|Weekly News Roundup|
|1. Swedish SaaS startup Swimbird emerges after five years of stealth mode – Breakit|
After 28 years at the major bank SEB, Eva Lundell chose to found a SaaS company to provide investors with better insights into their assets and investments. And after five years in stealth mode – and an investment from prominent Swedish business figures – her company Swimbird is now stepping into the limelight.
“At a single bank, information can be scattered across multiple systems. The company’s product, SWIP, which Swimbird sells through a subscription-based SaaS solution, integrates and aggregates this data. Customers can then analyze and report on it. AI is employed where appropriate.”
2. Social media platform X, formerly Twitter, could go behind paywall – BBC
Elon Musk has suggested that all users of X may have to pay for access to the platform. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire said a payment system was the only way to counter bots.
“”We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” the Tesla and SpaceX boss said. The BBC approached X for further details but has not yet received a statement from the company. It is unclear whether this was just an off-the-cuff comment, or a signal of firmer plans that have yet to be announced.”
3. German carbon accounting startup Plan A raises $27M from VC heavyweights – Techcrunch
Plan A has developed a SaaS-based sustainability platform that enables companies to self-manage their net-zero efforts. Now it has raised $27 million in a Series A round of funding led by U.S. VC giant Lightspeed Venture Partners.
“The funding now heralds our next growth phase,” she said. “With the fresh capital, we will double our headcount to expand our market penetration in Europe with a strong focus on France, the U.K., and Scandinavia, as well as deepen our platform capabilities.”
4. Online D2C store with subscription for “mycelium steak” opens – Green Queen
Colorado-based mycelium meat producer Meati has opened a direct-to-consumer online storefront to enable product deliveries and subscriptions for its customers. The Meati Marketplace will allow people to try its alt-meats before they hit shelves, while a $169 Innovation Kitchen Subscription offers four current products and at least one completely new one every month.
“Meati makes whole-cut steaks and chicken cutlets with mushroom root. These products (two flavours for each) will be joined by 16 servings of newly introduced mystery innovations that will make people signed up to the Innovation Kitchen Subscription the first to try them.”
5. Instagram power users are fuming over its $12-a-month subscription – The Information
Facebook and Instagram creators have been paying for the new Meta Verified service that promises human help for issues on the apps. There’s just one problem, say subscribers: The support stinks.
“I expect to be able to contact somebody,” [small business owner Jenna French] said. “It is devastating to literally have your business deleted overnight.”
6. Amazon is considering new subscription programs in grocery and healthcare – Seeking Alpha
The proposals for new subscriptions include standalone memberships for grocery and healthcare offerings, and a potential integration of One Medical’s primary care service with Prime, according to people familiar with the matter.
“The company may introduce the new subscription plans by the end of this year, though new programs could increase membership fees and make it too costly for some people. The e-commerce retailer is struggling to attract younger customers and low-income households to use its Prime membership program, Insider reported.”
Weekly Analysis Roundup
1. “Journalism needs more Taylor Swift reporters” – Nate Silver
A newspaper in Tennessee has garnered significant attention with a job advertisement seeking a reporter to cover the pop star Taylor Swift. That’s a great idea with broader implications, writes Nate Silver, the founder of FiveThirtyEight and a former New York Times journalist, as media outlets lose revenue opportunities when they overlook popular coverage areas.
“[The] New York Times’s strategy is to take a whole bunch of exceptionally popular beats that are a long way from muckraking journalism — style, real estate, Wordle, opinion columns and lifestyle stories that flatter their readers’ priors — and bundle them with important but money-losing beats like investigative reporting and foreign coverage.”
2. Mercedes-Benz’ CMO on which digital subscriptions customers are willing to pay for – Dagens industri
BMW had to backtrack on charging a monthly fee for seat heating, but subscriptions for certain car features are becoming more common. What then are customers willing to pay extra for? “We believe in autonomous driving features,” says Mercedes-Benz Chief Marketing Officer Britta Seeger.
“The subscription systems are a balancing act to gauge what customers find acceptable. ‘We believe there should be an option: either pay for the feature at the time of purchase or be able to add it later. It’s all about customers feeling that it adds extra value,’ says Britta Seeger.”
3. “Power Players of SaaS” – Here are Sweden’s 199 key names – Breakit
Breakit has just launched a report named ‘Power Players of SaaS,’ in which they profile 199 key players in the SaaS sector in Sweden. This includes CEOs, top executives, board professionals, investors, and other individuals making an impact in the SaaS industry in Sweden.
“[…] in the Power Players report, we focus more on the individuals shaping the SaaS community than on the companies and hard numbers. Our hope is that the report will help connect more entrepreneurs, investors, and enthusiasts with each other.”