S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Wattpad’s widening end zone

Allen Lau, Wattpad
Plus: Checking in with BC's SaaS Unicorns.

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

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Paper secures $343 million CAD with US schools drawn to its remote tutoring tech (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based EdTech startup Paper has secured $343 million CAD in Series D capital to “democratize access” to academic supports outside of the classroom. The round comes less than a year after Paper closed a $123 million Series C round. Paper has seen significant growth in that time, doubling the number of students it serves – from one million last year to two million students now.


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Exclusive: bootstrapped startup Cloudinary becomes $2 billion unicorn via Blackstone investment (FORBES)

Investment giant Blackstone’s growth equity arm, Blackstone Growth, is providing financing for the round and the money will be used to purchase some shares held by the cloud company’s employees and founders.


Allen Lau drafts a new plan for Wattpad one year after Naver acquisition (BETAKIT)

One year after being acquired by Naver for $754 million CAD, Wattpad’s CEO is charting a new course for his company. Allen Lau points to four areas that Wattpad will focus on for growth. These goals look decidedly familiar to those outlined in a letter Lau wrote in 2016 on Wattpad’s 10th birthday. However, while the goal lines haven’t moved, the end zone for Wattpad is now bigger.


Didi to cut up to 20% of jobs before Hong Kong listing (BNN BLOOMBERG)

The company has already pared investments in once red-hot businesses like community grocery buying, some of the people said.


BetaKit Live: Checking in with BC’s SaaS Unicorns, Clio and Trulioo on February 23rd (BETAKIT)

On Wednesday, February 23rd at 4:00 pm ET, BetaKit Patreon supporters have a front-row seat to hear from both startups on transitioning strategies and searching for growth after attaining unicorn status.


RideCo drives up expansion with $20 million Series A (BETAKIT)

Led by Eclipse Ventures, the financing marks RideCo’s first financing round since it was founded in 2015.


Trump’s Truth Social is poised to join a crowded field (NEW YORK TIMES)

Truth Social, the former president’s hard-right alternative to Twitter, could open its doors next month. But as businesses go, outrage may not be the best moneymaker.


Alongside closes $8 million Series A to merge its HR tools with CareerBeacon’s jobs site (BETAKIT)

Moncton-based HR software startup Alongside has secured $8 million CAD in Series A financing to expand its product suite and set the stage for its expansion across the country. Alongside has already used some of the funding to acquire jobs site CareerBeacon from Brunswick News late last year.


Family safety app touting digital security leaves its own users’ sensitive data at risk (THE MARKUP)

Former employees said Life360 executives knew about security gaps.


Pinterest appoints Kristie Painting as Canada country manager (BETAKIT)

Painting has been working at the intersection of media and technology for more than two decades. She will join Pinterest from media agency Wavemaker Canada, where she has served as CEO since 2018.


The many obstacles to inclusion in startups (and one aid from Innovate BC) (BETAKIT)

As companies globally face the Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle, building inclusive workspaces is necessary to not only fill staffing gaps but also stem the tide of resignations within your organization.


How Roblox ‘beamers’ get rich stealing from children (VICE)

Underneath the gaming platform worth $68 billion and used by over half of all children in America is a ballooning and highly profitable ecosystem of hackers and traders.


Hubdoc co-founders back eState Planner’s $1 million seed round (BETAKIT)

Legaltech firm eState Planner has secured $1 million in seed funding from Hubdoc’s co-founders and other investors to expand its team. Fellow Toronto-based tech startups Pipeline Signals, which provides signal intelligence monitoring, and Wattpad alum-led relationship improvement app Couply also secured fresh financing to fuel their growth.


Spotify bet big on Joe Rogan. It got more than it counted on. (NEW YORK TIMES)

The deal that brought his podcast to Spotify is said to be worth over $200 million, more than was previously known. Accusations that he spreads misinformation have roiled the company.


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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.

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