Inside SaaS - August 28th, 2019 |

Inside SaaS (Aug 28th, 2019)

AR industrial app / Cybersecurity asset manager / Digitizing F&B menus

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1. AR industrial productivity platform Ario Technologies has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Virginia-based NRV. The Norfolk, Virginia-based startup also received a grant for $1.5 million from the United States Air Force, bringing the total raised by the company to $3.5 million. Through a SaaS business model, the company offers augmented reality software to enhance industrial performance by mixing real-time information and data with real-world mobility through tablets or smartphones. By providing on-demand engineering and construction data available through AR, the startup hopes to enable contractors to ramp up skills training at work sites. “Our team is focused on reducing the skills gap across the workforce,” said Joe Weaver, co-founder at Ario. -- SILICON ANGLE

2. Cybersecurity asset management startup Axonius has raised $20 million in Series B funding following an earlier round in January. The second funding round for the New York- and Tel Aviv-based startup this year brings its total investment to $37 million and comes during a rapid growth streak. Over the past eight months, Axonius has witnessed recurring revenue climb by 400 percent as the company's mission to enable customers "to take control of their [digital] assets" has taken off. Founded in 2017, Axonius' current clients include The New York Times, Schneider Electric, ThermoFisher, Landmark Health, and AppsFlyer. -- VENTURE BEAT

3. AI-driven cash flow platform Tesorio has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group. Billed as the "Mint for businesses," Tesorio's platform enables corporate accountants, treasurers and financiers to better manage and predict cash flows. Founded in 2015, the California-based startup has also previously received angel funding from Jeff Epstein, the former CFO of Oracle, as well as Ron Gill, former CFO of NetSuite. The latest funding round brings its total investment to $17 million. -- TECH CRUNCH

4. Digital menu SaaS platform FineDine secured confidence from seed investors because it "ticks all the right boxes." Founded in 2016, the company received an undisclosed seed round in early 2018 for its idea to digitize paper menus through a SaaS management platform. In an interview with Entrepreneur, Mona Al Mukhaizeem, an investor in FineDine's seed round, said she chose the company because of its unique value proposition and ability to harnesses technology for scalability. An alumnus of 500 Startups’ accelerator program, the Istanbul-based startup also received investments from Turkish angel investors. -- ENTREPRENEUR 

5. Private equity has demonstrated an increased appetite for SaaS ventures in the second quarter of this year. According to research by PitchBook, private equity represented 43 percent of all software M&A deals during the period. The trend indicates that VC firms are coming around to investing in companies that grow their value from the recurring revenues of software subscriptions instead of the purchase of physical assets, the traditional store of collateral value. SaaS is also recognized to have become a high-growth subsector, where valuations can be boasted exponentially through subscription-based recurring revenues. -- PITCHBOOK

6. "Open source-as-a-service" cloud infrastructure firm Platform9 has raised $25 million in a Series D funding round. The latest financing injection brings total investment for the San Francisco-based late-stage venture to over $60 million. Founded in 2013, the startup aims to help simplify digital transformation for companies through hybrid cloud infrastructure management. “They are looking to leverage open-source modern technologies on top of their existing … multi-cloud deployments, without crumbling under the complexity," said CEO Sirish Raghuram. -- FIN SMES

7. Switzerland-based International Workplace Group (IWG) is planning to launch in the U.S. to directly compete with WeWork. The U.S. franchise would be based in New York and could come close to doubling the market cap of IWG. Like WeWork, IWG manages co-working spaces that have become the lifeblood of the tech startup world. However, making the stakes higher, IWG is considered to be a much larger competitor; it controls about 60 million square feet under management globally. IWG CEO Mark Dixon said earlier that speculation of the U.S. launch has been beneficial. "By WeWork and others talking more in the market, it generates more business for us," he said. -- FORTUNE

8. Dropbox has hired two female tech executives to create an almost half-female board of directors. In an industry notorious for being male-dominated, the move is seen as a major plus for inclusivity within the ranks of the file-sharing firm. Lisa Campbell, former CMO at Autodesk, and Karen Peacock, former COO at software firm Intercom, have joined Dropbox's 10-person board, which now consists of four women. "Lisa and Karen are talented executives with deep expertise scaling SaaS businesses," said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, adding that he will continue to keep building "diverse perspectives" in his company. -- MARKET WATCH

9. An Australian HR audit of top workplaces has revealed that Atlassian dropped seven places in this year's ranking. The survey comes during a busy year for the Sydney-based software firm, which recently decided to change its HR review process to give more weight to "heart" rather than pure technical performance. A major cause for the drop in Atlassian's ranking could be related to increased international competition -- rounding out the top of the list for best workplaces in the country are Salesforce and Cisco Systems. -- BI AUSTRALIA

10. Berlin-based POS SaaS firm Orderbird has doubled growth in recurring revenue from last year. Based on a SaaS business model, Orderbird said that it grew recurring revenue for the first six months of this year by 32 percent compared to 12 percent for the same period last year. The boost in revenue was ushered by a fundamental shift in business when the company decided to prioritize the sale of software over low-margin POS hardware. -- EU 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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