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Inside SaaS

Inside SaaS (Jul 12th, 2019)

1. Microsoft Teams has overtaken Slack with 13 million active daily users. According to a previously withheld statistic released by Microsoft on Thursday, the company's workplace chat app Teams officially overtook the high-rising startup Slack in the three months ending on January 31. In comparison, Slack, which went public three weeks ago, had just 10 million users in January. The chart released by Teams also suggests that it is growing at a faster pace than Slack, with 19 million active users on a weekly basis. Slack no longer releases this info. The success of Teams, which is bundled with Microsoft Office 365, is proof that large tech companies can gain an edge with new products by selling them through popular software subscriptions. -- CNBC

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2. A Singaporean logistics startup has won the top investment prize at this year's RISE Tech Conference in Hong Kong. Founded in 2017, Haulio offers B2B container tech solutions that aim to improve inefficiencies in the freight shipping industry. The company's co-founder Alvin Ea said that most shipping companies aren't well versed in tech and that many startups don't invest in the cargo industry, presenting a large market gap for new businesses like his. The RISE Tech Conference 2019 concluded Thursday and featured more than 350 speakers and an estimated 16,000 participants over the course of the four-day event. Paddy Cosgrave, the founder of the Lisbon-based Web Summit, co-hosted the Hong Kong conference. -- KR ASIA

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3. Paddy Cosgrave is planning new in-app language translation services to attract more global CEO speakers at tech conferences. Programming in-app real-time translation services for tech conferences would allow CEOs to carry out panel discussions in their own languages. In conferences with tens of thousands of participants, this is the only way to manage such a feat, Cosgrave said. At this year's RISE tech conference in Hong Kong, which Cosgrave co-hosts, the event's mobile app made available Mandarin translation services, and Cosgrave hopes to launch Japanese services in 2020 and Korean by 2021.  -- KOREAN HERALD

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4. Oracle is partnering with a digital freight startup to revamp the technologically lagging trucking industry. Oracle has been involved in the logistics industry for 15 years, and already works with clients such as Kraft Heinz and Coca-Cola through services like Oracle Logistics Cloud. But its partnership with Loadsmart, a digital freight broker, will establish the SaaS giant as a serious competitor in the United States' growing digital-freighting industry, which already counts the digital freight-brokerage departments of Amazon and Uber as contenders. -- BUSINESS INSIDER

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5. Microsoft is testing a variety of password-less sign-in options for Windows 10. In another effort to kill the password, Microsoft is planning to launch a variety of new log-in methods, including facial recognition, fingerprint scans, a PIN number, and a USB security key. The upgrade would make PCs closer to the current security available on most smartphones. The PIN number, in particular, has Microsoft developers talking, since it can only be used on the same physical device where the Microsoft account is registered. -- PC MAG

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6. Salesforce and Tableau are being sued for "undervaluing" Tableau's growth potential in a recent merger. There are now three separate lawsuits, all being filed by Tableau shareholders, that claim the merger documents omitted key information on Tableau's financials, valuation data, sales process background and future employment that would have made the merger more expensive for Salesforce. The lawsuits accuse Tableau and executives of violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and one of the suits names Salesforce as a defendant. -- GEEKWIRE

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7. British enterprise B2B SaaS firm Pimberly has passed $1 million in annual revenue. The SaaS company provides product information management solutions and a digital asset management platform to a growing list of UK clients, including JD Sports, Freeman Grattan, Regatta and Card Factory. Pimberly's financial backers now include NorthEdge Capital and the UK Government, which have helped raise the company's headcount to 40 in the last 12 months. The company's CEO Martin Balaam now says he wants to reach $10 million in annual revenue in the near future. -- BUSINESS CLOUD

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8. Zendesk is looking to compete more directly with Salesforce as it expands beyond traditional help desk services. The customer service SaaS model took Zendesk to where it is today, but now the tech firm is diversifying into several new segments, such as data-driven email marketing, analytics and reporting, sales force automation, and CRM platforms. These services pose direct competition to its much larger San Francisco neighbor, Salesforce. Motley Fool comments that this strategy could be attractive to smaller companies that would benefit from Salesforce-styled products, but do not need it at a large scale. -- MOTLEY FOOL

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9. Nearly half of the businesses surveyed in a new study by LastPass said they had challenges balancing security needs with ease of use. The study, which polled 700 IT professionals around the world, also found that 92 percent of small-medium businesses experience at least one challenge in securing their identities. LastPass released the survey following the launch of its new security product suite, which includes multi-factor authentication, single sign-on and password management solutions. -- ENTERPRISE TIMES

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10. IT management and security SaaS company Quest saw 148 percent annual growth for its Azure-hosted platform. The California-based cloud-hosted platform has helped organizations migrate, manage and secure Microsoft platforms since 1987. Rapid growth of its On Demand platform indicates that new SaaS-specific services have been a success and that the company has been able to adapt to new demands as the tech industry evolves. -- HELP NET SECURITY 

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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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