Inside SaaS - August 12th, 2019 |

Inside SaaS (Aug 12th, 2019)

Zoom CEO: Simplicity is top concept / Social commerce startup Meesho / Fashion giants scout for startups

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1. Zoom Video CEO Eric Yuan says simplicity should be the top priority for videoconferencing companies. Speaking in an interview with Mercury News, Yuan recalled the vision he had for Zoom when it was founded. He had been at WebEx and had not seen any happy WebEx customers, he recalls. "I realized, 'Wow! The opportunity is much bigger than I thought,'" he said. At Zoom, even at the executive level, the company drinks its own champagne. "I’m meeting customers every day, but I don’t have to travel because we meet using Zoom. I probably travel, at most, twice a year. It makes it easier to get a lot of business done," said Yuan. -- MERCURY NEWS

2. Social commerce startup Meesho has raised $125 million in a Series D round with participation from Facebook. The Bangalore-based startup kicked off this Series D round in June, when Facebook contributed $25 million, Facebook's first-ever direct investment in the Indian startup ecosystem. Meesho is an online marketplace that connects sellers with customers on social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. The company claims a network of more than 2 million resellers from 700 towns who largely deal with apparel, home appliances and electronics items. -- TECH CRUNCH

3. Disability and aged care workflow management startup Lumary has raised $2 million from venture capital fund Equity Venture Partners. The Adelaide-based startup provides software management solutions that are used by Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Founded in 2017, the firm has managed about $750 million in government funds for the NDIS during the financial year 2019 so far. “The investment has come at a time for us to expand our offering to support more of the market. The first two years were about listening, learning and developing both software and a framework to support the consumer, carer and provider,” said Lumary CEO Joseph Mercorella. -- DEAL STREET ASIA

4. Customer experience startup Beynd has raised $2 million in its second round of seed funding after launching 10 months ago. The Utah-based startup's total funding is now $3.1 million, with the latest funding round being led by Provo's Peak Ventures with participation from San Francisco-based Prelude Ventures. Beynd claims 6,800 users on its platform, according to co-founder and CEO Peter Ord. The startup's platform focuses on helping companies during the customer setup and implementation phase of the sales lifecycle, which is done through onboarding workflow templates and tools. -- DESERT NEWS

5. Real-time cyberattack response startup Cybereason has raised $200 million in Series E funding. The latest round for the late-stage, Boston-based venture was led Japanese investment firm SoftBank and brings total valuation to $1 billion, with $389 million in total equity. In June, Cybereason grabbed international headlines by revealing a massive telecommunications attack, with a “very high probability” that the attack was funded by the Chinese government. -- YAHOO NEWS

6. Oracle India executive Arun Khehar says the company is "bullish on SaaS uptake in India and globally." As senior vice-president, of Applications for the MEA Region & India, Khekar said that India was "one of the fastest-growing" markets for Oracle. In India, SaaS ventures are expected to represent half of the total cloud-based business this year, with Gartner reporting global growth of 23 percent in the same period, making for a value of $1.15 billion. -- FINANCIAL EXPRESS

7. Adobe gives The Verge a sneak peek at the new cloud-based apps that it will release later this year.  In a mission to become more "cloud-native," Adobe will be launching several new creative design apps, including AR app Aero, digital watercolor app FrescoPhotoshop on the iPad and Project Glasswing, a mixed-reality display prototype that is still in development. The apps are made to feel "local," providing users with a similar UI that is cloud-based,  Adobe chief technology officer Abhay Parasnis said. -- THE VERGE

8. SurveyMonkey has acquired CX management and online survey company GetFeedback for a reported $68 million. Started by former Salesforce executives in 2013, GetFeedback was started to provide CX surveys using the Salesforce ecosystem. Today, the company claims to serve over 10,000 companies. SurveyMonkey's decision to buy the startup will bring customer feedback data into its existing systems of record and help SurveyMonkey "accelerate our integration strategy and sell to enterprise organizations," according to officials from SurveyMonkey. -- CMS WIRE

9. Google has taken down G Suite Assistant reminders in order to "improve the experience." After integrating Google Assistant into G Suite last April, Google has now removed the functionality, suggesting that it may return after maintenance. The decision comes one month after Assistant experienced errors with its messaging applicant. It is also speculated, however, that Google could be working to develop a more dedicated experience to be a part of G Suite Assistant. -- 9TO5 GOOGLE

10. Fashion giants are scouting for disruptive startups to add an edge in the retail market. Last May, Marks&Spencer acquired a minor stake in Texel, a startup specializing in 3D printing. Through Texel's software, Marks&Spencer will be able to create a digital avatar of its clients to recommend clothing that better adjusts to size and body shape. Similarly, in April H&M invested in Finnish startup Infinited Fiber Company, which specializes in the production of textile fibers from recycled cellulose. -- MDS

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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