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Startup News

Missing out on updates from the startup scenes around the globe? - We got you covered! This podcast will provide a 5 minute highlight reel of all that happened in the startup ecosystem last week.

Last week in startups - Global

Ally raises $8M Series A for its OKR solution

OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are a popular planning method in Silicon Valley. Like most of those methods that make you fill in some form once every quarter, that employees find rather annoying and a waste of their time. Ally wants to change that and make the process more useful. The company today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series A round led by Accel Partners, with participation from Vulcan Capital, Founders Co-op and Lee Fixel. The company, which launched in 2018, previously raised a $3 million seed round.

Most companies that adopt this methodology, though, tend to work with spreadsheets and Google Docs. Over time, that simply doesn’t work, especially as companies get larger. Ally, then, is meant to replace these other tools. The service is currently in use at “hundreds” of companies in more than 70 countries, Vellore tells me.

Simon Data hauls in $30M Series C to continue building customer data platform

As businesses use an increasing variety of marketing software solutions, the goal around collecting all of that data is to improve customer experience. Simon Data announced a $30 million Series C round today to help.

The round was led by Polaris Partners . Previous investors .406 Ventures and F-Prime Capital also participated. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $59 million, according to the company.

Companies tend to use a variety of marketing tools, and Simon Data takes on the job of understanding the data and activities going on in each one. Then based on certain actions — such as, say, an abandoned shopping cart — it delivers a consistent message to the customer, regardless of the source of the data that triggered the action.

They see this ability to pull together data as a customer data platform (CDP). In fact, part of its job is to aggregate data and use it as the basis of other activities. In this case, it involves activating actions you define based on what you know about the customer at any given moment in the process.

RedDoorz raises $70M to expand its budget hotel network in Southeast Asia

Singapore-based budget-hotel booking startup RedDoorz is tiny in comparison to fast-growing giant Oyo. But it is holding its ground and winning the trust of an ever-growing number of investors.

The four-year-old startup announced it has raised $70 million in a Series C financing round, less than five months after it closed its $45 million Series B. The new round, which is ongoing, was led by Asia Partners and saw participation from new investors Rakuten Capital and Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth FundRegardless, the new funds will help RedDoorz fight SoftBank-backed Oyo, which is already aggressively expanding to new markets. Oyo currently operates in more than 80 nations.

The startup operates in 80 cities across Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, and plans to use the new capital to expand its network in its existing markets, said Saberwal. At least for the next year, RedDoorz has no plans to expand beyond the four markets where it currently operates, he said.

Twitter leads $100M round in top Indian regional social media platform ShareChat

ShareChat, a four-year-old social network in India that serves tens of million of people in regional languages, just answered that question with a $100 million financing round led by global giant Twitter .

Other than Twitter, TrustBridge Partners, and existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the Series D round of ShareChat.

The new round, which pushes ShareChat’s all-time raise to $224 million, valued the firm at about $650 million, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. ShareChat declined to comment on the valuation.

This investment will help ShareChat grow and provide the company’s management team access to Twitter’s executives as thought partners

Moving on to acquisitions:
Salesforce is acquiring ClickSoftware for $1.35B
Just days after closing the hefty $15.7 billion Tableau deal, salesforce opened its wallet again, this time announcing it has bought field service software company ClickSoftware for a tidy $1.35 billion. This one could help beef up the company’s field service offering, which falls under the Service Cloud umbrella. In its June earnings report, the company reported that Service Cloud crossed the $1 billion revenue threshold for the first time. This acquisition is designed to keep those numbers growing.

What else caught our eyes-
Developers accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior with its privacy changes in iOS 13
A group of app developers have penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, arguing that certain privacy-focused changes to Apple’s iOS 13 operating system will hurt their business. In a report by The Information, the developers were said to have accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior when it comes to how apps can access user location data.

With iOS 13, Apple aims to curtail apps’ abuse of its location-tracking features as part of its larger privacy focus as a company.

Today, many apps ask users upon first launch to give their app the “Always Allow” location-tracking permission. Users can confirm this with a tap, unwittingly giving apps far more access to their location data than is actually necessary, in many cases.

There will now be a new option upon launch presented to users, “Allow Once,” which allows users to first explore the app to see if it fits their needs before granting the app developer the ability to continually access location data. This option will be presented alongside existing options “Allow While Using App” and “Don’t Allow.”

The app developers argue that this change may confuse less-technical users, who will assume the app isn’t functioning properly unless they figure out how to change their iOS Settings to ensure the app has the proper permissions.