Zendesk just hired three former Microsoft, Salesforce and Adobe execs


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Today, Zendesk announced it has hired three new executives — Elisabeth Zornes, former general manager of global support for Microsoft Office, as Zendesk’s first chief customer officer; former Adobe executive Colleen Berube as chief information officer and former Salesforce executive Shawna Wolverton as senior vice president, product.

The company emphasized that the hirings were about expanding the executive suite and bringing in top people to help the company grow and move into larger enterprise organizations.

From left to right: Shawna Wolverton, Colleen Berube and Elizabeth Zornes

Zornes comes to Zendesk with 20 years of experience at Microsoft working in a variety of roles around Microsoft Office. She says that what attracted her to Zendesk was its focus on the customer. “When I look at businesses today, no matter what size, what type or what geography, they can agree on one thing: customer experience is the rocket fuel to drive success. Continue reading "Zendesk just hired three former Microsoft, Salesforce and Adobe execs"

BetterCloud can now manage any SaaS application


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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BetterCloud began life as a way to provide an operations layer for G Suite. More recently, after a platform overhaul, it began layering on a handful of other SaaS applications. Today, the company announced, it is now possible to add any SaaS application to its operations dashboard and monitor usage across applications via an API.

As founder and CEO David Politis explains, a tool like Okta provides a way to authenticate your SaaS app, but once an employee starts using it, BetterCloud gives you visibility into how it’s being used. “The first order problem was identity, the access, the connections. What we’re doing is we’re solving the second order problem, which is the interactions,” Politis explained. In his view, companies lack the ability to monitor and understand the interactions going on across SaaS applications, as people interact and share information, inside and outside the organization. BetterCloud has been designed Continue reading "BetterCloud can now manage any SaaS application"

SaaS stocks are coming back to life


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Nasdaq’s BVP Emerging Cloud Index measures the performance of a portfolio of 45 SaaS stocks. Like much of the tech world, and the stock market in general, the final quarter of 2018 was not terribly kind. The good news is that there are signs of life.

On November 19th, SaaS stocks had a noteworthy bad day. Everything was down, way down. As we reported, some examples included:
  • Salesforce was down 8.7 percent to $121.01.
  • Box was down 6.93 percent to $16.66
  • Workday was down 7.57 percent to $124.07
  • Twilio was down 13.76 percent to $76.90
All of these stocks are part of that Emerging Cloud Index. That day, the index hit $792.95. It would not be the lowest point of 2018. That came about a month later, on December 21st, when it plunged to $778.39. Jason Lemkin, managing director at Continue reading "SaaS stocks are coming back to life"

Moglix raises $23M to digitize India’s manufacturing supply chain


This post is by Jon Russell from SaaS – TechCrunch


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We hear a lot about India’s e-commerce battle between Walmart, which bought Flipkart for $17 billion, and Amazon. But over in the B2B space, Moglix — an e-commerce service for buying manufacturing products that’s been making strides — today announced a $23 million Series C round ahead of a bigger round and impending global expansion.

This new round was led by some impressive names that Moglix counts as existing investors: Accel Partners, Jungle Ventures and World Bank-affiliated IFC. Other returning backers that partook include Venture Highway, ex-Twitter VP Shailesh Rao and InnoVen Capital, a venture debt fund affiliated with Singapore’s Temasek. The startup also counts Ratan Tata — the former chairman of manufacturing giant Tata Sons — Singapore’s SeedPlus and Rocketship on its cap table. Founded in 2015 by former Googler Rahul Garg, Moglix connects manufacturing OEMs and their resellers with business buyers. Garg told TechCrunch last year that it is named
Continue reading "Moglix raises $23M to digitize India’s manufacturing supply chain"

Vista snaps up Apptio for $1.94B, as enterprise companies remain hot


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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It seems that Sunday has become a popular day to announce large deals involving enterprise companies. IBM announced the $34 billion Red Hat deal two weeks ago. SAP announced its intent to buy Qualtrics for $8 billion last night, and Vista Equity Partners got into the act too, announcing a deal to buy Apptio for $1.94 billion, representing a 53 percent premium for stockholders.

Vista paid $38 per share for Apptio, a Seattle company that helps companies manage and understand their cloud spending inside a hybrid IT environment that has assets on-prem and in the cloud. The company was founded in 2007 right as the cloud was beginning to take off, and grew as the cloud did. It recognized that companies would have trouble understanding their cloud assets alongside on-prem ones. It turned out to be a company in the right place at the right time with the right
Continue reading "Vista snaps up Apptio for $1.94B, as enterprise companies remain hot"

SAP agrees to buy Qualtrics for $8B in cash, just before the survey software company’s IPO


This post is by Catherine Shu from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Ryan Smith of Qualtrics speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015

Enterprise software giant SAP announced today that it has agreed to acquire Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash, just before the survey and research software company was set to go public. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. Qualtrics last round of venture capital funding in 2016 raised $180 million at a $2.5 billion valuation.

This is the second-largest ever acquisition of a SaaS company, after Oracle’s purchase of Netsuite for $9.3 billion in 2016. In a conference call, SAP CEO Bill McDermott said Qualtrics’ IPO was already oversubscribed and that the two companies began discussions a few months ago. SAP claims its software touches 77 percent of the world’s transaction revenue, while Qualtrics’ products include survey software that enables its 9,000 enterprise users to gauge things like customer sentiment and Continue reading "SAP agrees to buy Qualtrics for $8B in cash, just before the survey software company’s IPO"

Early-stage SaaS VC slip snaps recovery as public software stocks soar


This post is by Alex Wilhelm from SaaS – TechCrunch


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A few months ago, Crunchbase News reported that a longstanding period of SaaS investment stagnation had come to an end.

However, the investment boom times didn’t necessarily carry over to the seed and early-stage end of the subscription software businesses. The chart below displays deal and dollar volume of seed and early-stage venture investments1 made into companies from around the world in Crunchbase’s SaaS category. Note that it is subject to historically documented reporting delays, which are most pronounced in seed and early-stage deals. As can be plainly seen that Q3 2018 took quite a turn in terms of investment into SaaS. And it’s a bit bewildering as to why. Overall, the  Continue reading "Early-stage SaaS VC slip snaps recovery as public software stocks soar"

Seva snares $2.4M seed investment to find info across cloud services


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Seva, a New York City startup, that wants to help customers find content wherever it lives across SaaS products, announced a $2.4 million seed round today. Avalon Ventures led the round with participation from Studio VC and Datadog founder and CEO Olivier Pomel.

Company founder and CEO Sanjay Jain says that he started this company because he felt the frustration personally of having to hunt across different cloud services to find the information he was looking for. When he began researching the idea for the company, he found others who also complained about this fragmentation. “Our fundamental vision is to change the way that knowledge workers acquire the information they need to do their jobs from one where they have to spend a ton of time actually seeking it out to one where the Seva platform can prescribe the right information at the right time when and where
Continue reading "Seva snares $2.4M seed investment to find info across cloud services"

Celonis brings intelligent process automation software to cloud


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Celonis has been helping companies analyze and improve their internal processes using machine learning. Today the company announced it was providing that same solution as a cloud service with a few nifty improvements you won’t find on prem.

The new approach, called Celonis Intelligent Business Cloud, allows customers to analyze a workflow, find inefficiencies and offer improvements very quickly. Companies typically follow a workflow that has developed over time and very rarely think about why it developed the way it did, or how to fix it. If they do, it usually involves bringing in consultants to help. Celonis puts software and machine learning to bear on the problem. Co-founder and CEO Alexander Rinke says that his company deals with massive volumes of data and moving all of that to the cloud makes sense. “With Intelligent Business Cloud, we will unlock that [on prem data], bring it to the cloud in
Continue reading "Celonis brings intelligent process automation software to cloud"

Why Blissfully decided to go all in on serverless


This post is by Ron Miller from SaaS – TechCrunch


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Serverless has become a big buzzword of late, and with good reason. It has the potential to completely alter how developers write code. They can simply write a series of event triggers, while letting the cloud vendor worry about providing whatever amount of compute resources are required to complete the job. It represents a huge shift in how programs are developed, but it’s been difficult to find companies who were built from the ground up using this methodology because it’s fairly new. Blissfully, a startup that helps customers manage their Software as a Service usage inside their companies, is one company that decided to do just that. Aaron White, co-founder and CTO, says that when he was building early versions of Blissfully, he found he needed quick bursts of compute power to deliver a list of all the SaaS products an organization is using. He figured he could set Continue reading "Why Blissfully decided to go all in on serverless"