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Company that once shot money out of guns at Dreamforce lays off 55 workers

SalesLoft attributed the layoffs to the pandemic, which has caused sales to fall and scores of salespeople that use the company's software to lose their jobs.

People attending Dreamforce
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Atlanta-based sales software startup that once famously shot money out of guns at Salesforce's Dreamforce conference has been forced to lay off around 55 employees, a vivid illustration of the damage the coronavirus crisis is doing to a tech industry that was flying high.

SalesLoft attributed the layoffs to the pandemic, which has caused sales to fall and scores of salespeople that use the company's software to lose their jobs. (It's worth noting that the money blasted from guns by SalesLoft was only $250 in $2 bills, so it wouldn't have saved any jobs here).

"I give Kyle Porter and the rest of the ELT a lot of credit in the way the situation was handled, as disappointing as the result may be," former SalesLoft user experience researcher Rob Solomon said of the company's CEO and executive leadership team in a post on Linkedin.

A company spokesperson confirmed it did layoffs and said, "Nearly every company would benefit from hiring SalesLoft alumni, as they are all great people."

The company, which had been one of Atlanta's fastest growing tech outfits, was most recently valued at $600 million. It's in a competitive field: San Francisco-based Groove announced Thursday that it raised $12 million from investors. Another competitor, Seattle-based unicorn Outreach, has so far avoided layoffs, while reportedly seeing mixed results — with some customers like DoorDash surging and others forced to pull back.

People

Beeper built the universal messaging app the world needed

It's an app for all your social apps. And part of an entirely new way to think about chat.

Beeper is an app for all your messaging apps, including the hard-to-access ones.

Image: Beeper

Eric Migicovsky likes to tinker. And the former CEO of Pebble — he's now a partner at Y Combinator — knows a thing or two about messaging. "You remember on the Pebble," he asked me, "how we had this microphone, and on Android you could reply to all kinds of messages?" Migicovsky liked that feature, and he especially liked that it didn't care which app you used. Android-using Pebble wearers could speak their replies to texts, Messenger chats, almost any notification that popped up.

That kind of universal, non-siloed approach to messaging appealed to Migicovsky, and it didn't really exist anywhere else. "Remember Trillian from back in the day?" he asked, somewhat wistfully. "Or Adium?" They were the gold-standard of universal messaging apps; users could log in to their AIM, MSN, GChat and Yahoo accounts, and chat with everyone in one place.

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

Protocol | Enterprise

Inside Christian Klein’s determined bid to remake SAP

The 40-year-old, first-time CEO has a tough road ahead of him in turning around the nearly 50-year-old vendor.

Christian Klein became SAP's sole CEO in April.
Photo: Picture Alliance/Getty Images

On April 19, the day before SAP announced that Christian Klein would take over as sole CEO of the German software giant, his wife joked that she was going into labor with their second child.

That joke became a reality at 2 a.m. the next day.

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Protocol | Enterprise

Databricks plans to take on Snowflake and Google and score a huge IPO

Even against intensifying competition, Databricks hopes to be a hit when it heads to the public markets this year.

Ali Ghodsi is the CEO of Databricks.

Photo: Databricks

Enterprise software had a huge 2020 on Wall Street as companies such as Snowflake and C3.ai went public with blockbuster initial offerings. Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi is hoping to ride the same wave in 2021.

The public debut of the data analytics startup, valued at $6.2 billion, is among the most-watched IPOs for the year. And for good reason: It competes in a similar space as the much-hyped Snowflake, helping customers find the data to power the algorithms that help with everything from picking which products to order to which candidates to bring in for job interviews. While Databricks has been tight-lipped on its specific plans, including which bankers it is tapping to help navigate the often arduous process, it is taking steps internally to prepare.

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Protocol | Enterprise

How Salesforce, despite big setbacks, had a banner 2020

Amid the chaos of major layoffs and top executive departures, Salesforce announced a key acquisition and managed to report blockbuster earnings.

Marc Benioff is the CEO of Salesforce.

Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images

On Aug. 27, Salesforce announced it would lay off around 1,000 employees.

The news came as a shock to many. At the beginning of the pandemic, CEO Marc Benioff committed to making no "significant" layoffs for 90 days. (The 1,000 job losses occurred 155 days after that pledge was made.) But any blowback to the announcement appears to have been brushed aside by some of the company's top leaders.

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Protocol | Enterprise

Coupa is cribbing from SAP and Oracle. Then it wants to beat them.

The $21 billion company is trying to out-innovate its rivals to help organizations better track their spending. But there are still plenty of obstacles ahead.

Rob Bernshteyn is the CEO of Coupa.

Photo: Coupa

Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn was once a project manager at Accenture helping customers implement SAP's software. Now, he's fast becoming a thorn in the side of the German tech giant and its rival Oracle.

"These are products companies, they're not software-as-a-service companies," Bernshteyn told Protocol. He added: "[We're] the holy grail of what SaaS is all about."

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

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