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World News

Trump calls into virtual G20 summit, talks COVID-19 with world leaders

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President Trump joined the first of two virtual meetings with world leaders Saturday as part of a coronavirus-throttled G20 summit — in what could be the last international gathering of his presidency.

TRUMP TAKES CREDIT FOR PFIZER VACCINE DEVELOPMENT, SAYS AMERICANS WOULDN'T HAVE ONE YET WITHOUT HIS LEADERSHIP

Trump was set to beam in to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from the White House Situation Room for a meeting chaired by King Salman and attended by the leaders of 19 leading world economies. The international response to the pandemic was expected to be at the top of the agenda.

A lavish G20 gathering that had been set for the Saudi capital, complete with elaborate greeting ceremonies and elegant dinners, was sharply curtailed in September due to the worsening health crisis.

But organizers did not abandon the traditional “family photo” of the heads of state.

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Instead, they replicated the annual photo shoot by fashioning a collection of full-length pictures of the leaders into a composite image — with a grinning Trump in the first row — and projected the portrait on a wall in Riyadh Friday night.

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Business

Asian Shares Fall On Covid Worries

Asian stocks fell broadly on Thursday as investors fretted over a continued surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe as well as different logistical challenges in distributing vaccines.

Chinese shares fell slightly after U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the U.S. would “continue to utilize all the powers granted” under various laws and “identify and sanction those responsible for extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.”

The warning came after China’s top legislative body passed a resolution allowing for the disqualification of any Hong Kong lawmakers who were not deemed sufficiently loyal.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 3.52 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,338.68, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended down 57.60 points, or 0.2 percent, at 26,169.38.

Meanwhile, Japanese share rose notably to close near a 29-1/2-year high as investors switched back to technology stocks. The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 171.28 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,520.88, after reaching as high as 25,587.96 earlier in the session.

Heavyweight SoftBank Group advanced 1.5 percent, while gaming giant Nintendo surged 4.3 percent after four consecutive sessions of losses.

Sony gained 1.3 percent after the company unveiled its next-generation PlayStation 5 gaming console in major regions, including Japan and the U.S.

Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings plunged 5 percent after reporting its largest consolidated net losses ever for the April to September period. Takashimaya gave up 4.8 percent and J.Front Retailing slumped 4.7 percent.

Japan core machinery orders declined more than expected in September, a government report showed today, weighing on the prospects of a sustained recovery in business investment.

Core machinery orders declined 4.4 percent on a monthly basis, in contrast to a 0.2 percent rise in August. This was the first decrease in three months and worse than economists’ forecast of a 0.7 percent drop. Year-on-year, core machinery orders were down 11.5 percent versus an expected fall of 11.6 percent.

Australian markets finished modestly lower, snapping a five-day rally. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 31.50 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,418.20, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 31.70 points, or 0.5 percent, at 6,619.40.

Santos fell 1.5 percent and Origin Energy declined 2 percent after sharp gains this week. Gold miners Northern Star Resources and Regis Resources fell over 1 percent after bullion prices dropped over 1 percent in the previous session, tracking a firmer dollar on hopes for a quick economic recovery.

Tech stocks followed their U.S. peers higher, with Xero gaining 0.6 percent after reporting a sharp rise in first-half net profit. Afterpay climbed 3.3 percent and Appen advanced 1.2 percent.

Telecom firm Telstra rallied 3 percent after announcing plans to split into three units. Broadcaster Nine Entertainment surged 5.1 percent after issuing an upbeat outlook.

Seoul stocks ended lower to snap an eight-day winning streak amid concerns over another round of lockdowns in some major European economies.

Closer to home, the daily caseload hovered above 100 for the fifth consecutive day due to imported cases and small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province.

The benchmark Kospi slid 10.25 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,475.62 after having hit a more than two-year high the previous day on vaccine hopes.

New Zealand shares gave up early gains to end on a flat note after RBNZ Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby said the economy required less stimulus than it did in August. The benchmark NZX-50 Index inched up 4.99 points to 12,670.62, extending gains for the eighth straight session.

Overnight, U.S. stocks continued their post-election rally despite daily virus cases and hospitalizations hitting records.

The Dow Jones Industrial slipped 0.1 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2 percent.

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World News

Here's the pitch deck a 26-year-old dropout used to raise $68 million for his software platform Paddle

  • Software billing startup Paddle has raised a $68 million Series C to continue its expansion plans worldwide.
  • Founded in 2012, the company's latest funding round took place remotely and was led by Silicon Valley fund FTV Capital.
  • "We've gone from a land-grab mentality, grow at all costs, to a more sustainable and considered growth plan within the market so we don't want to just raise for the sake of it," Paddle CEO Christian Owens told Business Insider.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Software billing startup Paddle has raised a £52 million ($68 million) Series C from investors including FTV Capital, Kindred Capital, Notion Capital, and 83North. 

Founded in 2012 by Christian Owens and Harrison Rose when they were just teenagers, Paddle has raised £72 million ($93 million) to-date. Owens dropped out of school to focus on the startup, and neither cofounder went to university.

The company essentially makes it easier for software-as-a-service firms, which rely on regular subscriptions, to bill customers and keep the money coming in. The firm promises to cover payment processing, billing, and sales tax, among other things.

"Successful companies often falter because their neighbors move into enterprise clients and international markets faster," Owens told Business Insider. "Business growth shouldn't be held back by infrastructure issues and companies shouldn't lose out to inferior competitors because they have difficulties with a sales tax in Japan, for example." 

Paddle claims to have 2,000 software sellers across 245 countries and territories and will use the fresh funding round to double its staff from 140 currently. The company's growth is riding the wider trend of subscription software booming as a sector with the industry's value skyrocketing to $105 billion this year, according to Gartner.

"It's been a very unexpected year," Owens added. The company didn't necessarily anticipate a funding round in 2020 given an expected coronavirus-induced slowdown, but Owens said Paddle has subsequently "blown through all of our growth plans for the year." 

"We planned for the worst and expected a slowdown in buying," Owens added. "We've been very pleasantly surprised in the business which led to us taking calls from investors."

Fundraising began in April but took a more formal structure in June with Paddle speaking to investors over video call with the round officially closing just over a week ago. Owens said that the round was popular with investors meaning there was "more appetite than there was room." 

"We've always had big ambitions," he added. "But we've gone from a land grab mentality, grow at all costs, to a more sustainable and considered growth plan within the market so we don't want to just raise for the sake of it." 

The funding will be used to continue the company's expansion in the US and globally, as well as further investments in the company's product, engineering, sales and marketing teams. 

Check out Paddle's redacted pitch deck below:

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle

Paddle


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Industries

BPCL gets 3-4 bids; Reliance skips, no big players in race

‘Multiple’ expressions of interest received, tweets FM

The government on Monday received ‘multiple’ bids for buying out its stake in India’s second-biggest fuel retailer BPCL.

However, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries as well as supermajors Saudi Aramco, BP and Total did not make a bid.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which is handling the strategic sale, tweeted that the transaction advisers for the sale of government’s 52.98% in Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) have reported receiving “multiple expressions of interest.”

“The transaction will move to the second stage after scrutiny by TA,” he said. TA stands for transaction advisor.

“Strategic disinvestment of BPCL progresses: Now moves to the second stage after multiple expressions of interest have been received,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.

Neither of them, however, gave the number of bids received or the names of the bidders.

Separately, four industry officials said three to four bids have been put in.

Reliance Industries, which was considered a potential bidder as BPCL would have added 22% fuel market share to its fledgling retail business and made it the nation’s number one oil refiner.

However, it did not put in an expression of interest (EoI) at the close of the deadline on Monday.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), which had been keen to enter the world’s fastest-growing fuel market, too did not put in an EoI.

UK’s BP plc and Total of France – who have plans to foray into the Indian fuel market – had previously ruled themselves out of the BPCL race as they did not want to add oil refining assets when the world was moving away from liquid fuels.

A clutch of private equity funds and/or pension funds are said to have put in an EoI.

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Business

Asian Shares Rise As Biden Inches Closer To Majority

Asian stocks advanced on Thursday as former vice-president Joe Biden inched closer to the White House after pivotal victories in Michigan and Wisconsin.

A Biden win and a Republican senate signaled a gridlock, but analysts said that major policy changes would be difficult to enact.

The risk of a prolonged contested election remained as Trump’s campaign moved to file lawsuits and request for a recount in many states.

Chinese shares rose on expectations that a possibly less confrontational approach to trade policy by a Biden administration could help defuse the current tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index gained 42.69 points, or 1.30 percent, to finish at 3,320.13, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended up 3.25 percent at 25,695.92.

Japanese shares hit over two-year high as U.S. Democrats inched closer to the magic number of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidential election.

The Nikkei average climbed 410.05 points, or 1.73 percent, to 24,105.28, its highest since Oct. 3, 2018. The broader Topix index closed 1.39 percent higher at 1,649.94.

Automaker Suzuki Motor rallied 4.9 percent after its profit forecast came in higher than analysts’ expectations. Pharmaceutical firm Eisai soared almost 18 percent after the company and its partner Biogen Inc moved closer to receiving FDA approval for their Alzheimer drug.

Banks and insurers ended in the red after long-dated U.S. Treasury yields fell from five-month highs on Wednesday in response to an unexpectedly close U.S. election result.

Australian markets hit a more than one-week high on expectations that a divided Congress in the U.S. would be good for business and markets.

Investors also digested news that biotechnology company Novavax has a reached a deal with Australian government to supply 40 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 climbed 77.50 points, or 1.28 percent, to 6,139.60, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 79 points, or 1.26 percent, at 6,344.

Healthcare stocks rose broadly, with heavyweight CSL rallying 3.5 percent. Cochlear rose 2.1 percent and Resmed surged 3.6 percent.

Treasury Wine Estates plunged as much as 8.2 percent on China tariff woes and amid news that it had paused the demerger of its Penfolds division.

Lender National Australia Bank gained 3.3 percent despite reporting a 37 percent fall in full-year cash earnings. Miners and energy stocks fell broadly. Tech stocks followed their U.S. peers higher, with Afterpay rising 2.5 percent.

Seoul stocks soared amid bets that a Joe Biden presidency cannot undo the Trump era policies. The benchmark Kospi jumped 56.47 points, or 2.40 percent, to 2,413.79.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 3.1 percent and SK Hynix, the world’s No.2 memory chip maker, added 3.5 percent.

Solar cell manufacturer Hanwha Solutions jumped 12.3 percent and steel structure maker Dongkuk Structures & Construction rallied 10.8 percent on expectations the companies would benefit Democrat Joe Biden’s green energy proposals.

New Zealand shares ended modestly higher following a buoyant session on Wall Street overnight. The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 50.05 points, or 0.41 percent, to 12,249.98, extending gains for the third straight session. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rallied 2.5 percent to pace the gainers, while Meridian Energy lost 2.5 percent.

U.S. stocks rose sharply overnight, with tech and healthcare companies leading the surge on the likelihood of a divided Congress. Investors ignored data showing a slower pace of U.S. private-sector job creation in October and a softening of services sector activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 1.3 percent to extend gains for the third straight session, while the S&P 500 surged 2.2 percent and the tech-heavy Composite index jumped as much as 3.9 percent.

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Categories
Markets

Coronavirus leaves retailers struggling to pay rent

Mall of America offers retail space to struggling small businesses

Mall of America’s ‘Community Commons’ opens today, which donates unoccupied space to small businesses hit by violent protests and the pandemic. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble with more.

U.S. retailers are still struggling to pay rent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the country’s largest mall operator.

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The Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group said its U.S. retail portfolio is showing continued signs of improvement with net billed rents collected during the third quarter through Nov. 6 totaling 85%. That’s up from 72% in the second quarter, or 78% including deferred amounts.

Lower lease income, including unpaid rents and concessions made to tenants, resulted in a $435 million, or $1.10-per-share, hit to third-quarter earnings.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SPG SIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC. 81.73 +2.42 +3.04%

“While we've made significant progress in addressing collections, we still have some unresolved amounts with certain larger national tenants who unfortunately are refusing to pay their contractual rent even though they are open and operating,” said CEO David Simon.

Nonessential businesses, including retailers, in March were ordered to temporarily close their stores to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Simon Property Group tenants, including Gap, skipped payments while their stores were closed. Gap had 412 stores, including Banana Republic and Old Navy locations, in Simon Property Group malls as of April. The two companies have filed countersuits amid the ongoing dispute.

HOMEBUILDER DR HORTON POSTS 81% SALES SPIKE AS CORONAVIRUS PROMPTS FLIGHT TO SUBURBS

The mall operator has had to deal with a rash of store closings as bankruptcies have continued to sweep across the retail landscape. Simon Property Group has teamed up with other companies to rescue bankrupt retailers, including J.C. Penney and Brooks Brothers, in order to keep their locations filled.

Mall and premium outlet occupancy was 91.4% at the end of September, down 3.7 percentage points from last year.

Simon Property Group on Monday reported third-quarter profit totaled $145.9 million, down from $544.3 million from a year ago. Revenue fell 25% year-over-year to $1.06 billion.

“Despite COVID-19, we are encouraged by the increases we are seeing in shopper traffic, retailer sales and tenant rent collections across our portfolio,” Simon said.

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The company said base minimum rent per square foot increased by $1.58 to $56.13. Shopper traffic and total sales volume continued to show improvement, off 10% year-over-year.

Shares were down 47% this year through Monday, underperforming the S&P 500’s 9.9% gain.

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Business

The 22 startups that Salesforce has bet on during the pandemic, including cybersecurity, commerce, and sales engagement firms

  • Salesforce's venture capital arm has invested in many well known enterprise software companies, including Zoom, DocuSign, Box, and Snowflake, and its interest in a startup often signals that it's one to watch. 
  • Salesforce is also known to acquire companies it has invested in: Acquisitions Quip, MuleSoft, and Vlocity were all previously funded by Salesforce Ventures. 
  • Business Insider looked at 22 of Salesforce Venture's recent investments to see what the cloud giant may be interested in this year amid the pandemic-spurred shift to remote work.
  • We found a focus on cybersecurity, payments and commerce, remote work, new sales technologies, and virtual events. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An investment from Salesforce's venture capital arm is often seen as positive validation for startups given its large, pioneering presence in the enterprise software market. Since the fund was started 2009, Salesforce Ventures has funded over 400 enterprise cloud companies, including many well-known names like Zoom, DocuSign, Box, and Snowflake.

An investment also often leads to partnerships with Salesforce, like its recent one with payments startup Stripe. Salesforce is also known to acquire companies that it has invested in as it looks to expand its product offerings: Acquisitions like Quip, MuleSoft, and Vlocity were all previously funded by Salesforce Ventures. The venture arm also looks to fund companies that are built on Salesforce's AppExchange or in its ecosystem.

It has several different funds it's actively investing in, including a new $100 million Impact Fund that seeks out mission-focused cloud companies tackling social issues like education and reskilling, climate action, diversity, equity and inclusion. It's also a global investor, with branches in Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada, and it partners with Forbes and Bessemer Venture Partners every year to select a list of the world's top 100 private cloud companies and the 20 rising stars.

Business Insider looked at some of Salesforce Venture's investments from 2020 to see what the cloud giant may be interested in this year amid the global pandemic-related shift to remote work. 

We found several investments for companies focused on cybersecurity — like Tanium and Auth0 — which is increasingly important during this era of remote work. A few firms focused on capabilities that extend the customer relationship management capabilities of its platform, like Outreach, Gong, and Hearsay Systems. Salesforce also funded a number of companies focused on payments and ecommerce, like PredictSpring.

Salesforce Ventures says automation, open-source developer tools, and remote work and collaboration were also areas of focus. 

"Since the pandemic, companies have quickly embraced remote work and collaboration, set up at-home call centers, developed new go-to-market strategies and supported their employees from home, while ensuring all devices are secure," Salesforce Ventures managing partner Matt Garratt said in an email. "There is a broader shift happening to fully realize digital transformation centered around making data useful and nimble, which will unlock the potential for artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and automation to deliver strategic and impactful insights." 

He adds that this informed Salesforce Venture's investments in companies like Auth0, Automation Anywhere, Hopin, Tanium and Snowflake (Salesforce Ventures increased its investment in the firm by purchasing $250 million in shares when it went public earlier this year).

Here are 22 companies Salesforce Ventures invested in so far in 2020 (total funding amounts and valuations via PitchBook):

Stripe

Salesforce partnered with payments startup Stripe in September to allow Salesforce customers using its ecommerce cloud to have the option to set up payment processing using Stripe's technology. The terms of the deal and number of customers who will use the tool weren't disclosed, but the partnership is a sign that Stripe is signing on larger enterprise customers, cofounder John Collison told Forbes. 

For Salesforce it's a way to grow its ecommerce software offering, at a time when retailers are relying on online shopping to keep business going.

Salesforce Ventures invested in the payments company in 2015, as part of its $100 million Series C2 round led by Visa, according to PitchBook. 

Total funding raised: $1.89 billion

Valuation: $36 billion 

 

 

 

 

 

ServiceMax

ServiceMax, a "field service management" software tool to help customers manage the employees and equipment needed to meet customers externally, is build on Salesforce's platform. In February, Salesforce participated in a $80 million funding round led by Silver Lake, a private equity firm that owns a majority stake in ServiceMax. 

In September, ServiceMax announced a new product built on Salesforce's Field Service tool which will give customers a "360-degree" view into their service contracts, product performance, and install bases. The goal is to reduce maintenance costs and maximize the time equipment runs.

ServiceMax has changed ownership a few times in the last few years. In 2017, GE acquired ServiceMax for $915 million, but in 2019 it was bought by Silver Lake Management. 

Total funding raised: $80 million

Valuation: $915 million as of January 2017

 

 

Outreach

Outreach makes sales engagement software, which is meant to help salespeople track and manage all of their relationships with customers. Salesforce Ventures was a new investor in Outreach's most recent $50 million Series F round led by Sands Capital in June, meant to help the firm expand overseas.  

For Salesforce, the investment helps the company keep tabs on what sales people want and need to do their jobs. Salesforce also has its own sales engagement product, but analyst firm Forrester ranked Outreach's product higher than Salesforce's offering in a recent report. 

Total funding raised: $287.96 million

Valuation: $1.33 billion

 

Auth0

Auth0 makes software for identity and authentication, baking existing login and identity verification tools into code that developers can easily add to their websites or apps. There's options for single sign-on, two-factor authentication, password-free login capabilities, and the ability to detect password breaches. 

Salesforce led a $120 million Series F round for the startup in July that raised its valuation to $1.9 billion. The investment gives the CRM giant a stake in a market that's growing as more people work digitally. 

Total funding raised: $333.47 million

Valuation: $1.92 billion

 

 

 

 

Tanium

Tanium is a cybersecurity startup that makes tools to simplify the process of protecting a wide variety of employee devices. Tanium's valuation soared to $9 billion after it received a "strategic investment" from Salesforce Ventures in June. The company didn't reveal how much the investment was, but CNBC said the funding was likely around $100 million. 

Along with the investment, Salesforce also said it would partner with Tanium to bring its device management technology to the CRM giant's customer base. 

In October, Tanium said it raised $150 million in new funding that put its valuation over the previous $9 billion mark, Business Insider's Rosalie Chan reported. 

Total funding raised: $837.58 million 

Valuation: $9 billion+

 

 

Gong

Gong raised a $200 million Series D funding round in August at a $2.2 billion valuation. The round was led by hedge fund Coatue, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, and others. The startup makes artificial intelligence software that analyzes customer interactions for sales teams. 

Gong is part of a new type of sales software that is used on top of — or in tandem with — customer relationship management systems. 

Total funding raised: $333 million

Valuation: $2.2 billion

 

Snyk

Cybersecurity firm Snyk raised two funding rounds this year: The first was a $150 million round in January, led by Stripes, with participation from Salesforce Ventures and others, before a $200 million round led by Addition in September which valued the company at $2.6 billion. 

Snyk offers an open-source tool to help developers find potential vulnerabilities before they commit their code. During the pandemic Snyk's business has accelerated as more companies move to the cloud, CEO Peter Mckay told Business Insider. 

Total funding raised: $454.51 million

Valuation: $2.6 billion

 

Hopin

Hopin is building a virtual events platform and has seen its business soar this year as companies have to turn all their in-person events into remote affairs. It raised a $40 million Series A round in June, led by IVP, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, Slack's venture capital group the Slack Fund, Accel, and others. 

Total funding raised: $47.18 million

Valuation: $285.2 million

 

 

Airkit

Airkit helps companies digitize their customer service by making it easy to build customer-facing digital tools without much code. It's meant to boost a customer service center's productivity and recently raised $28 million from Salesforce Ventures, Accel, and Emergence Capital. Salesforce was also previously an investor in Airkit's seed round in 2017.

Notably, Airkit's founders were previously executives at RelateIQ, a relationship intelligence company acquired by Salesforce.com in 2014. Salesforce Ventures often invests in startups founded by former Salesforcers. 

"The last mile of customer experience continues to be a challenge for every company — and as consumers, we've all experienced those pain points acutely," Stephen Ehikian, CEO of Airkit said in a press release. "With Airkit, we set out to build a low-code solution purpose-built for customer engagement that would be as simple to use as Excel and as powerful as Salesforce."

Total funding raised: $56.67M 

Valuation: $81.67 million (excluding its most recent funding round)

 

TechSee

TechSee is an AI-powered visual customer engagement platform that aims to give customers an interactive, visual experience to improve overall service and customer satisfaction. Salesforce led a $30 million Series C funding round for TechSee earlier this year and was an existing investor from previous rounds. 

TechSee's product is also integrated with Salesforce Service Cloud.

Total funding raised: $53.5 million

Valuation: $46.86 million before Series C

 

Qatalog

Qatalog makes a "virtual workspace" that helps bring different cloud software tools together to improve team collaboration. It recently announced a $15 million Series A round that included Salesforce Ventures.

The investment speaks to Salesforce's focus on improving tools for remote work and collaboration. Qatalog can connect to widely used tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, the Microsoft suite, Google's GSuite, Zoom, and Atlassian's tools like Confluence and Jira. 

Total funding raised: $18.13 million

Valuation: $9.36 million before Series A

 

Salto

Salto emerged from stealth in October, after a Series A funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Salesforce Ventures. The company aims to create a "connective tissue" between different software tools, Business Insider's Joe Williams previously reported.

It essentially wants to make it easier for organizations to host many different software services, including Salesforce's CRM and Oracle's NetSuite, by making it easier to make back-end adjustments to all at the same time. 

Total funding raised: $27 million

Valuation: Unknown

 

 

 

PredictSpring

PredictSpring makes an ecommerce mobile platform for retailers and stores to manage inventory and clients, while making it possible to buy things in multiple ways, like in-store or for curbside pickup. It also lets store associates place online orders for shoppers if the items are not available in store. Salesforce made a strategic investment in the company in October, but didn't disclose the amount. 

This is another investment Salesforce has made in a commerce company, as the retail industry has been shaken up this year by the pandemic. 

Total funding raised: $13.5 million excluding Salesforce funding

Valuation: $34.2 million excluding Salesforce funding

 

 

Qualified

Qualified is a conversational marketing platform that makes it possible to track and connect with potential customers that visit a company's website. It just raised a Series A earlier this year, led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation Salesforce Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.

Salesforce also participated in the company's seed round last year. Notably, Qualified's cofounders — Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley — are former Salesforce executives.

"As sales and marketing teams evolve, we continue to look for partners who share our interest in making the pipeline more efficient," Salesforce Venture's Matt Garratt wrote in a medium post announcing the seed investment last year. 

Total funding raised: $16.99 million

Valuation: $47 million

 

Hearsay Systems

Hearsay Systems makes makes digital communication software for the financial services industry. Earlier this year, Hearsay partnered with Salesforce to work together to develop additional integrations beyond the existing app in Salesforce's AppExchange.

At the time Salesforce Ventures also poured some fresh funding into the startup, through Hearsay did not reveal the amount of the investment. Pitchbook estimates the funding was $10 million.

The partnership will help financial agents and advisors communicate information with other departments to better serve customers. Salesforce Venture's investment comes as it focuses on building out its industry specific tools like Financial Cloud. Additionally, CEO and cofounder Clara Shih is a former Salesforce employee, and worked in product marketing for Salesforce's AppExchange for three years in the late 2000s. 

Total funding raised: $61.02 million

Valuation: $125 million

 

 

OwnBackup

OwnBackup makes a data backup system that companies can use to store data from Salesforce and other cloud software tools. It's best known as a backup system for Salesforce and other tools in the Salesforce ecosystem like nCino and Veeva, which is likely why Salesforce Ventures participated in OwnBackup's most recent $50 million funding round.

With the funding, OwnBackup plans to expand outside of the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Total funding raised: $99.75 million

Valuation: Unknown 

 

Copado

Copado is a DevOps platform for Salesforce, and its technology helps companies manage and simplify the process of deploying the CRM platform. Earlier this year, it raised a $26 million Series B led by Insight Partners, with participation from Salesforce Ventures. Salesforce was already an investor and also participated in its previous round in 2018. 

Total funding raised: $47 million

Valuation: Unknown 

 

Odaseva

Odaseva is a data governance platform for Salesforce customers, who use it for things like backing up and archiving data and ensuring their data privacy. Salesforce participated in its most recent $25 million in Series B round in October, which was led by Eight Roads Ventures. 

This is another example of Salesforce investing in companies built in its ecosystem. 

Total funding raised: $38.64 million

Valuation: $43.23 million as of previous funding round in 2019

 

 

Bugcrowd

Bugcrowd is a crowdsourced cybersecurity platform that gives companies a customized security testing program to improve their security. Salesforce first became an investor when it participated in Bugcrowd's Series B funding round in 2016 and recently participated in a $30 million Series D round this year. 

Total funding raised: $81.67 million

Valuation: $167 million 

 

Bridgit

Bridgit makes construction resource management software. Salesforce Ventures participated in a $7 million funding round led by Autodesk earlier this year and was also an investor in a $4.7 million round last year. Its one of the handful of construction tech companies Salesforce has invested in. 

Total funding raised: $16.78 million

Valuation: Unknown 

 

 

Andpad

Andpad is a project management software company focused on construction projects: It provides information on materials and workers, as well as photos from construction sites.

The company is based in Japan and Salesfsforce Ventures participated in its $37.3 million funding round earlier this year, which was led by Sequoia Capital China and Minerva Growth Partners. Salesforce has also invested in both of the company's previous two rounds, according to PitchBook. 

Salesforce has been investing in growth in Japan over the last few years. 

Total funding raised: $83.24 million

Valuation: Unknown 

 

Apisero

Apisero is a consulting partner for MuleSoft, helping customers implement MuleSoft tech, run trainings, and build software connectors to expand the product. Salesforce recently injected funding into the company, though didn't disclose the amount. 

The round was the first-ever venture funding Apisero had ever received — and will be a catalyst for the firm to enter the broader Salesforce ecosystem. Apisero is planning to expand and focus on Salesforce's Financial Services Cloud and Health Cloud as Salesforce pushes its focus on industry specific solutions, it told Business Insider. 

Total funding raised: Unknown

Valuation: Unknown

 

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Categories
Business

Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher

Asian stocks gained ground on Tuesday as upbeat manufacturing activity data from the U.S., Europe and China helped offset Covid-19 worries.

Investors braced for increased volatility as the U.S. presidential election kicked off after months of high-voltage campaigning. The Japanese market was closed in observance of Culture Day.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 45.95 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,271.07 on optimism the economy is recovering from the initial virus outbreaks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rallied 479.72 points, or 2 percent, to 24,939.73.

Retail sales in Hong Kong declined 13.4 percent year-on-year in September, the same as in August, official data showed. The value of retail sales decreased 12.9 percent annually in September following a 13.1 percent fall in the preceding month.

Australian markets rallied as the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to a new low and announced a bigger foray into quantitative easing to support job creation and the recovery of the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index spiked 115.10 points, or 1.9 percent, to 6,066.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 115.40 points, or 1.9 percent, at 6,262.80.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto rallied 2.6 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, while banks ANZ and Commonwealth rose over 1 percent.

Gold miner Evolution Mining gained 1.8 percent and Newcrest advanced 2.5 percent.
A rebound in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher, with Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Oil Search and Santos surging 5-7 percent.

Seoul stocks rose sharply in the final hours before results of the U.S. election start coming in. Joe Biden has had a clear advantage over Donald Trump in most polls, but the race in swing states is seen as close. The benchmark Kospi gained 43.15 points, or 1.9 percent, to finish at 2,343.31.

Consumer prices in South Korea were up just 0.1 percent year-on-year in October, Statistics Korea said today. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 0.7 percent and down sharply from 1.0 percent in September.

New Zealand shares advanced, with energy stocks gaining ground on optimism the newly formed government would extend the life of the Tiwai Point aluminum smelter.

The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 59.48 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,130.31, with both Meridian Energy and Contact Energy rising over 2 percent. Pushpay Holdings surged 4.6 percent and Fletcher Building added 3.3 percent.

U.S. stocks ended on a buoyant note overnight as investors cheered upbeat manufacturing data from China, Europe and the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.6 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.4 percent.

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Astellas Pharma: FDA Grants Fast Track Designation For ASP5354 – Quick Facts

Japan-based Astellas Pharma Inc. (ALPMY) said Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has granted Fast Track designation for the development of ASP5354, based on non-clinical and clinical data.

ASP5354, an optical imaging agent being developed by Astellas, is being investigated for intraoperative ureter visualization in patients undergoing minimally invasive and open abdominopelvic surgeries.

The company noted that the FDA’s Fast Track Designation Program aims to expedite the development and review of potential treatments for serious or potentially life-threatening illnesses with high unmet medical needs.

Astellas Pharma said it expects the ASP5354 Fast Track designation to facilitate development and potentially early clinical availability with faster reviews of the novel agent.

ASP5354 is being developed as a surgical adjunct to lessen the likelihood of iatrogenic ureteral injury or IUI during complex abdominal and pelvic surgeries such as colorectal or gynecologic surgeries.

IUI can result in long-term complications such as ureteral stricture / obstruction, ureteral-vaginal fistulae, acute or chronic renal failure, or sepsis. A survey of more than 2 million surgical cases in the U.S. shows that IUI is accompanied by higher rates of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality.

In a Phase 1 study, ASP5354 was safe and well tolerated at all doses evaluated in healthy volunteers. A Phase 2 study is currently underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ASP5354 in patients undergoing colorectal surgery.

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Asian Shares Rise Despite Stimulus Uncertainty

Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday despite U.S. President Donald Trump ending negotiations with Democrats over additional Covid-19 stimulus.

Markets in China were closed for the National Day holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 262.21 points, or 1.09 percent, to 24,242.86. The private sector in Hong Kong continued to contract in September, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from IHS Markit showed today with a PMI score of 47.7, up from 44.0.

Japanese shares ended on a flat note after Trump halted talks for an additional stimulus package, raising fears of a slower economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. The Nikkei average finished marginally lower at 23,422.82, while the broader Topix index closed with a positive bias at 1,646.47.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shed 0.7 percent after Boeing slashed its forecast for new aircraft demand. Yakult Honsha Co slumped 7.1 percent after French food group Danone said it would sell its remaining 6.6 percent stake in the Japanese probiotic yogurt maker.

Australian markets rallied after the federal government unveiled fresh fiscal stimulus measures, pushing the budget deficit to a record level to lift the economy out of recession.

“There is no economic recovery without a jobs recovery,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told lawmakers. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 climbed 74.30 points, or 1.25 percent, to 6,036.40, pushing the index to its highest level since September 3. The broader All Ordinaries index ended up 75.40 points, or 1.22 percent, at 6,239.60.

The big four banks rose between 2 percent and 2.6 percent on expectations that the “market friendly” budget would fuel the economic recovery.

Buy now pay later firm Afterpay gained 1.6 percent amid the prospect of increased discretionary spending. Retailer Coles Group rose 1.4 percent, Woolworths added 2 percent and Metcash jumped 3.3 percent.

Seoul stocks extended gains for the sixth day running as Trump called off talks with Democrats on a second stimulus package, but later urged Congress to “immediately approve” $25 billion in airline payroll support and $135 billion in funding for the paycheck protection program through unused funds in the CARES Act.

The benchmark Kospi inched up 21.04 points, or 0.89 percent, to 2,386.94. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 1.5 percent and pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 1.3 percent.

New Zealand shares closed higher, with the benchmark NZX-50 index rising 41.13 points, or 0.34 percent, to 12,016.15, led by energy stocks. Meridian surged 4.4 percent and Genesis Energy advanced 1.7 percent on expectations for lower interest rates.

U.S. stocks fell sharply overnight after President Trump tweeted that he would end negotiations on a new fiscal stimulus package until after the Nov.3 presidential election, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith.”

Markets also fell in response to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments that the U.S. economic recovery remained far from complete and the economy needs more fiscal support.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.3 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1.6 percent and the S&P 500 declined 1.4 percent.

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