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Inside SaaS

Inside SaaS (Aug 19th, 2019)

1. File-sharing service WeTransfer has raised €35 million ($38.8 million) in a Series B round. Founded in 2009, the Amsterdam-based company has been profitable for six years and receives its secondary investment round led by European growth equity firm, HPE Growth, with “significant” participation from existing investor Highland Europe. Exact financial details, such as the company's valuation, were not disclosed as part of the funding round. WeTransfer CEO Gordon Willoughby told TechCrunch the company has 50 million users a month across 195 countries. -- TECHCRUNCH 

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2. Google Drive will introduce the beta version of a long-awaited file "shortcuts" feature. The new feature, which will be rolled out to paid G Suite users first, will allow the ability to share a link to a Google Drive file inside Google Drive -- without necessarily creating a copy of the file -- from either the same drive or another, separate shared drive. The shortcuts can be stored anywhere without impacting the location of the original file, and the feature is reported to work similarly to shortcuts in Windows. -- ARS TECHNICA

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3. Budget hotel booking startup RedDoorz has raised $70 million in a Series C financing round. Founded in 2015, the Singapore-based startup's latest funding round included Japanese e-commerce leader Rakuten and arrives less than five months after it closed its $45 million Series B. The new funds will reportedly assist RedDoorz to better compete with its Indian rival Oyo, which is quickly encroaching on RedDoorz's target markets in Southeast Asia. RedDoorz claims to have 1,400 budget hotels on its network -- which includes listings up to two-start accommodation -- and aims to grow this number to 2,000 by the end of the year. -- TECHCRUNCH

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4. Faced with debilitating regulation, Cloud-based onboarding SaaS ezeDox pivoted its business to a B2B service that helps companies onboard customers, vendors, and employees. In India, where an estimated 25 million small manufacturing businesses still run legacy systems, digitization is in high demand. "If you look at onboarding in any major industry, it is still paper-driven and there is no use of cloud-based systems," says co-founder Veerendra Mishra. After making its pivot, eseDox has gained three paid contracts and handled 4,000 onboarding processes over the past two months. -- YOUR STORY

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5. Weed control platform MoA Technologies has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding. Founded in 2018 out of Oxford University’s Plant Sciences Department, the startup has developed a set of crop protection discovery platforms to better control weeds, which aid the discovery of next-generation sustainable herbicides. Following its Series A financing round, MoA Technologies plans to seek industrial partners to take its technologies to market. -- FIN SMES

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6. E-commerce startup ShopKirana has raised $10 million in a Series B round to further expand in India. A B2B-focused e-commerce firm, ShopKirana was founded in 2015 and will be expanding into tier-2 cities across India following its latest round of financing. The company is currently present in 30 cities with participation from 100,000 stores. Last year, ShopKirana raised $2 million in Series A funding from the same set of investors. -- ENTREPRENEUR

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7. The Financial Times has bought a minority stake in B2B subscription-based news website The Business of Fashion The deal will take the form of a partnership to collaborate on building subscription technology to grow BoF’s community of over 35,000 paying members. Founded in 2007 by fashion business adviser Imran Amed, BoF charges members $20 a month or $240 a year. Under the new agreement, FT Strategies, the consulting arm of the FT, will provide subscription technology support to BoF to aid membership efforts. -- PRESS GAZETTE 

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8. Restaurant discovery and food delivery portal Zomato witnessed over 1,000 restaurants flee its site last week. The popular Indian site, known as one of the longest-running online food and delivery services in the country, is in crisis mode. Restaurants have been pulling down their membership accounts over concerns that the restaurant reservation service has been hurting business with its discounting-driven model. Investors have now suggested that the company's premium service go through a "major brand revamp" or be faced to gradually shut down operations. -- LIVE MINT

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9. Software platform provider CloudBees will launch its open-sourced Jenkins system as a SaaS offering. Founded in 2010, the San Jose-based software firm would offer Jenkins X, a cloud-native version of the Jenkins CI/CD system for cloud applications on Kubernetes, via a SaaS model by 2020. The SaaS service will include commercial technical support and monthly updates, supports Google Kubernetes Engine and preview environments, and is planned to support Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service and DevPods. -- INFO WORLD

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10. Apple is suing tech startup Corellium for selling a virtual version of the iPhone. Over the past year, Corellium has been offering a virtual iPhone for hackers. In a lawsuit first reported by Bloomberg, Apple alleges that Corellium’s virtual iPhone replica infringes on the company’s copyright of iOS and related technology. “The purpose of this lawsuit is not to encumber good-faith security research, but to bring an end to Corellium’s unlawful commercialization of Apple’s valuable copyrighted works,” Apple’s counsel argues in its initial complaint. -- THE VERGE

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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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