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (TECHCRUNCH)

The platform currently has more than 3,500 business coaches who are spread across 90 countries, covering all time zones. It has worked with more than 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Danone, Toyota, LVMH, L’Oréal, Credit Suisse and Twitter. One of the reasons CoachHub is able to scale is because it uses artificial intelligence–based tech to match employees with coaches.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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