Stripe raised $600 million this week in an extension of its $250 million Series G seen back in September 2019. With its most substantial funding round to date, Stripe is now valued at $36 billion post-money. The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a major increase in e-commerce activity, causing more customers to “look to pay without contact and use banking services without stepping into branches,” according to VCs. This trend is predicted to continue even after the pandemic subsides. QED Investors founder Nigel Morris commented on the matter, stating, “This is a one-way street.”
Microsoft owned GitHub is making all its core features free to use for individuals and teams. Companies will have unlimited access to private repositories with unlimited collaborators and up to 2,000 minutes of free access to GitHub Actions per month on GitHub’s automation and CI/CD platform. The company has also reduced the cost of its GitHub Pro and GitHub Team Tiers to $4/mo each, with increased GBs available for storing packages and data transfer. A representative of the company explained it wants “every developer on Earth” to have access to the platform to help programmers work from home.
Y Combinator has gotten too large for investors to manage. Earlier this week, in a message on its internal communications channel, the company says it will “change the terms of its own PPP (the YC pro rata investment program).” Moving forward, the company will only invest in companies raising seed and Series A rounds on a case-by-case basis.
Video Conferencing tool Zoom is facing backlash over security concerns with major companies and governments continue to drop and/or ban the platform altogether. Personnel of the Pentagon are prohibited from using free versions of Zoom in “official capacities,” as reported by Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col Robert Carver. Last week, the FBI reported an increase in “Zoombombing” between Pentagon personnel, prompting the new policy. The Indian government is the latest to regulate the use of Zoom with the Indian Home Ministry stating, “the platform is not for use by Government officers/officials for official purposes.” As Zoom is working to solve its security issues, other major corporations are beginning to enter the space. This week, Verizon announced it will acquire videoconferencing platform BlueJeans for $400 million, looking to capitalize on the uptick in video conferencing platform usage.
Google announced a number of updates and policy changes rolling out this month. Google is looking to give users more control over how their data is used, and eliminate untrustworthy apps from the Play store. Additionally, Google has introduced a “Teacher Approved” section to their store designed to help parents identify quality educational apps for children unable to go to school in person due to COVID-19.
In Affiliate news, Amazon has announced changes to the company’s Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement and Program Policies, which will be effective on April 21, 2020. Amazon has changed the standard program fee rates for a total of eight product categories including, Grocery, Health & Personal Care, and Amazon Fresh. Download our Amazon Affiliate Rate Calculator to see the before and after effect on your own business today.
Facebook announced it will be transitioning its in-person portion of Oculus Connect 7 to a virtual format due to COVID-19. The event is usually held in late September or early October, but Facebook has not released dates for the virtual-reality focused event. Earlier this year, the company had to cancel the in-person portion of its other major conference, F8.
In company news, we are happy to share that the Financial Times has ranked FE International, the No.8 fastest-growing financial services company in America, and No. 133 overall on its list of the America’s Fastest-Growing Companies for 2020. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all our clients and peers who have supported FE over the years, as we attribute our success to those who put their trust in our M&A services.
In events news, SaaStock Remote will kick off its virtual conference on June 10-11, 2020. Join the global community of software as a service (SaaS) founders, executives, and investors for an entirely virtual event. Our very own Thomas Smale, FE founder, will be speaking alongside other leaders from Softbank, Drift and Shopify, to help you take your business to the next level. Click here to register.
If you or anyone you know is in need of employment resources at this time, we would like to share an article by our friends at SaaS Mag, which provides a list of companies still hiring now. The fourth issue of SaaS Mag will be released soon, so be sure to sign up for your complimentary subscription! This edition will feature an exclusive cover story and interviews with SaaS leaders from G2, Microsoft, Hotjar, FastSpring, and more! Subscribe for free today.
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Yearly net profit: $18,400
Asking price: $60,000