Nov 17, 2020

SoftBank Vision Fund backs MindTickle’s SaaS platform

MindTickle
SaaS
Vision Fund
William Smith
2 min
San Francisco, California-based MindTickle specialises in so-called Sales Readiness technology to onboard sales staff
San Francisco, California-based MindTickle specialises in so-called Sales Readiness technology to onboard sales staff...

San Francisco, California-based MindTickle specialises in so-called Sales Readiness technology to onboard sales staff.

The company’s platform allows for the continual assessment, diagnosis and development of the skills and behaviours for engaging customers and driving company growth.

MindTickle’s approach relies on gamification techniques and a mobile app to perform functions such as role-playing, onboarding and upskilling- with 40 of the Fortune 500 relying on its services

The company, which was founded in 2011, has raised over $180mn during the course of its lifetime. Its latest Series D round was recently announced to have raised $100mn from lead investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2, alongside Qualcomm Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, NewView Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Canaan Partners and Accel.

In a press release, Krishna Depura, co-founder and CEO of MindTickle, said: “Our mission is to help companies transform the capabilities and behaviors of their teams to generate a meaningful, measurable impact on their revenue and brand.”

“As customers become increasingly demanding and remote work becomes more common, organizations realize the need to reskill and upskill their employees on an ongoing basis to deliver value in each customer interaction. As a result, we have witnessed strong demand and usage growth from enterprise sales teams over the last few quarters. Interestingly, we are also seeing a strong flow of interest from other enterprise teams, who are intrigued by the success of their sales-peers with MindTickle, and are choosing to adopt this new technology for their respective functions.”

The company said it would use the funds to accelerate its expansion globally and further invest in its technology and products.

“We have been impressed by MindTickle’s vision of closing the capability loop and bringing deep insights and actionable intelligence to revenue and business leaders,” said Munish Varma, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe that Sales Readiness is experiencing a paradigm shift, as enterprises face the new reality of hybrid-remote work.”

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Jun 24, 2021

Legend: John McAfee

McAfee
Cybersecurity
Intel
2 min
A controversial figure, John McAfee is credited with starting an entire technology industry around cybersecurity

John McAfee is credited with starting the entire cybersecurity industry. In 1987, he set up McAfee Associates and released VirusScan. Previous antivirus programs had been released, but McAfee’s was the first with mass appeal and was soon a day zero (or at least day one) installation for Windows users as well as corporate clients.

McAfee: divisive

But McAfee was also a hugely divisive character. He dismissed his own software, claimed he never used it, and rejoiced when Intel bought McAfee and took his name off “the worst software on the planet.” He was anti-tax, pro-drugs, anti-war and pro-free trade. He was also a tireless crusader for cyber awareness, and set up a political party called the Cyber Party in order to make a bid for the office of president of the US.

“I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet”

McAfee: born in the UK

McAfee was born in Gloucestershire, UK, but moved to Salem, Virginia, where his American father (his mother was English) shot himself when McAfee was 15. McAfee worked at NASA, Univac, Xerox, Computer Sciences Corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed. It was while working at the latter he was given a copy of Brain, the first computer virus for PC, and began to engineer a defence.

McAfee: controversy

Controversy dogged McAfee. He was implicated as a ‘person of interest’ in the search for a neighbour who had been shot. He married a prostitute. He claimed a cocaine baron was writing his biography. He was arrested for possession of an unlicensed weapon and for manufacturing drugs in Belize (later released without charge). There were various other arrests (mainly weapons related) but not much would stick until McAfee’s anti-tax stance caught up with him. 

McAfee: arrest

He fled the US as tax authorities turned up the heat on at least four years of non payment of tax and was arrested (again) in Spain in October 2020 at the behest of the US Department of Justice. Charges for fraudulently promoting cryptocurrencies were soon added and he was formally indicted in March 2021. In June 2021, the Spanish National Court authorised McAfee’s extradition to the US, and McAfee was found dead in his cell just hours later in what is widely believed to be a suicide.

McAfee: death

Even in death, McAfee courted controversy, having announced that if he was ever found to have committed suicide, it would mean he had been murdered. A slew of conspiracy theories mushroomed in the hours after his death was announced. It’s just what he would have wanted.

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