Inside SaaS - June 13th, 2019 |

Inside SaaS (Jun 13th, 2019)

Slack valued at $17B / Dropbox gets overhaul / Square launches crypto team

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1. Slack has been valued at about $17 billion ahead of its IPO next week. The valuation is up from the $7.1 billion Slack was expected to bring in during its last funding round in August and was adjusted upward due to the workplace software company's projected revenue and current growth rate. Slack now boasts 95,000 paying customers, a success that has been credited to the company's timeliness in filling a market gap for the mobile workplace demand created by remote workers. According to Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, 10M people spend more than 50M hours on the platform on a typical work week. -- FORTUNE

2. Dropbox has relaunched as a workplace collaboration platform that integrates with Slack and Zoom. The overhaul upgrades Dropbox from a file-storage service into an enterprise platform that is operated through a new desktop app, rather than a tool that lives inside the Mac or Window's file system. The new Dropbox is now available for all 13 million of its business users and includes long-anticipated features, such as the ability to start and edit Google- and Microsoft-based docs within Dropbox. Not all tech commentators, however, have been won over by the makeover. -- THE VERGE

3. Cybersecurity training firm KnowBe4 has landed a $300 million investment led by private equity firm KKR, based on a $1 billion valuation. The Florida-based SaaS company specializes in phishing attack simulations that teach employees how to "address the human element of security by raising awareness of ransomware, CEO fraud and other social engineering tactics," KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman said in a statement. -- TECHCRUNCH

4. Payments company Square has hired ex-Google director and angel investor Steve Lee as the first member to a new cryptocurrency team. Square Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said that the new crypto team would work on projects that would be “what’s best for the crypto community," and not just Square. During the first quarter, Square generated a record $65.5 million in bitcoin-related revenue. -- COINDESK

5. Human capital management provider Ultimate Software named Adam Rogers as new co-CEO alongside Scott Scherr. The Florida-based HCM solutions SaaS promoted Rogers, who has been with the firm since 1997, to further assist the CEO with product development. -- SUN SENTINEL

6. Video conference platform Zoom has launched a new insight features and a partner marketing fund. Users of Zoom Rooms will soon be able to count room attendees and view insights of meeting attendance. Over the next three months, Zoom will also rollout its Reseller Partners Marketing Development Funds (MDF) Program in coordination with its channel partnership programs. -- CHANNEL PARTNERS ONLINE

7. Zendesk has expanded its conversational chatbot to web and mobile platforms. Launched in 2017, Zendesk's Answer Bot was programed through an AI model that fed it 12 million support ticket interactions to improve contextual customer responses. -- VENTUREBEAT 

8. Shopify executive says that the future of retail will not be limited to online shopping. Instead, Shopify COO Kylie Jenner told  Finance Yahoo that the Canadian e-commerce company believes that the future of retail is "going to be everywhere. And it will all be about consumer choice." -- YAHOO FINANCE 

9. Microsoft has issued a warning that a new Windows 10 security upgrade may "intentionally" break certain Bluetooth devices. The new security update (CVE-2019-2102) may affect some crucial Bluetooth hardware, but, Microsoft has said it plans to continue pushing the upgrade to all versions of Windows 10. -- FORBES 

10. Although California-based cybersecurity solutions provider Proofpoints has fallen 13.3 percent since May, analysts, including Mad Money's Jim Cramer, have taken to holding a long position for the company's shares. -- THE STREET

This newsletter is written and curated by Justin Calderón. Justin is based out of Barcelona, Spain, and has covered technology and SaaS news for a variety of publications, including the BBC and Newsweek. Follow him on Twitter at @justinfuyun

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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