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Business Tech Roundup: Will HubSpot Wind Up In The Google Graveyard?

By June 2, 2024No Comments

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)


Here are five things in tech that happened this week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Google is considering an acquisition of HubSpot

The rumor is that Google is considering an acquisition of CRM platform HubSpot in an effort to strengthen its position against Microsoft in the cloud software market. The move would enhance Google’s customer relationship management (CRM) offerings, enabling it to compete more effectively with Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 (Source: Reuters)

Why this is important for your business:

Will HubSpot wind up in the Google Graveyard? It’s possible. There are pros and cons to this transaction. For starters, HubSpot’s focus on marketing, sales, and customer service software aligns with Google’s goal to expand its cloud business beyond advertising revenue. This acquisition could be a strategic step for Google to diversify its revenue streams and challenge Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise software space. But Microsoft has been in the CRM game for going on twenty years. And other CRM leaders have been doing for this even longer. Google will have to make a long term investment and incorporate a lot of changes into its culture to make this a success.

2 — Relay raises $32.2 million to help smaller businesses manage their cashflow.

Relay — a banking platform targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for financial management — has secured over $30 million in funding. The investment is set to further develop Relay’s suite of financial tools tailored for SMBs. The platform aims to streamline financial operations such as expense tracking, bill payments, and analytics. This funding round signifies investor confidence in Relay’s potential to address the financial needs of SMBs and improve their efficiency in managing money. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

For regular readers you’re aware that I’ve been predicting that banks will merge with accounting software (or offer their own) particularly for small businesses in the coming years because there are too many overlapping reasons not to do so. Relay is a banking platform that — of course — integrates with popular accounting applications like QuickBooks and Xero, but long term? Why integrate when you can just offer all the accounting features for your business banking clients? I think that’s inevitable.

3 — Rows raises $8.7 million to expand AI-powered spreadsheet app.

Rows — an AI-powered spreadsheet application — has raised $8.7 million to support its expansion efforts. The platform offers customizable, intelligent spreadsheets that integrate with various data sources and third-party applications. This investment will enable Rows to enhance its product offerings and reach more users globally. The funding round was led by venture capital firms, indicating confidence in Rows’ potential to revolutionize spreadsheet workflows and empower users with advanced data management capabilities. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Why use Rows? It’s a spreadsheet on steroids. It’s its own separate platform (as opposed to being part of a suite of “office” products). It has its own community and integrates with other applications, specifically AI platforms like OpenAI. It also comes with a number of out-of-the-box templates to help with funding, crypt transactions and website analytics. For heavy spreadsheet analysis it seems like a great platform.

4 — Scientists find ChatGPT is inaccurate when answering computer programming questions.

Researchers have discovered inaccuracies in the responses provided by AI language model ChatGPT. They found that while the model is generally proficient in generating human-like text, it sometimes produces unreliable or incorrect information, particularly in scientific contexts. The study suggests that users should approach ChatGPT responses with caution, verifying information from multiple sources when accuracy is crucial. Additionally, the research underscores the importance of continued improvement and validation of AI models to enhance their reliability and trustworthiness. (Source: Tech Xplore)

Why this is important for your business:

I wish everyone wouldn’t be so up in arms about the hallucinations in AI Assistants like ChatGPT and Google Gemini. We all know where this is going. It’s going to take a little time to get there. Meanwhile, trust but verify.

5 — OpenAI improves ChatGPT — allowing it to import files from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

OpenAI has upgraded ChatGPT, enabling it to import files directly from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. (Source: IBL News)

Why this is important for your business:

This is a big improvement on ChatGPT’s functionality. Uploading docs will allow easier and more in-depth analysis.

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