SaaS Daily – Nov 6

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Expectation or Evasion? Are companies doing enough? and Autonomous driving startup Momenta raises another $500M


Hi,
A record number of employees in the US (4.3 million and counting) are quitting or thinking about doing so. Meanwhile, the 7.7 million people who remain unemployed aren’t applying for the 10.4 million job openings.“[Employees] don’t want to return to backbreaking or boring, low wage, sh-t jobs,” says Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor. The expectations have changed. What does this mean for the job market, that’s what we are exploring in this weekend edition.
– Joseph, Karishma, and Angel
Here’s what is brewing in the tech and SaaS world:
🚘 Autonomous driving startup Momenta raises another $500M, The new injection brings the total of the startup’s Series C to over $1 billion. Momenta adapts what it calls a two-legged strategy of supplying advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The startup has assembled a list of heavyweight strategic investors, including China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, GM, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Bosch. Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek and Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital are among its institutional investors.
🇺🇸 US government offers $10M bounty for DarkSide ransomware hackers. The U.S. Department of State is upping the ante in its fight against ransomware by offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that helps identify or track down leaders of the notorious DarkSide ransomware group.
🤝 Signiant has acquired Levels Beyond, the company behind Reach Engine media workflow software. Key members of the Levels Beyond team will continue to be based in Denver, where Signiant will operate a development center. According to the announcement, Levels Beyond’s talent and technology will be used to extend the functionality of Signiant’s SaaS platform, adding new capabilities for simplifying and modernizing media workflows.
💸 Reltio, a data platform that accelerates data value for businesses, secured $120 million in funding led by investment firm Brighton Park Capital (“Brighton Park”), with participation from existing investors Crosslink Capital, NewView Capital, RPS Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and 406 Ventures.
💬 Amberscript, an AI speech recognition startup, has announced that it has raised $10M (approx €8.65M) in its Series A round of funding.The round was led by Endeit Capital (Parcellab, BUX).
💵 Quartr, a business intelligence platform, raised $4.5M (approx €3.9M) in funding. The latest funding round was led by The Öhman Group, along with the participation of prominent investors, including Michael Batnick, Ben Carlson, Josh Brown, Barry Ritholtz, and Peter Sterky.
Expectation or Evasion? Are companies doing enough?
There is an exodus and that will continue, what’s changed – people’s expectations, what’s not changed the way employers and founders and reading the situation. A record number of employees are quitting or thinking about doing so. If you take the time to understand workers’ expectations and act thoughtful, you will have an edge in attracting and retaining talent.
Why do people quit?
We surveyed a few employers and they answered:
1. Pay and work-benefits
2. Remote work
3. Work life balance
4. Mental health
5. Looking for better prospects
Then we asked employees and their answers were in stark contrast
1. Didn’t feel appreciated by organizations
2. Didn’t feel valued by their managers
3. Didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work
4. Didn’t have great team-mates
5. Didn’t feel potential for growth
Here are few ways you can audit to predict if there will be an exodus or fixedness:
1. Are you building a strong team culture while weeding out toxic leaders?
2. Is the work environment transactional? (Hey we pay you so please do the work)
3. Are the benefits we offer truly beneficial for employees?
4. Do employees feel that they can talk about their career and growth?
5. Are we building a true workplace community?
Case in point:
Netflix is attributed to have reinvented HR, Sherly Sandberg, the COO of Facebook called Netflix’s culture deck as one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley. It has been viewed over 5 million times, this was back in 2014.
Fast forward to 2021:
Two Netflix employees at the heart of the Dave Chappelle controversy have filed labor charges against the company, alleging the streaming giant retaliated against them for engaging in protected activity.
B. Pagels-Minor, a Black trans program manager, was fired while organizing a walkout related to Netflix’s support of Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer, which has been widely condemned as transphobic.
Terra Field, a trans software engineer, was suspended after posting a viral tweet thread about the issue. Netflix said it fired Pagels-Minor for allegedly leaking confidential information — a charge they have categorically denied. The company said Field was suspended for attending a director-level meeting she wasn’t supposed to, though it reinstated her after finding no ill intent. In the charge, Field says she and hundreds of other Netflix employees were invited to attend the meeting.
Lessons learned: Build expectations, if you are ready to keep them.
Leading a team or an organization, remember this: the Great Exodus is real, will continue, and may get worse before it gets better. Yet this unique moment also represents a big opportunity. To seize it, take a step back, listen, learn, and make the changes employees want—starting with a focus on the relational aspects of work that people have missed the most. By understanding why they are leaving and by acting thoughtfully, you may just be able to turn the Great Exodus into the Great Fixedness.
Reads, Views and Listens:
🌳 Forget skyscrapers: nature inspires next generation of New York offices – Financial Times
🧭 The search for purpose at work – McKinsey
🌊 Indra Nooyi, Former CEO of PepsiCo, on Nurturing Talent in Turbulent Times – Harvard Business Review
👌 Culture with Brian Chesky and Alfred Lin – Y Combinator
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