We’re here to wake you up as September ends.
No—that was just a bad joke! We’re here to bring you our September edition of Last Month In Tech.
This is a monthly download of all things tech. It brings you business acquisition news, funding and IPO alerts, the latest products and tools that have everyone’s attention, the best podcasts that we came across, and some memes, because, why not? Essentially, this is a collection of the best bits from our weekly newsletter—The Slintelegram.
From Nike announcing a week-long mental health holiday, to headlines like the socialist vision for space exploration, and Salesforce informing its employees ‘We’ll help you exit TX’ —September ‘21 was quite an eventful month. Let’s dive right into it to see what else happened.
Funding & IPOs
Forbes To Go Public. Securing an additional $400 Million via PIPE, Forbes, one of the oldest media outlets in the United States, will merge with Hong Kong-based Magnum Opus via $630 million SPAC merger to expand consumer business.
Sequoia Heritage, Stripe, and others invest $200M in African fintech Wave at $1.7B valuation. The largest Series A in Africa by a long shot is geared towards taking on telecom-led mobile money.
London’s Jiffy raises $28M for speedy grocery delivery. Founded in April this year, Jiffy has since raised $28M in series A, only six months after the initial £2.6M seed funding. That’s $35M so far – That was fast.
Canva raises $200 million at a $40 billion valuation. Going after everyone, instead of just designers, has proved incredibly fruitful for the company. But Canva has no intention of going head to head with Figma, Adobe, or Sketch.
Reachdesk wraps up $43M to expand its B2B gifting marketplace. Whether to reward, curry favor, or simply keep in touch beyond the basics of pinging each other on apps, gifting has been the #1 lever for building business relationships in the last 20 months.
Acquisition & Growth Alerts
Salesforce rival Freshworks is valued at $12B as shares climb in debut. Freshworks priced its IPO $2 above the top end of the range to raise $1.03 billion. The California-based firm had raised its price range, aiming to sell 28.5 million shares between $32 and $34 each.
Drift becomes a Unicorn! Vista Equity acquires the majority stake in the SaaS startup after a 70% YoY ARR! The growth-focused conversational tool which is not yet profitable is expected to hit a similar target this year as well, adds CEO David Cancel.
TikTok owner ByteDance takes its first step into virtual reality with its latest acquisition. By acquiring Pico, the 3rd-largest VR headset maker globally, ByteDance seems to be coming for Facebook’s moonshot. Whether it’ll solely focus on the consumer markets in China or loosely pursues enterprise clients stateside is a big question.
Byju’s acquires coding platform Tynker for $200 million in US expansion push – TechCrunch. Byju’s, an eight-year-old startup that gamifies the learning experience using robots and drones, has acquired California-headquartered Tynker, a leading coding platform for K-12 students.
Contentsquare snaps up rival Hotjar bringing together two major players in the digital user experience and analytics space.
From the World of Technology
Xbox and the Special Olympics are working together on a new event that combines competition with inclusion, and it’s going on right now. Hopefully, with this, Esports, which in general has stayed away from the inclusion wave running the Gaming industry, takes a step forward.
Apple in a legal mess:
- vs Epic Games: settles antitrust case with developers, but it’s far from an Epic resolution to App Store monopoly concerns
- vs South Korea: ‘Anti-Google law’ aimed to curb Apple, Google in-app payment commission passes; and India might be next in line
The decision comes several months after the Facebook-owned messaging app was put under investigation by the Irish DPC, precisely since December 2018. WhatsApp maintains its stance on privacy & is disputing the claim calling it “entirely disproportionate”.
Growing from just 6 to 850+ employees in less than 2 yrs, the events start-up Hopin has become the fastest SaaS company to reach $100M of ARR and a valuation of $7.8 Billion, and has onboarded Wei Gao in its onward journey.
Last month, a new project code-named Project Amplify was signed off by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. The specific purpose of the project was to use a multipronged approach, including Facebook’s very own newsfeed, to aggressively reshape its image.
This comes after a set of guiding opinions on algorithms, issued overnight by 9 gov agencies, explains that algorithms play a big role in disseminating information online and enabling the growth of the digital economy. And Chinese authorities want to ensure tech giants are being fair, transparent, and protect citizens’ rights.
The case of disappearing truckers in the UK. And how you could avoid a similar crisis for your company’s GTM.
The gist is this: the UK has enough fuel but petrol pumps have no petrol – why? ‘coz no truck drivers.
And why am I rambling about trucking today, you ask?
Maybe I am borderline-obsessing over my profession.
Or maybe, a lot of this UK trucking crisis does correlate with the GTM engine.
And here’s my takeaway: every piece of the puzzle is EQUALLY important in a supply chain.
Just replace petrol with ‘leads’. Petrol pumps with ‘AEs’. And truck drivers with ‘Inbound SDRs’.
You could have great lead flow, your sales team could be hitting magic numbers every month, company revenue is better now than ever… but wait. Do you have sparse or not enough inbound SDRs ready to join your GTM ship? You will steer yourself into a crisis very soon, my friend.
STOP hoping the little things will solve by themselves and start paying attention to the ENTIRE puzzle.
Have a question for me? Reply to this email or DM me here.
🧐This Twitter thread I’m gonna save: What is an interview question you ask no matter what? My fav tweet in the chain👇❝When I was interviewing Sales Reps, I would always tell them to “Plan my next vacation”. Most would immediately tell me about where THEY liked traveling & why I should go there. But the ones I hired would actually start by asking me questions about me, past trips, etc.❞
🎤This podcast episode I enjoyed listening to: All You Need Is Nudge. Ever wondered how to make people do things they otherwise hate doing? Here’s your sneaky, secret guide to it. But with a dollop of behavioral economics. How did nudge theory hold up in the face of a global financial meltdown, a pandemic, and other existential crises? With the publication of a new, radically updated edition, Thaler tries to persuade Stephen Dubner that nudging is more relevant today than ever.
📑This super cool tool that I can’t stop sharing: Really Good Emails. 9000+ emails. For you to look and learn from. Design, code, copy, everything. You’re still here?
💻This TED playlist I’m in love with: How to protect your passions from burnout
I wait for the weekend to show up so I can pick up my art palette or try that DIY video I’d saved long back, or finally tune my guitar. A few hours on Saturdays & Sundays, to help me keep my creative juices flowing through the week. That’s my guide. I know, not the best one out there. So imagine my relief when I came across this beautiful playlist.
Why you should build LEGO sets at work
By Justin Pot from Zapier
❝I would work for 25 minutes, put one brick onto a platform, then take a five-minute break. The idea was that, at the end of the workday, I’d have a physical manifestation of the day’s work to look at.❞
There’s something about seeing tangible progress, day after day, that motivates people in a way to-do list apps and time-tracking just don’t.
Unless a time management app or a productivity tool that you’ve invested in is blocking your screen, it is very easy to ignore it. But with a LEGO set that is sitting right on your desk – How are you going to ignore that?
It might seem odd, building LEGO sets in your office. But digital jobs don’t give you a lot of physical indication that you’re making progress. The LEGO set gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Try color coding and rewarding yourself with a snack, like the author’s colleague did.
You can read the entire article here.
From The Slintelegraph
35 Sales Experts You NEED to Follow on LinkedIn
Only after Yoda’s entry, a wise and trusted mentor, did Luke Skywalker grow as a person & fulfill his Jedi journey. Maybe you’ll find your Yoda in this list of mentors we’ve put together. Check it out!
What else can you do to upgrade your post-pandemic sales avatar? Here’s a glimpse of our list:
- How you say things > What you say
- Using check-in questions
- Collaborate, don’t pitch. Soften your asks.
- There’s more to sales prospecting than emails, phone calls, and LinkedIn. Embrace this digital reality.
Check out the list here.
There’s a clear correlation between data and growth in the modern world. But not just any data, you want relevant actionable data that can propel your business towards a downpour of revenue. From transactional intent to active buying intent, we cover it all here.
[Webinar recording] Rambling Sessions #12 on September 16th, 2021
Let’s hear it once more for the people in the back: MORE WOMEN IN SALES PLEASE!
Thrilled to host our 12th Rambling Sessions with two of the biggest advocates for diversity and inclusion in our community, 2 women powerhouses — Chaniqua (Nikki) Ivey, the multi-faceted sales leader on the block, and Gabrielle “GB” Blackwell, the SaaStress of SDRs and cold calling champion!
That’s all the high-engagement topics from September! But you know what’s the real deal? Our weekly newsletter. Legend has it that our weekly newsletter has helped subscribers from all over the world get their weekly dose of tech updates delivered straight to their inbox. Subscribe and try it out yourself.