Weekly Refresh: Climate Tech Funding Surge, Salesforce Hiring 12,000, and More

The Bay Area is leading a surge in VC funding in the climate tech sector. Read the weekly refresh for this and more trending San Francisco tech news.

Written by Joe Erbentraut
Published on Sep. 28, 2020
Weekly Refresh: Climate Tech Funding Surge, Salesforce Hiring 12,000, and More
san francisco tech news
A 2019 San Francisco climate change rally. | Photo: Shutterstock

Climate tech funding grows. A new report from PwC found that climate tech VC funding between 2013 and 2019 surged at a rate 5x faster than overall VC funding. The sector hit $16.3 billion in funding last year, and startups in the SF Bay Area raised more than any other tech hub in the world. [TechCrunch]

Another case for WFH? The Metropolitan Transportation Commission last week approved a proposal that would require large Bay Area employers to mandate that their employees work from home three days a week. It’s part of a push to reduce the region’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions from driving. It’s just a proposal at the time, but feels slightly less radical thanks to the pandemic’s acceleration of the remote work revolution. [NBC News]

Also in SF11 Bay Area Startups, Led by Robinhood, Raised $1.7B+ Last Week

Companies are using AI for inclusive communication. An SF startup, called Writer, is helping companies ensure that their communications are consistently living up to their diversity, inclusion and equity pledges. The tool flags non-inclusive language and suggests replacements. [SF Business Times]

Google will help pay off employees’ student loans. The tech giant just announced that it will match up to $2,500 in its workers’ student loan payments starting next year. The company says it’s part of an effort to help its employees save money for big expenses like starting a family or buying a home. It was developed as a result of input from its Black employee groups, which pointed out that people of color are disproportionately affected by student debt. [CNBC]

Salesforce is hiring 12,000. CEO Marc Benioff announced via a tweet last week that the software giant plans to hire 4,000 new employees in the next six months, and a total of 12,000 workers over the next year. The company reported over $5 billion in revenue in Q2 and currently has over 200 open positions based out of SF listed on its website. [TechCrunch]

Fisker announces SF tech center. The LA-headquartered electric vehicle maker is planning for a new engineering and technology center in the Mission District. The company says it will be the focal point for the company’s software development. Fisker is planning to offer a line-up of four vehicles by 2025. The company raised a $50 million Series C in July. [PRNewswire]

CrowdStrike acquires Preempt Security. The SF-based cybersecurity startup is being snapped up for $96 million. This marks the Sunnyvale-based CrowdStrike’s first acquisition since its massive IPO in 2019. [SF Business Times]

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