S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Inside Mozilla’s bid to enter the metaverse

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

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Mozilla acquires Canadian-founded startups Pulse, Active Replica to fuel metaverse strategy (BETAKIT)

This week, Mozilla announced that it bought Vancouver-based virtual spaces and events startup Active Replica as well as productivity apps company Pulse. Mozilla purchased the startups as it builds out Hubs, the company’s virtual reality (VR) collaboration platform.


WhatsApp data breach sees nearly 500 million user records up for sale (TECHRADAR)

More than 32 million of the leaked records are said to be from users in the US, with 11 million from UK users. Other affected nations include Egypt (45 million), Italy (35 million), Saudi Arabia (29 million), France (20 million), Turkey (20 million), and Russia (10 million).


Shopify, Benevity set records for Black Friday-Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday (BETAKIT)

Shopify declared a record-setting year with combined Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales on its platform adding up to $7.5 billion USDfrom merchants globally. The figure represented a 19 percent increase from 2021 when Shopify merchants declared $6.3 billion in sales.


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Defense tech startup Anduril raises massive $1.5B round at $8.5B valuation (CRUNCHBASE)

The Costa Mesa, California-based startup locked up a Series E worth nearly $1.5 billion that values the company at $8.5 billion. That nearly doubles the company’s previous valuation in June 2021.


ApplyBoard cuts back customer experience department (BETAKIT)

ApplyBoard told BetaKit the layoffs were not made for financial reasons, but to serve its customers better, according to a company spokesperson. All layoffs happened in the customer experience team “based on process efficiencies identified as a result of thorough planning,” the spokesperson said.


Language app Duolingo jumps after $521 million IPO topped goal (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Duolingo was up 33% to $135.60 at 1:07 p.m. in New York trading, giving the company a market value of $4.87 billion. Accounting for employee stock options and restricted stock units, it has a fully diluted value of more than $5.9 billion.


How to keep yourself safe from cyber threats (BETAKIT)

In a BetaKit Live, Leigh Tynan, the Director of TELUS Online Security; Jeff Bonvie from the RCMP’s Cybercrime Coordination Centre; and Matthew Moniz, entrepreneur and Content Creator of Moniz Media, shared their insights on the current state of cybercrime and the secret to staying safer online.


Foresight 50 list names Canada’s “most investable” cleantech firms (BETAKIT)

“Last year’s Foresight 50 companies went on to collectively raise $593 million to amplify their cleantech solutions,” said Foresight Canada CEO Jeanette Jackson.


Box nears $1 billion run-rate, beats on earnings (MARKET WATCH)

Software company reports sales just $100,000 shy of $250 million and expects to top the mark in fourth quarter, but neither hits analysts’ average forecasts for the quarter amid fears about software growth.


What Coconut Software CFO Matt Petrow learned while raising a Series B (BETAKIT)

Matt Petrow, CFO of Coconut Software, said it’s about more than simply knowing your numbers and taking the best term sheet available.


Yahoo takes minority stake in ad network Taboola (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Yahoo’s chief executive sees the deal as a long-term bet on digital advertising. The companies estimate that their ad partnership will generate $1 billion annually.


Produce8 lands $6 million in seed funding to improve digital-first team productivity (BETAKIT)

Produce8 declined to name the investors in the round, noting only that interest followed the launch of its early access platform funded via Top Down Ventures’ pre-seed accelerator. The round brings Produce8’s total funding to date to $6.1 million CAD.


Kanye West isn’t buying Parler after all (TECHCRUNCH)

Parler’s owner and Ye have “mutually” parted ways without closing the deal, the company said via emailed statement to TechCrunch. It sounds like the deal was also never really formalized beyond at best a memorandum-of-understanding.


RailVision Analytics closes $5.5 million CAD to cut train emissions by curbing fuel consumption (BETAKIT)

Despite the rail industry’s importance, RailVision founder and CEO Dev Jain believes many people have a “weak perception” of how it works given that so much of its operations take place “at night and out of sight.” Jain told BetaKit in an interview, “it’s an industry that things just show up on their doorstep and they have no clue how it got there, but it’s responsible for moving more or less everything around.”


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The post S|W: The SaaS Weekly – Inside Mozilla’s bid to enter the metaverse first appeared on BetaKit.

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