Welcome to BetaKit’s startup stories of the week! Here, you will find the week’s most important news, features, and editorials published on BetaKit.
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TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK
FEDERAL FALL ECONOMIC STATEMENT PROMISES TO EXPAND PAYMENTS CANADA ELIGIBILITY, INTRODUCE OPEN BANKING LEGISLATION IN 2024
The Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement, delivered this week by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, includes promises to implement a consumer-driven banking framework next year, expand Payments Canada eligibility, and bolster the country’s competition watchdog, as well as updates regarding the Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit and the Canada Growth Fund.
Canadian FinTech CEOs Michael Katchen of Wealthsimple and Andrew Graham of Borrowell both took to LinkedIn to express their pleasure following today’s announcement. “Open banking will dramatically improve financial services for consumers through innovation, convenience and competition,” wrote Katchen. “It will reduce costs for Canadians without compromising on privacy or security.”
ACTIVE IMPACT INVESTMENTS LAUNCHES THIRD CLIMATE TECH SEED FUND WITH $70 MILLION IN INITIAL COMMITMENTS
Vancouver-based Active Impact Investments has secured over $70 million CAD in initial commitments for its third fund, which will continue the firm’s focus on early-stage climate technology startups.
Active Impact aims to raise a Fund III that is twice the size of its second fund, seeking a total of $120 million, the remainder of which it hopes to close in early 2024. These commitments bring Active Impact more than halfway towards that target, at a time when many other venture capital (VC) firms and startups alike are struggling to fundraise.
Canada’s software as a service (SaaS) sector saw a marked year-over-year rebound in investment in 2023, according to a new report from Canadian SaaS accelerator L-SPARK.
Released during SAAS NORTH last week, the report tracked $6.9 billion CAD invested in Canadian SaaS startups in 2023, roughly double the $3.9 billion CAD invested in 2022.
Microsoft is betting big on Québec as the tech giant earmarks $685 million CAD ($500 million USD) to expand its cloud computing and AI infrastructure in the province over the next two years.
Microsoft’s investment is aimed to support the construction of multiple data centre locations in Québec, which it expects to launch over the coming months. The firm expects these centres to expand the firm’s computing capacity by approximately 240 percent over the next three years.
After over a year of searching, Saskatoon-based technology hub Co.Labs has found its next executive director in Jonathan Lipoth.
Lipoth is a Saskatchewan native who has spent years working in early-stage Canadian tech on the venture capital side with Regina-based Broad Street Bulls and Vancouver’s Rhino Ventures. He took over from Co.Labs co-founder Alex Shimla in October.
Toronto FinTech startup Wealthsimple has launched a new private equity offering.
The move is its third alternative investing option for retail investors, alongside its venture capital and private credit offerings. Through these options, Wealthsimple aims to give qualified retail investors access to asset classes typically available only to institutional investors and the ultra-wealthy.
London, Ont.-based RHA Ventures has launched 519 Growth Fund II, its second fund, with a $30-million CAD target.
With these investments, InBC has now committed $54 million of its $500 million mandate across 4AG and Clarius, and five funds (a group that also includes Evok Innovations, Raven Capital, and Yaletown Partners).
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – Peloton Technologies – $2M (read more)
VAN – Active Impact Investments secures $70M towards Fund III (read more)
CHI – HS GovTech acquired by Banneker Partners (read more)
LON – RHA Ventures target $30M for 519 Growth Fund II (read more)
BRA – Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst – $16M (read more)
TOR – Semantic Health acquired by AAPC (read more)
TOR – Birdseye – $4.1M (read more)
TOR – WEKH secures $3.8M from WES (read more)
TOR – NACO Canada secures $1M from WES (read more)
POWERED BY: RBC CAPITAL MARKETS
Mike Wessinger, the co-founder of PointClickCare (PCC) and current board chair, is a prominent figure in Canada’s tech industry. Despite being the head of Canada’s largest privately held software company, he remains humble and believes in letting his accomplishments speak for themselves.
In an interview with Aly Gillani, Head of Canadian Tech Investment Banking at RBC Capital Markets, Mike shares his advice on how to build tech unicorns in Canada and cultivate a thriving tech ecosystem that extends beyond Silicon Valley.
The BetaKit Podcast
“If you’re pension-backed you gotta deliver returns, buddy.”
OMERS Ventures senior managing partner Michael Yang recounts a turbulent year for the pension-backed VC firm, and what the future holds for “OV 3.0”.
“Capital efficiency is actually really sexy.”
Satish Kanwar (Good Future) and Katy Yam (Real Ventures) join for a special episode recorded live on the BetaKit Keynote Stage at SAAS NORTH, discussing the different paths available for Canadian entrepreneurs, and why 100,000 fewer are choosing to walk them compared to 20 years ago.