Tag: SaaS

25
Jun

Managing and growing your business in a challenging macro environment – Podcast

EPISODE DETAILS / TRANSCRIPT

EPISODE SUMMARY

Tony van Marken knows what it takes to climb a financial mountain, so how are successful start-ups managing under COVID-19?

EPISODE NOTES

Tony van Marken knows what it takes to climb a financial mountain, so how are successful start-ups managing under COVID-19? The managing partner of First Ascent Ventures explains why not all technology companies are suffering, why enterprise-oriented firms aren’t immune, and how they can adapt to the new normal. Not all start-ups are created equal. van Marken points out that just because a start-up isn’t exposed directly to the consumer that doesn’t mean it isn’t exposed to uncertainty during COVID-19. If you can survive this…

van Marken believes CEOs who can adapt to the pandemic will make their businesses more resilient in the good times, and more likely to accelerate their growth rates once we come out on the other side of the virus

16
Jun

AI STARTUP RUBIKLOUD TO BE ACQUIRED BY OTTAWA-BASED KINAXIS FOR $81.4 MILLION CAD

OTTAWA, ON, June 15, 2020 – Kinaxis® Inc. (TSX: KXS), the authority in driving agility for fast, confident decision-making in an unpredictable world, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Toronto-based Rubikloud, a disruptive, emerging provider of AI solutions that automate supply chain prescriptive analytics and decision-making in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

Globally-recognized retailers and CPG manufacturers in the health and beauty, household and grocery segments use Rubikloud’s AI-based products today. Their offerings include demand forecasting and automation to manage and optimize trade promotions, pricing and assortment to drive product demand and dramatically improve financial results. Kinaxis will enhance RapidResponse’s demand planning capabilities with the Rubikloud offerings, anticipating initial opportunities in the company’s rapidly-growing CPG customer base and over time for other industries such as life sciences. The acquisition also offers Kinaxis a springboard into the enterprise retail industry.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our CPG customers today, leads us into the retail industry with some bellwether accounts, and adds a group of approximately 80 people to an already-impressive AI and machine learning (ML) team here at Kinaxis. Over time, this enhanced group will contribute to new and existing AI-powered capabilities across the full Kinaxis RapidResponse® platform and applications,” said John Sicard, President and CEO of Kinaxis. “This acquisition reflects the growing importance of AI and ML to power intelligent automation and augment human decision-making to better deliver on customer promises, remove waste and increase resiliency for effective risk management.”

Rubikloud’s SaaS-based ML offerings empower retail and CPG manufacturers to transform their core operations by improving and automating complex, profit-generating decisions. Rubikloud’s proven AI capabilities and intuitive tools enable users to leverage disparate data sources to improve forecast accuracy, site-level allocations, inventory availability and promotion plans by allowing users to run boundless simulations in real time.

“We founded Rubikloud with the belief that purpose-built AI could be used to solve some of the most complex industry problems and we have spent the last seven years building a fantastic product that receives validation from global customers every day,” said Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud. “We’re excited at the prospect of joining Kinaxis, which helps us bring our innovations to a much broader customer base at a faster pace than on our own. Not only that, being two strong Canadian companies we see great cultural synergy and look forward to working on the complex problems we know RapidResponse and concurrent planning can solve for customers.”

Terms of Agreement
Kinaxis will acquire Rubikloud for US$60 million in an all-cash transaction that is expected to close within 60 days. Based on Rubikloud’s current revenue and expense profile, the company’s fiscal 2020 revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance, as reiterated in its May 6, 2020 news release, remains unchanged. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About Kinaxis Inc. 
Everyday volatility and uncertainty demand quick action. Kinaxis® delivers the agility to make fast, confident decisions across integrated business planning and the digital supply chain. People can plan better, live better and change the world. Trusted by innovative brands, we combine human intelligence with AI and concurrent planning to help companies plan for any future, monitor risks and opportunities and respond at the pace of change. Powered by an extensible, cloud-based platform, Kinaxis delivers industry-proven applications so everyone can know sooner, act faster and remove waste. For more Kinaxis news, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

12
Jun

Announcing our partnership with JPMorgan Chase

We are excited to announce our partnership with JPMorgan Chase, which is now offering Sensibill’s receipt capture and management solution through the Chase Mobile app! With the Chase Mobile Banking app, everyday banking customers can manage home office expenses, submit proof of purchase for insurance claims, track their spending at a granular level, and much more. 

Chase has created a digital banking experience that makes it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their finances,” said Corey Gross, co-founder and CEO at Sensibill. “Through our partnership with Chase, millions of customers will have access to a best-in-class product that solves the hassle of expense and receipt management.”

Receipts have historically been a major source of friction and headache for consumers and businesses alike. Sensibill’s digitized approach to receipt management will allow Chase’s customers to conveniently monitor spending and manage their purchases from within the Chase Mobile app. Through a progressive rollout, Sensibill’s solution will be available within the Chase Mobile app to all of its 38 million active mobile users later this year.

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.1 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: More than 4,900 branches in 38 states and the District of Columbia, 16,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to chase.com.

27
Apr

Upchain ranks as #2 in top list of PLM systems based on customer satisfaction

According to the G2 website:

“A product’s satisfaction score is calculated by a proprietary algorithm that factors in real-user satisfaction ratings from review data. Software buyers can compare products according to their satisfaction scores to streamline the buying process and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of their peers.”

The company outperformed incumbents such as Oracle (#7), SAP (#11) and PTC (#12).

This follows the G2 Crowds spring 2020 awards, at which the company received 6. These include: Users love Us, being a Momentum leader to Easiest to Set up.

For more information visit: https://www.g2.com/categories/plm?tab=highest_rated

11
Dec

ScribbleLive acquired by Brazil based Rock Content

Brazilian content marketing startup Rock Content has announced the purchase of US sector player ScribbleLive, creating one of the largest companies in the segment in the Americas.

The buyout, announced exclusively to Forbes, is the continuation of the company’s international expansion, which began in 2017 with the launch of operations in Mexico. With the addition of ScribbleLive (SL), which has offices in Boca Ratón and Toronto, the enlarged Rock organization will boost its 400-strong workforce with about 100 employees. The two companies combined have a freelancer base of about 80,000 professionals.

The new company also brings a client portfolio that includes names like Red Bull, Cisco, FedEx, Dell, Reuters, Deloitte and American Express. Some of the organizations in this consolidated portfolio of over 2,000 customers that were existing clients, such as Oracle, will be catered for with services in Portuguese, Spanish and English, as well as other content-related products offered by the group.

“Being able to help our customers consolidate their content marketing efforts across multiple geographies and languages is the most exciting piece this acquisition brings,” said Rock co-founder Diego Gomes. “Our network of creative professionals is a unique feature that no other content platform can offer.”

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but, according to Gomes, the price tag is in the “tens of millions of dollars” and involved the exit of about a dozen SL investors, such as Summerhill Venture Partners, First Ascent Ventures and Fidelity Growth. The buyout was supported by a small funding round from Rock’s current investor base, which includes e.bricks Ventures, Provence Capital and Unbox Capital.

04
Jul

Digital receipt player Sensibill raises $31.5m

Sensibill, a Toronto-based AI-powered digital receipt startup targeting freelancers and small business owners, has raised US$31.5 million in a Series B funding round joined by National Bank of Canada.

The round, led by AI-focused venture fund Radical Ventures, and joined by Information Venture Partners and First Ascent Ventures, brings Sensibill’s total financing to $46.5 million.

Founded in 2013, Sensibill works with banks such as TD and Scotiabank to incorporate its digital receipt technology into their apps, enabling personal and business customers to manage line item receipts from their phones.

The platform uses machine learning to structure receipt data and give both banks and their customers rich insights such as product information, return policy tracking and auto-categorisation.

Since its 2017 Series A round, the firm has doubled its headcount, opened a London office and has now won more than 30 bank deals in Canada, the US and UK, many with Tier 1 players such as RBS.

Corey Gross, CEO, Sensibill, says: “What we’re trying to do at Sensibill is bridge the gap between what banks are good at today, and where they need to be in five or ten years to protect their relationships from disruption. Tools beyond core banking, an incredible customer experience, and meaningful customer insights for banks–that’s what we bring to the table.”

03
Jun

BusinessWire partners with IR provider Q4

deleo

SAN FRANCISCO: Business Wire has partnered with investor relations cloud platform Q4.

The exclusive partnership is combining Business Wire’s distribution and newswire services with Q4’s communications and intelligence platforms, according to a statement from the companies.

“Business Wire and Q4 have known each other for a long time,” said Richard DeLeo, COO at Business Wire. “We’re both preferred providers to the New York Stock Exchange IPO program. The opportunity to give [Q4] access to distribution and Business Wire clients access to their best-in-class IR services was attractive to us.”

DeLeo added that this is only “phase one” of their partnership.

“We’re going to put our heads together about how we can integrate further and create more products,” he added.

Business Wire has not used the acquisition-heavy strategy of its competitors, such as Meltwater and Cision, who have been trying to drive innovation through consolidation.

“We are always looking at ways that we can enhance the news-distribution process as well as deliver ROI and metrics to our client base,” DeLeo said.

Q4 services DeLeo highlighted include web-hosting capabilities, as well as analytics and intelligence in IR. Pooling Q4 and Business Wire’s resources will “help simplify complex workflows, drive valuation, reduce volatility and deepen stakeholder engagement,” according to a statement from the companies.

The deal “makes sense as a partnership,” according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting associate Christopher Porter.

“We were also struck by the mention of webcasting as an area of cooperation. Webcasting is an area of particular focus for West [Corporation], who since 2018 are the owners of GlobeNewswire, which Burton-Taylor considers to be the next-largest press-release-distribution business in the world after Business Wire,” Porter added.

Business Wire was identified as the fourth-largest player in the comms tech industry in a report by Burton-Taylor.

In February, Business Wire expanded its Paris office adding staff and pursuing growth in France and southern Europe.

Business Wire once partnered with TrendKite, the digital PR platform that was acquired by Cision this year. Trendkite provided its analytics to Business Wire, packaged in its NewsTrak reports. That partnership has ended.

Berkshire Hathaway acquired Business Wire in 2006 for an undisclosed amount.

21
Feb

Q4 announces new IR Success Platform

darrel

New York and Toronto – February 21, 2019 – Q4 Inc., a leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations solutions, announced today the launch of its “IR Success Platform.” The platform combines Q4’s market-leading IR product suite, with a new white-glove customer experience model that partners with IROs to help them achieve both their tactical and strategic objectives, from daily tasks to annual program goals.

“The rise of new technologies, along with a constantly changing regulatory landscape are disrupting today’s capital markets. But while the scope of the IR role has expanded, in most cases, resources and budgets haven’t increased. You’re being asked to do more with less.” said Darrell Heaps, Q4’s CEO. “We believe that by working with the right partner and arming yourself with the right technology, you can overcome these challenges, to drive strategic value and ‘take a seat at the boardroom table.’ Our new IR Success Platform is designed to help IR teams, of all sizes and shapes, optimize processes and run impactful programs.”

Leveraging the latest in IR technology and tools, combined with dedicated IR professionals, Q4 is committed to delivering best-in-class customer experience. The IR Success Platform provides IROs with a truly dedicated “partner” committed to helping them drive strategic IR value, and is the first of its kind in the market. The IR Success Platform is designed to:

  • Reduce IR workload and streamlining processes;
  • Build a robust ownership base and target the right investors;
  • Improve IRO visibility and engagement with management and the Board; and
  • Drive stronger valuation relative to market peers.

“We recognize that no two IR teams are the same, and therefore, your needs also differ. With our IR Success Platform, we match you with the right technology and dedicated service team, based on your own unique objectives and challenges. We have you covered, from website and webcasting, to CRM, market intelligence and surveillance, and everything in between, ” said Matt Tractenberg, IR Partner at Q4. “The incredible benefit to our clients and their limited resources is that this is all being provided as a value add, at no additional expense to our clients.”

The IR Success Platform includes three customer experience offerings:

“Communicate” includes web design and webcasting, supported by an IR lead and 24/7 customer service for daily IR tasks.

“Engage” includes Q4’s CRM, web and webcasting, supported by a dedicated IR manager who is focused on executing tactical support across all IR functions.

“Elevate” includes web design, webcasting, CRM and Intelligence products and offers the highest level of strategic experience. It’s supported by a dedicated IR Partner, an ex-IRO with the core mandate to align with client strategies and partner on helping reach their objectives, whatever they may be.

The IR Success Platform is a value add service offered to all Q4 clients, with product configuration being rolled-out over the coming days. For more information please see www.q4inc.com or contact sales@q4inc.com .

For more details visit: https://www.q4inc.com/success-platform/default.aspx

23
Jan

ThinkData Works selected as an approved vendor for the Canadian Government AI standing order

Toronto – January 23rd, 2019 – ThinkData Works Inc. (ThinkData) has been pre-qualified by the Government of Canada to deliver contracts worth up to $9M related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) services, solutions, and products. The list of qualified providers was announced on January 15, 2019, and was the result of an Invitation to Qualify published through Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Through the Invitation to Qualify, the Government of Canada has pre-approved a list of suppliers who meet all of the mandatory criteria to provide Canada with responsible and effective AI services, solutions, and products. Subsequently, all solicitation opportunities related to Federal Government AI projects will be exclusively distributed to this pre-qualified list of suppliers (the Source List).

“We are very pleased to have been selected to deliver on the largest AI-related projects within the Government of Canada,” says Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData. “We placed a large emphasis on the need for clean data in order to get AI right and we’re happy to hear that the Government agrees. We will be able to deploy our platform, Namara, on nearly every project related to this procurement vehicle and serve up clean, unbiased data as fuel to power all AI solutions.”

ThinkData has also created a vendor ecosystem graphic to better visualize and categorize the Source List:

 

Company logos plotted in a graphic divided by work sector

After research and consultation with industry, academia, and civil society, the Federal Government structured the solicitation around three categories that represent the business needs of the Government of Canada:

Insights and Predictive Modelling: The Government is looking to maximize the value of the data and information it has, and will begin to use AI to analyze and predict outcomes and effectiveness.

Machine Interactions: Canada is increasingly seeking to implement digital channels to facilitate interactions between citizens and government, looking towards chatbots, virtual agents, smart routing, and targeted content distribution to increase service delivery.

Cognitive Automation: The Government intends to introduce automated decision systems in order to further automate repetitive tasks and information-intensive processes.

Vendors on the Source List have been pre-qualified based on their prior experience delivering responsible and effective AI services, solutions, and products. Pre-qualified suppliers will receive notifications of opportunity (“Solicitation”) which will be posted on Buy and Sell. Solicitations will stipulate the maximum amount to be awarded and will be categorized based on the following grades, or “bands”:

  1. Band 1: up to $500K
  2. Band 2: up to $4M
  3. Band 3: up to $9M

To qualify for Solicitation under bands 1, 2, and 3, vendors were required to demonstrate that they had successfully delivered one, three, or five AI project(s), respectively. This process ensures that both emerging companies and global organizations are present on the Source List.

“The different bands made the ITQ accessible to smaller companies and startups who historically get left off of these standing offers due to requirements tailored to large, public companies,” says Smith. “I think the Government did a phenomenal job ensuring home-grown Canadian AI talent could compete for any future government contract. It’s so important that these companies get the opportunity to build solutions for Canada.”

23
Oct

Assent Compliance Receives Over $100 Million (CAD$130 Million) Growth Equity Investment from Warburg Pincus

OTTAWA – October 23, 2018 – Assent Compliance (“Assent” or “the company”), the Ottawa-based leader in supply chain data management software, today announced the receipt of an over $100 million (CAD$130 million) investment from Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The investment will enable Assent to enhance its proprietary software and supply chain data management platform, while expanding its product compliance, vendor management and corporate social responsibility solutions. Justin Sadrian and Sam Lipsick from Warburg Pincus will join Assent’s Board of Directors.

This investment is Assent’s third funding round in three years and highlights it as one of Canada’s most successful SaaS companies. Assent raised CAD$20 million in a Series A round in 2016 and CAD$40 million in a Series B round in 2017, which have fuelled its rapid growth to more than 400 employees across three continents.

Assent provides cloud-based enterprise supply chain data management software and solutions – available through the Assent Compliance Platform – to help companies manage and reduce global third-party market access, reputational, financial and operational risks. Serving hundreds of corporate customers and hundreds of thousands of suppliers around the world, Assent’s solutions automate supply chain data management to increase supply chain transparency and respond to the significant volume of data and regulatory requirements faced in today’s global marketplace. Assent’s platform is supported by a world-class team of regulatory and supplier management experts, providing exceptional supply chain data program management.

“We are thrilled to partner with Warburg Pincus – one of the leading growth equity firms in the world,” said Andrew Waitman, CEO of Assent Compliance. “Warburg’s enviable software domain experience complements our remarkable supply chain data management expertise and will help accelerate Assent’s rapid growth. Their thoughtful selection of Assent reinforces our market leadership and will enable us to continue to deliver innovative solutions that protect companies from third-party risks within their supply chains.”

“Assent’s innovative technology offerings and unmatched regulatory expertise have supported the company’s rapid growth, and cemented its leadership position in the supply chain data management sector,” said Justin Sadrian, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus. “The company has taken supply chain transparency to a new level and created a clear category-leading platform. In doing so, Assent has earned an outstanding reputation for providing world class solutions and client support – making Assent the partner of choice for enterprise and mid-market companies around the world. We look forward to working with Assent’s leadership team as the company embarks on its next chapter of growth.”

Assent Compliance has emerged as a remarkable success story in the Canadian software and technology industry,” said Richard Black, Partner, OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF). “We identified Assent three years ago as a company with great opportunity, strong leadership and a clear vision for strategic growth. Warburg Pincus’ investment is a testament to Assent’s ability to execute against that vision and achieve its place as the global leader in its space. This marks a new chapter for one of Canada’s best and most exciting companies to watch, and we look forward to continuing to be a part of it.”

BDC Capital, Greenspring Associates, OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund, and Volition Capital will all remain investors in the company, reflecting their continued confidence in Assent and its growth potential. Members of Assent’s management team will also retain an ownership stake.

About Assent Compliance
Assent Compliance is the global leader in supply chain data management. Combining leading-edge technologies with extensive supply chain expertise, Assent provides SaaS solutions that manage third-party data to protect corporate brands, increase market accessibility, and reduce operational and financial risk. For more information, please visit www.assentcompliance.com.

About Warburg Pincus
Warburg Pincus LLC is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $47 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 170 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. The firm has been an active investor in the enterprise software sector, with current investments including Avalara, DocuTAP, Dude Solutions, Duetto, Liaison International, and NEOGOV. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 17 private equity funds, which have invested more than $70 billion in over 835 companies in more than 40 countries. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore. For more information, please visit
www.warburgpincus.com.

About OpenText
The OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF) was formed in 2015 and invests in emerging Canadian technology companies that are building disruptive, enterprise applications that leverage the power of the internet, big data, predictive analytics, machine learning and mobility. The founding partners of OTEAF have been involved with over 25 technology companies as founders, executives, advisors or investors with a track record of successful growth and premium returns.

Contacts
Assent Compliance
Matthew Desrosiers
(613) 315-0761
matthew.desrosiers@assentcompliance.com

Warburg Pincus
Pam Greene / Jenny Gore
Sard Verbinnen
(212) 687-8080 WP-SVC@sardverb.com

OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF)
Tony van Marken
(647) 271-4564
tony.vanmarken@oteaf.vc

 

AI STARTUP RUBIKLOUD TO BE ACQUIRED BY OTTAWA-BASED KINAXIS FOR $81.4 MILLION CAD

OTTAWA, ON, June 15, 2020 – Kinaxis® Inc. (TSX: KXS), the authority in driving agility for fast, confident decision-making in an unpredictable world, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Toronto-based Rubikloud, a disruptive, emerging provider of AI solutions that automate supply chain prescriptive analytics and decision-making in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

Globally-recognized retailers and CPG manufacturers in the health and beauty, household and grocery segments use Rubikloud’s AI-based products today. Their offerings include demand forecasting and automation to manage and optimize trade promotions, pricing and assortment to drive product demand and dramatically improve financial results. Kinaxis will enhance RapidResponse’s demand planning capabilities with the Rubikloud offerings, anticipating initial opportunities in the company’s rapidly-growing CPG customer base and over time for other industries such as life sciences. The acquisition also offers Kinaxis a springboard into the enterprise retail industry.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our CPG customers today, leads us into the retail industry with some bellwether accounts, and adds a group of approximately 80 people to an already-impressive AI and machine learning (ML) team here at Kinaxis. Over time, this enhanced group will contribute to new and existing AI-powered capabilities across the full Kinaxis RapidResponse® platform and applications,” said John Sicard, President and CEO of Kinaxis. “This acquisition reflects the growing importance of AI and ML to power intelligent automation and augment human decision-making to better deliver on customer promises, remove waste and increase resiliency for effective risk management.”

Rubikloud’s SaaS-based ML offerings empower retail and CPG manufacturers to transform their core operations by improving and automating complex, profit-generating decisions. Rubikloud’s proven AI capabilities and intuitive tools enable users to leverage disparate data sources to improve forecast accuracy, site-level allocations, inventory availability and promotion plans by allowing users to run boundless simulations in real time.

“We founded Rubikloud with the belief that purpose-built AI could be used to solve some of the most complex industry problems and we have spent the last seven years building a fantastic product that receives validation from global customers every day,” said Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud. “We’re excited at the prospect of joining Kinaxis, which helps us bring our innovations to a much broader customer base at a faster pace than on our own. Not only that, being two strong Canadian companies we see great cultural synergy and look forward to working on the complex problems we know RapidResponse and concurrent planning can solve for customers.”

Terms of Agreement
Kinaxis will acquire Rubikloud for US$60 million in an all-cash transaction that is expected to close within 60 days. Based on Rubikloud’s current revenue and expense profile, the company’s fiscal 2020 revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance, as reiterated in its May 6, 2020 news release, remains unchanged. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About Kinaxis Inc. 
Everyday volatility and uncertainty demand quick action. Kinaxis® delivers the agility to make fast, confident decisions across integrated business planning and the digital supply chain. People can plan better, live better and change the world. Trusted by innovative brands, we combine human intelligence with AI and concurrent planning to help companies plan for any future, monitor risks and opportunities and respond at the pace of change. Powered by an extensible, cloud-based platform, Kinaxis delivers industry-proven applications so everyone can know sooner, act faster and remove waste. For more Kinaxis news, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.