This Week’s Headlines

This Week’s Headlines This week, Canalys reported that companies spent a record $34.6B globally on cloud services in Q2, up about 11% from Q1 and 30% from Q2 2019. While we’ve been seeing AWS and Microsoft Azure revenue growth decelerating, it’s clear that the overall cloud ecosystem continues to grow, especially during COVID-19 as companies push forward in their cloud strategies. We are seeing this play out across cloud-first development, increased operations in multi-cloud environments, and back office processes finally transitioning to the cloud.

In an attempt to ride the cloud wave, cloud service provider Rackspace went public this week, but the market didn’t welcome them warmly as shares fell nearly 22% opening day. The company first IPO-ed in 2008 as a competitor to Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, and then re-privatized in 2016 with a pivoted product that works alongside with the cloud giants.

Meanwhile, as Q2 earnings continued, several SaaS companies saw their valuations pull back despite beating earnings and guidance expectations. This is potentially a sign that things may have gotten too frothy in too short a time period, but nonetheless we remain bullish on the long-term growth prospects of many of these companies.

Lastly, we released our “Enterprise Software Outlook: Trends During COVID-19 & Beyond” Report, which dives into the top enterprise trends and data on past economic downturns, VC funding, public markets, customer sentiment, and popular sectors during COVID-19. While we’ve been experiencing many of the trends firsthand within our portfolio, it’s exciting to see the data reinforce that the broader enterprise software market is experiencing tailwinds from COVID-19, and that the resulting acceleration of digital transformation in the Fortune 500 positions the industry for long-term growth. Read the full report here.  Kira Colburn   Here Are a Few Ways GPT-3 Can Go Wrong
TechCrunch • “OpenAI’s latest language generation model, GPT-3, has made quite the splash within AI circles, astounding reporters to the point where even Sam Altman, OpenAI’s leader, mentioned on Twitter that it may be overhyped. Still, there is no doubt that GPT-3 is powerful. Those with early-stage access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 API have…”

Facebook Is the Latest Company To Extend Remote Work Until July 2021—Here’s When Other Companies Plan to Go Back
Forbes • “Facebook became the latest company on Thursday to let employees to work from home until summer 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Business Insider first reported, following similar announcements from Google and Uber this month. Many of the largest companies in the U.S., led by tech firms based in the San…”

The Economy Is in Record Decline, But Not for the Tech Giants
New York Times • “A day after lawmakers grilled the chief executives of the biggest tech companies about their size and power, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook reported surprisingly healthy quarterly financial results, defying one of the worst economic downturns on record. Even though the companies felt some sting from…”

What Q2 Fundraising Data Tells Us About the Rest of 2020
TechCrunch • “It’s safe to say that no one could have predicted how this year’s fundraising marketplace was going to shape up. The beginning of the year saw us trending toward a blockbuster start, similar to 2018, rather than the steady burn of 2019. But after March there was no clear road map for how VCs and founders were…”

Software Stocks Set New Records Despite Earnings, Pandemic
TechCrunch • “You might have missed it, but admidst the current political-M&A-pandemic-election-disinformation news cycle we find ourselves in this week, SaaS and cloud companies reached new public market records. Yesterday, the Bessemer-Nasdaq cloud index closed at 2,035.54, a new record finish for the basket of software…”

Microsoft Has Paid Security Researchers $13.7 Million for Bug Bounties in 12 Months
VentureBeat • “Microsoft today announced it has paid out $13.7 million in bug bounties to 327 security researchers in the past year. The figure is more than three times the $4.4 million that Microsoft awarded over the same period last year, showing that the company is increasingly putting its money where its mouth is with respect to…”

Work-Bench Icon Enterprise Software Outlook: Trends During COVID-19 & Beyond
Work-Bench • “Our latest report dives into the top enterprise trends and data to best understand how the enterprise software ecosystem is faring during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We found that the broader enterprise software market has experienced tailwinds from COVID-19, and the resulting acceleration of digital…”