SaaS Genius News Digest July 1, 2022

Zendesk reaches deal with Investment group to go private

Zendesk to go private

Last week, Zendesk reached an agreement to go private in a $10.2 deal that surprised many of the SaaS company’s shareholders. Just a few weeks ago, the company announced it would remain public, but it seems the company went in a different direction after further evaluation of its financials.

Led by investment group Hellman & Friedman and Permira, the deal will give shareholders a 33.7% premium on the stock’s final closing price at $77.50 per share. Many investors aren’t happy as this deal goes well below a previous offer the company received back in February. That deal would have netted them $127-$132 per share in cash.

Things at Zendesk have unraveled a bit since investors rejected a bid to purchase digital survey provider Survey Monkey also back in February. Since then, investment firm Jana Partners has been pushing for the sale, and they’ll be the key winners for the current deal. However, news outlets report that Zendesk may have accepted the offer to avoid losing more board seats to Jana this August. 

Regarding the announcement, Zendesk founder, chairman and CEO Mikkel Svane said, “This is the start of a new chapter for Zendesk with partners that are aligned with the strength of our agile products and talented team, and are committed to providing the resources and expertise to continue our growth trajectory.”

Twilio expands to Canada

Twilio

In an unsurprising move, Twilio announced this week that it would enter Canada’s flourishing tech market. The customer engagement platform works with over 268k businesses around the world and entering the Canadian market will certainly bolster the company’s rapid growth plans.

This move also makes sense as the company has a history with many Canadian companies, including Shopify. Now, the company says it will be able to tap into the healthcare, life sciences, and public sectors along with retail and financial services. 

To keep things moving, the company will have an aggressive hiring round in the coming months with plans to tap into Canada’s world-class university system. 

Newly appointed Vice President and General Manager of Twilio Canada Dino Marasco said in their press release, “We’re incredibly eager to take advantage of the massive opportunity to support Canadian businesses in building direct, long-term relationships with their customers.”

Intuit discontinues QuickBooks Online in India

Beginning January 31, 2023, QuickBooks will no longer be available in India. The move applies to all services and subscriptions offered by the company and includes all sub applications. As of today, the company will not accept new sign-ups.

The move comes as Intuit has tried to tap into the Indian market for over fifteen years, with little to no success. Fortunately, the company stated it will not affect the over 1,300 employees working for the company within the country. However, the same cannot be said of the over 30k businesses who use the SaaS service in India.

Rivals Tally, Indianmart, and Zoho, are quietly celebrating the move, as they’ll be able to move in and fill the void.

Birdie raises $30 million in Series B round

UK caretech for the elderly SaaS provider Birdie just netted $30 million in its latest funding round. Investment firm Sofina led the round with Index Ventures and Omers Ventures also taking part. 

The company plans to use the new funds to scale further into the European continent, where it is currently landing partnerships with local healthcare providers. This move will add to its current base of 700 care businesses in the UK. That number showed a growth of three times what it had since its last funding round.

Birdie works to help streamline both administration and patient management and helps to provide real-time visibility with its suite of digital tools. 

Slack users aren’t sold on new updates

According to reports from Bloomberg and Metro (UK), new updates to the Slack sidebar are causing a stir with its users. Apparently, the switch from red dots to white ones to provide a less overwhelming experience isn’t sitting well as users are complaining they’re missing ‘direct messages’ DMs on the platform.

The response seems to have flown under the radar for the company as Slack’s senior vice president of product Ali Rayl stated,“We’ve literally heard no feedback, which is extremely unusual for our customer base.” 

We’ll act as a peacemaker for the issue here and let you know it’s possible to switch the red light notification back on using the platform’s preference options

Zoom launches Zoom Phone Provider Exchange

A new Zoom partner program will give service providers enhanced services and expanded carrier choices for their customers, the company announced this week

The new program will allow customers to use their Zoom Phone admin portal to provision numbers from the provider and country of their choice. During provisioning, customers can create an authorized connection and skip the step of creating individual relationships with multiple providers. 

Added services and value from the program include expanded Public switched telephone network (PSTN) services, managed PSTN connectivity, and local currency support. Customers will also be able to easily manage and use self-service phone numbers from their selected partner.

GitHub releases Copilot to the public

Last week, GitHub announced the release of its AI pair programming tool Copilot to the public. The program uses AI to support programmers by generating functions, autocompleting instructions, and transforming both descriptions and docstrings into functional source code.

The company had launched the program as a technical preview throughout last year, but now GitHub is opening applications to all developers on the platform. If you’re not familiar, the AI support tool installs as an extension within integrated development environments like VS Code, JetBrains, Neovim, and Visual Studio.

The release has been met with both concerns and excitement as developers understand the potential for the tool but have doubts on whether it can fully deliver and impact productivity. 

It’s important to note that Copilot cannot replace a programmer as it doesn’t have the versatility and problem-solving capabilities of a live brain. Instead, the program provides solid code suggestions based on its exposure to an enormous amount of source code. 

Copilot should help programmers to reduce their distractions and take on a lot of the redundancies of the trade.

Jake Pool

Jake Pool

A content writer in the SaaS, FinTech, and eCommerce spaces, Jake Pool has written hundreds of articles and reviews for dozens of corporate blogs and online publications. With four years under his wing, readers can expect many more informative articles in the future.

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