Salesforce Ventures has this week announced their Trailblazer Fund, which has earmarked $100 million to invest in Canadian enterprise cloud startups. The first four startups to receive funding will be Tier1CRM, Traction Guest, Tulip, and OSF Commerce. In February, Salesforce committed $2 billion to expanding its Canadian business over the next five years, with EVP of Corporate Development John Somorjai citing Canada as an innovative region for the next generation of enterprise cloud startups. Salesforce is the number one CRM provider in Canada and employs over 1,300 workers locally.
Elsewhere in the SaaS world, the annual F8 conference for developers saw Workplace by Facebook launch integrations for 50 new SaaS platforms including Microsoft Sharepoint, Kronos for HR, and Jira by Atlassian. Facebook also announced updates to its Messenger bots which will now incorporate augmented reality, translation by intelligent assistant M and a “clear history” tool for privacy.
The social media world this week also saw Twitter advise all users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some to be stored as readable text on its internal computer system. While the system failed to disguise users’ passwords in the typical process known as “hashing”, the bug has so far not yielded any indications of a breach or misuse of user data.
In web development news this week, Google announced the release of .app, a secure top-level domain for apps from Google Registry. This TLD adds security for apps due to its requirement of an HTTPS domain for sites to connect, and provides more cohesive marketing by allowing users to easily find app businesses on the web.
New in e-commerce listings this week is a $1.135M outdoor sports and recreation business with earnings reaching a rapid c.232% CAGR for the 2016 to 2017 period, market-leading position in the growing bicycle industry currently valued at $45 billion (and forecast to reach $62 billion by 2025), dozens of high quality SKUs with hundreds of five-star customer reviews and extensive operational documentation and SOPs. If you are interested in the above business, follow the link to request a prospectus.
In events news, Founder Thomas Smale had a great time with the FE team at MicroConf, so thanks to everyone who came to our series of client events and talks. Next up, Thomas is attending Sellers Summit from May 3-5 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and then heading off to Shopify’s Unite on May 7-9 in Toronto, Canada. Make sure to reply to this email to set up a meeting if you will be in either area!
Finally, Thomas will be speaking at LTV Conf 2018 next week along with a dozen more world class speakers and experts in the SaaS industry. The conference agenda is now live and can be found on our website. This is the final week to grab a ticket for 50% before they become full price at the door, so make sure to reserve your spot soon! Register at LTV Conf and use code FEINTERNATIONAL for 50% off any tickets.
Continue reading below for more on Salesforce’s Trailblazer fund, Google’s .app TLD and Facebook’s integration with SaaS services.
- Rapid revenue growth with earnings reaching a c.232% CAGR for the period 2016 to 2017
- Market leading position in the growing bicycle industry, currently valued at $45 billion and forecast to reach $62 billion by 2025
- Dozens of high quality SKUs with hundreds of five-star customer reviews
- Extensive operational documentation and SOPs, facilitating post-sale transition
Yearly net profit: $413,000
Asking price: $1,135,000
In The News…
Salesforce Announces Trailblazer Fund
Salesforce this week announced the Trailblazer Fund to invest in Canadian SaaS companies.
While Canada sees Salesforce’s presence growing, it is not the first area to receive focus from the SaaS giant. Salesforce Ventures set aside $100 million in 2015 to invest in European cloud startups, and last year announced it would be dedicating $50 million for ventures in cloud consulting startups and another $50 million supporting those focused on AI solutions for Salesforce products. John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Ventures at Salesforce stated, “There is incredible innovation happening in Canada today and we want to encourage and empower the next generation of enterprise cloud startups in the region. Salesforce Ventures’ Canada Trailblazer Fund is a commitment to our mission to help startups grow and enable our customers to reach new levels of success.”
Investments in the Canadian tech scene will likely serve to fuel innovation and could additionally bolster the sales funnel for Salesforce itself.
Facebook Releases New Workplace SaaS Integrations
Facebook’s annual F8 conference saw the social media platform’s announcement of SaaS integrations for Workplace.
First introduced in 2016, Workplace and the corresponding Work Chat have been adopted by close to 30,000 businesses and organizations. Among the most notable clients are Starbucks and Virgin Atlantic according to the company. These new integrations will allow businesses to easily accesss pertinent information from each product through the Workplace platform, as well as send updates and let employees check on things like the performance of a Marketo campaign or a SurveyMonkey poll. It was also announced today that access to a directory of AI bots for private or group conversations will be available. An example provided was the ADP bot, which will be able to answer employee questions regarding paychecks, or notify workers when a paycheck has been sent.
Workplace is not yet available for inter-company communication.
Google Releases .app Top Level Domain
Google this week released a .app TLD for app developers and marketers.
TLD is the last part of a domain name, and Google has just created one specifically for apps and app developers. The added security allows apps to market the product on the web rather than being constrained to mobile. Having a .app domain will allow for greater cohesion among apps’ marketing campaigns, as they can create a universal domain name. Additionally, it creates greater security for developers as well as users, since only https sites will be allowed to connect to all .app websites. Since .app will be the first TLD with enforced security made for general registration, it will likely lead to improvements in increasing the universality of https.
The .app domains are currently available to register as part of Google’s Early Access Program for a fee, and beginning May 8 they will be available to the general public.
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