Category Archives: Salesforce

WTF is Baillie Gifford?

The SoftBank Vision Fund has been screaming from the venture headlines the last few months, driven by eye-popping rounds (and valuations!) into some of the most notable startups around the world. Yet, SoftBank isn’t the only player rapidly buying up the cap tables of top startups. Indeed, another firm, more than a century old, has been fighting for that late-stage equity crown. Baillie Gifford . … Who the what? When our fintech contributor Gregg Schoenberg interviewed Charles Plowden, the firm’s joint senior partner, about the firm’s prodigious […]

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On balance, the cloud has been a huge boon to startups

Today’s startups have a distinct advantage when it comes to launching a company because of the public cloud. You don’t have to build infrastructure or worry about what happens when you scale too quickly. The cloud vendors take care of all that for you. But last month when Pinterest announced its IPO, the company’s cloud spend raised eyebrows. You see, the company is spending $750 million a year on cloud services, more specifically for AWS. When your business is primarily focused on photos and video, and needs […]

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Vlocity nabs $60M Series C investment on $1B valuation

As we wrote last week in How Salesforce paved the way for the SaaS platform approach, the ability to build extensions, applications and even whole companies on top of the Salesforce platform set the stage and the bar for every SaaS company since. Vlocity certainly recognized that. Targeting five verticals, it built industry-specific CRM solutions on the Salesforce platform, and today announced a $60 million Series C round on a fat unicorn $1 billion valuation. The round was led by Sutter Hill Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. New […]

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To fund Y Combinator’s top startups, VCs scoop them before Demo Day

Hundreds gathered this week at San Francisco’s Pier 48 to see the more than 200 companies in Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 cohort present their two-minute pitches. The audience of venture capitalists, who collectively manage hundreds of billions of dollars, noted their favorites. The very best investors, however, had already had their pick of the litter. What many don’t realize about the Demo Day tradition is that pitching isn’t a requirement; in fact, some YC graduates skip out on their stage opportunity altogether. Why? Because they’ve already raised […]

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Workato raises $25M for its integration platform

Workato, a startup that offers an integration and automation platform for businesses that competes with the likes of MuleSoft, SnapLogic and Microsoft’s Logic Apps, today announced that it has raised a $25 million Series B funding round from Battery Ventures, Storm Ventures, ServiceNow and Workday Ventures. Combined with its previous rounds, the company has now received investments from some of the largest SaaS players, including Salesforce, which participated in an earlier round. At its core, Workato’s service isn’t that different from other integration services (you can think of them […]

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LearnLux raises $2M from Sound Ventures, Marc Benioff to help employees make financial decisions

Earlier this year, Rebecca Liebman impressed a panel of high-profile investors, including Ashton Kutcher and Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, at a SXSW pitch competition. She won and Benioff wrote her a check for $200,000 on the spot. Today, she’s announcing that her educational fintech startup LearnLux has closed a $2 million seed round from Kutcher’s investment firm Sound Ventures, Benioff, Underscore VC and former Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash. LearnLux operates under a SaaS model, partnering with businesses to offer access to its digital financial wellness product, which helps employees make […]

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Brex has partnered with WeWork, AWS and more for its new rewards program

Brex, the corporate card built for startups, unveiled its new rewards program today. The billion-dollar company, which announced its $125 million Series C three weeks ago, has partnered with Amazon Web Services, WeWork, Instacart, Google Ads, SendGrid, Salesforce Essentials, Twilio, Zendesk, Caviar, HubSpot, Orrick, Snap, Clerky and DoorDash to give entrepreneurs the ability to accrue and spend points on services and products they use regularly. Brex is lead by a pair of 22-year-old serial entrepreneurs who are well aware of the costs associated with building a startup. […]

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Detroit’s StockX raises $44M from GV and Battery to expand marketplace internationally

StockX started as a marketplace for reselling sneakers but has since grown to be much more, bringing its transparent and anonymous marketplace to more verticals. Today the company is announcing a $44 million Series B that will help fuel international and domestic growth while letting the company expand to even more product categories and perhaps opening StockX stores. The idea driving StockX is simple: Provide a marketplace with fair pricing and ensure the merchandise is authentic. The result scales to nearly day-trading in consumer goods in the […]

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SessionM customer loyalty data aggregator snags $23.8 M investment

SessionM announced a $23.8 million Series E investment led by Salesforce Ventures. A bushel of existing investors including Causeway Media Partners, CRV, General Atlantic, Highland Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also contributed to the round. The company has now raised over $97 million. At its core, SessionM aggregates loyalty data for brands to help them understand their customer better, says company co-founder and CEO Lars Albright. “We are a customer data and engagement platform that helps companies build more loyal and profitable relationships with their […]

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Tall Poppy aims to make online harassment protection an employee benefit

For the nearly 20 percent of Americans who experience severe online harassment, there’s a new company launching in the latest batch of Y Combinator called Tall Poppy that’s giving them the tools to fight back. Co-founded by Leigh Honeywell and Logan Dean, Tall Poppy grew out of the work that Honeywell, a security specialist, had been doing to hunt down trolls in online communities since at least 2008. That was the year that Honeywell first went after a particularly noxious specimen who spent his time sending death […]

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