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Inside SaaS

Inside SaaS (Aug 14th, 2019)

1. "Backup-as-a-Service" cloud storage firm Clumio has debuted by announcing $51 million in Series A and B rounds. Coming out of stealth mode, Clumio announced that the funds were raised since its founding in 2017 but only made the information public yesterday to culminate with the launch of its SaaS-style cloud-based backup solution. Clumio CEO and co-founder Poojan Kumar, who was a young chess prodigy, said that the startup's mission was to manage complexity in "a world of multi-cloud," eliminating the need for enterprises to depend on legacy software and hardware, such as from Google Cloud Platform, Azure, AWS and VMware Cloud. Instead, Clumio offers a public cloud platform that allows its customers to back-up both on-premises and public cloud workloads. -- TECH CRUNCH

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2. Encrypted doctor prescription-issuing app Doxper has raised $4 million in Series A funding. The Mumbai-based startup uses machine learning solutions to help doctors maintain digital records of their patients, which is useful in serving India's rural population. Doxper's platform also operates an encoded pen that doctors can use to write encrypted prescriptions and patient details, which automatically gets transferred to a data-protected cloud network. Founded in 2015, Doxper says it has digitized nearly 5 million records and partnered with 1,600 independent clinics. -- INC42

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3. ON THE CUSP: Global "crowdsourced" same-day delivery service Dostavista has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Founded in 2012, the Moscow-based startup claims to make millions of same-day deliveries a year via its mobile app. Through Dostavista's gig economy-styled courier network, items are promised to be delivered in “less than 90 minutes” across 11 countries, mostly in Asia. Mike Alexandrovski, founder of Dostavista, says that he was inspired to start the company to meet the growing need for more options in on-demand delivery services. "Unless you’re an Amazon Prime member, your options for affordable, same-day delivery of goods are very limited,” he said in a statement.

Dostavista says its already profitable, which is of particular note in a cash-intensive industry that includes Amazon as a global competitor. In Europe, Dostavista will be pitted against big players such as Glovo, which runs a similar delivery service. What makes Dostavista stand out is its claim to handle any route, transport, or package weight or size for a competitive price. This is done through algorithms that optimize numerous parallel deliveries, measuring geographical routes, packages’ contents, couriers and more. -- TECH.EU

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4. Construction site mapping startup OpenSpace has raised $14 million in Series A funding. The San Francisco-based company uses AI technology to automatically create navigable 360-degree photos of construction sites, which are generated by attaching 360-degree cameras to the hardhats of workers. Founded in 2017, OpenSpace says it is deployed on projects exceeding $50 billion in total value across the world. The software is most compatible with the $800 Garmin VIRB 360 camera, which builders or site managers can easily strap on to hardhats. -- VENTURE BEAT

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5. Conversational AI platform Uniphore has raised $51 million in Series C funding to improve customer support technology. Founded in 2008, the Chennai-based startup plans to use AI technology to change the labor-intensive business of call centers by replacing workers with machines. Though headquartered in Chennai, Uniphore's co-founder and CEO Umesh Sachdev recently moved to Silicon Valley to spearhead the company’s North American push. He said that the fresh injection of capital will be used to further propel the company's global expansion. -- VENTURE BEAT

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6. Companies should consider "rightsizing" and employee feedback when discussing SaaS renewal cycles, says Jody Shapiro, CEO of Productiv. When a company plans to renew its SaaS applications throughout the year and not just during the anniversary of the subscription, it can better assess how to improve the service, he says. For example, through "rightsizing" companies can discover how to tailor the software to better work for them, instead of just downsizing its usage. This process is conducted by collecting employee (or client) feedback throughout the year and heavily based on client/customer relationships. --FORBES 

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7. Myanmar fitness booking app Flexible Pass has raised a six-figure pre-series A funding round. The exact amount of the total funding raised was not revealed, but the startup did confirm that it came from three existing investors from the company’s first funding round. Flexible Pass claims to have over 1,000 monthly active users making over 2,500 bookings per month through its app, which allows users to make bookings in over 150 gyms, fitness centers, and hotels in the country. With the new funding, the startup plans to build a new subscription-based B2B product for the beauty and wellness industry that will be launched by the end of this year. - TECH IN ASIA

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8. Data storage technology firm Pavilion Data Systems has raised $25 million in Series C funding. The San Jose, California-based company specializes in NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF) storage technologies, a kind of high-speed and low-latency storage network, and has now raised a total of $58 million in funding. Led by CEO Gurpreet Singh, Pavilion plans to use the new funds to accelerate the developent of NVMe-oF products, expand to new markets, and grow its workforce. -- FIN SMES

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9. Salesforce has decided to tone down the firm's apparent "cultural appropriation" of Hawaiian culture. Following concerns raised by employees in late 2018, Salesforce convened focus groups of native Hawaiian employees to ascertain whether or not certain terms that have been in use since the company's founding in 1999 were coming across as culturally insensitive. The discussions resulted in Salesforce removing Hawaiian terminology from its internal branding, which included calling its workforce “Salesforce Ohana,” named after the Hawaiian word for family, as well as conference rooms names like "Maka Launa" and "Hala Kahiki." -- THE DAILY BEAST

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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

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

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