S|W: The SaaS Weekly – TikTok pushes for growth, Elon pushes for Twitter… again

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Plus: L-SPARK selects six startups for latest B2B SaaS accelerator cohort.

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Bootstrapped to date, Field Effect closes $41 million CAD Series A to expand SME-focused cybersecurity business (BETAKIT)

Field Effect, which specializes in “intelligence-grade protection” for the “vastly underserved” small and medium enterprise (SME) market, plans to use this capital to boost its sales and marketing efforts as it expands its presence across North America and Europe.

TikTok Parent ByteDance Sees Losses Swell in Push for Growth (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. saw its operating losses more than triple last year to above $7 billion as it spent heavily to continue its torrid growth, according to a financial report shared with employees that offers a rare look inside the private company’s closely guarded finances.

ByteDance also produced an operating profit in the first quarter of 2022, the report showed, indicating one of the world’s most valuable startups could be turning a corner after years of incurring large losses.

Sensibill acquired by Austin-based Q2 Holdings (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2013, Sensibill provides a software platform to small and medium-sized businesses to help them automate and streamline expense management. Q2 is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘QTWO,’ and works with banks, credit unions, altnertive finance, and FinTech companies to develop digital banking and lending solutions.

‘Plot Twist!’: Musk’s Deal for Twitter Lurches Toward a Close (BNN BLOOMBERG)

On Oct. 3, Musk applied public pressure by formally re-offering to buy the company at the original price, aiming to avoid an Oct. 17 fight in Delaware Chancery Court. Twitter’s stock shot up, with investors sensing the drama was nearly over. But the company’s lawyers, suspicious of conditions in Musk’s letter, including the stipulation that Twitter drop its lawsuit, called it “an invitation to further mischief.”

“Plot twist!” Musk tweeted.

L-SPARK selects six startups for latest B2B SaaS accelerator cohort (BETAKIT)

Throughout the next six months, the accelerator participants will receive mentoring and technical support tailored to their business from L-SPARK’s network of experts and advisors.

BetaKit Live: Fighting back against cyber threats (BETAKIT)

In partnership with TELUS Online Security, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on what Canadians need to know about cybersecurity threats while providing practical solutions for online protection.

Sexual Predators Are Grooming Young Teens On Wattpad, A Storytelling App Beloved By Gen Z (FORBES)

A recent Forbes investigation has found rampant sexual predation on the Toronto-based storytelling platform. In one case, a 16-year-old girl was trafficked multiple times by a now convicted man she met on Wattpad.

Naver-owned Wattpad has since said it is introducing new tools to detect sexually explicit messages and grooming behaviour, and exploring ways to better verify users’ ages, as it looks to protect its young users while still permitting content for adults.

Halp secures $5.5 million CAD to help international students study abroad (BETAKIT)

The company first launched its offering last year, testing market demand for a product of this kind. When Halp amassed a waitlist of over 18,000 families—far more than its platform or roster of coaches could support—the company set out to raise its next round of financing.

Arctic Wolf Hunts Down $401M In Convertible Notes (CRUNCHBASE)

Convertible notes are something that could become more en vogue as the venture capital pullback continues (something we mentioned months ago). They work like a short-term loan, but convertible notes are repaid to the investor at a later point in equity—i.e. after an IPO—typically at a discount and can also include an interest rate.

Amazon makes first venture fund bets with $150 mln for underrepresented founders (REUTERS)

The online retailer said it is aiming to put money into more than 10 funds supporting some 200 companies at or before the seed stage of investment, through 2023. It is focused on Black, Latino, female, Indigenous and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) founders, Amazon said.

How TD is working to open-source equity education (BETAKIT)

Speaking with BetaKit, Samantha Estoesta, Manager of Equity in Innovation and Programs at TD Lab, explained the origins of the Equity Resource Hub and its core five-step process any company can use to help build more inclusive products and services.

Italian court scraps antitrust fine on Apple and Amazon (REUTERS)

An Italian administrative court scrapped a fine imposed by the country’s antitrust authority on U.S. tech giants Apple and Amazon for alleged collusion, a document showed on Monday.

The antitrust authority had fined both companies a total of more than 200 million euros ($195.3 million) in 2021, citing alleged anti-competitive cooperation in the sale of Apple and Beats products.

Infosys boosts Calgary hiring plans as it looks to double Canadian workforce to 8,000 employees (BETAKIT)

Infosys shared these intentions as part of the opening of its new Digital Centre in Calgary, located in Gulf Canada Square in the city’s downtown commercial district. Infosys president Ravi Kumar described the occasion as “the beginning of [the firm’s] next chapter in Canada.”

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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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