Inside SaaS - July 29th, 2019 | Inside.com

Inside SaaS (Jul 29th, 2019)

Zoom prepares for 2020 Olympics / Brazilian neobank in Series F / "Lunch-as-a-service"

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1. Zoom Video founder and CEO Eric Yuan says the company plans to double its staff in Japan in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics. Also propelling Zoom's expansion are Japanese labor reforms introduced to reduce overwork. The legislation has resulted in boosted adoption for the video host platform, with Japanese companies such as Rakuten and Cookpad now using Zoom. The management of the Tokyo Olympics is also expected to further increase remote work. Zoom, which went public in April, has seen its share price rise 65 percent since its IPO, giving it a market cap of $27.8 billion. --  NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW


2. São Paulo-based fintech firm Nubank has raised a $400 million Series F round led by growth-stage fund TCVThis was the seventh funding round for Nubank, which included existing investors Tencent Holdings, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital and Thrive Capital. TCV, a VC firm that is best known for its investment in Netflix, is now demonstrating a more concerted interest in fintech. According to Nubank, the company has raised $820 million in seven investment rounds since 2013. In an interview with Reuters, Nubank's founder CEO David Velez said that the new funds would be used to expand across Latin America. -- TECH CRUNCH


3. AI-powered school management platform Edusuite raised a seed round worth $235,000. The Manila-based startup, which was founded two years ago, is funded by the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology. Its maiden suite was launched six months ago and “predicts administrative needs and makes recommendations to school administrators” to optimize the use of school resources. Edusuite CEO Niel Dagondon told DealStreetAsia that he is planning a Series A round within 20 to 28 months, a time when Edusuite will be ready to expand internationally. -- E27


4. Applications have opened for this year's Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt BerlinThe event, to be held December 11 and 12, brings together a lineup of early-stage startups to its main stage. Previous winners of the Startup Battle include Dropbox and N26, the latter of which just raised a $170 million Series D round, bringing its value to $3.5 billion. The competition accepts startups from anywhere in the world and from any vertical as long as they can demonstrate minimum viable products. -- TECH CRUNCH


5. Dubai-based property management agency HiGuest has announced $1.1 million in funding. It was not immediately clear if this was fresh capital or included as part of a recent round. Founded by Spanish entrepreneurs Miquel Manzanas and Oriol Plana, HiGuest manages properties for rentals on popular sites, such as AirBnb, Booking.com and Expedia. The startup's services include everything from profile creation to guest check-ins. With the new funding, HiGuests has expanded into Barcelona, and now manages over 300 properties in Dubai, Mumbai and Goa. -- MENABYTES


6. Vietnam-based P2P lending startup Vay Muon raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding. The fintech startup plans to utilize the new capital injection to further develop AI technology for its range of lending products, which automate loan approvals and credit assessment and scoring. There are also plans to expand across Southeast Asia and build new products. According to Vay Muon, the company now has over 2 million customers and more than 400,000 individual investors on its platform. -- TECH IN ASIA 


7. Singapore-based digital wealth management startup StashAway has raised $12 million in Series B funding. The investment round was led by Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International. Stashaway acts like a robo-advisor, delivering automated and customized portfolio management services. Co-founder and CEO of StashAway Michele Ferrario said that the fresh funding "will accelerate our investment product development for our clients in Singapore and Malaysia, while also supporting market expansion throughout the APAC region." -- FINEXTRA


8. Indonesian travel unicorn Traveloka has opened a $500 million investment round as the company eyes a valuation of $4.5 billion. Last April, the Jakarta-based online travel company raised $420 million in funding from Singapore's sovereign fund GIC, bringing the travel app's valuation to $4 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports that Traveloka is now in fresh talks to take that valuation higher, according to sources close to the matter. Traveloka counts Expedia, Sequoia Capital and Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com as investors, and launched in Australia earlier this year. -- WSJ (paywall)


9. Indian health tech app platform Visit Health is seeking $10 million in a Series-A funding round. The New Delhi-based startup has already raised $1.4 million in investment and would use the fresh capital to expand its network of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and pathological labs. The startup's co-founder and head of product Anurag Prasad said that there are also plans to employ AI technology. "As we grow our user base, we will be investing heavily in AI to upgrade the Visit platform," he said. -- FIRST POST


10. "Lunch-as-a-Service" startup Sifted has achieved $10 million in annual revenue. The bootstrapped corporate catering company, which was founded in 2015, has since served over 1 million meals to companies such as Twitter, SugarCRM, Samsara and theChive. Sifted now operates out of Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Nashville, Phoenix and Seattle, and considers the bootstrapped milestone a telling signal for the industry. “Food tech has become a graveyard comprised of startups who launched with mega VC rounds but shuttered due to high burn rates and unprofitable unit economics," said Jess Legge, Co-founder of Sifted. The startup claims to be the only end-to-end catering service in the country with a subscription-based lunch program. -- TECH STARTUPS


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

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).


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