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
As Canadian tech companies and investors continue to contend with tough economic conditions, the sector just posted its second-largest second quarter on record for venture capital funding, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).
Per CVCA’s latest VC market report, in the second quarter, $2.8 billion CAD was put into Canadian tech startups across 170 deals. By dollars invested, this total represents a 140 percent jump quarter-over-quarter and a 45 percent increase year-over-year.
Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Ideogram, which offers generative text-to-image technology, has launched its platform with $22.3 million CAD ($16.5 million USD) in seed funding.
Ideogram’s founding team consists of people who have previously led AI projects at Google Brain, UC Berkeley, and the University of Toronto.
The founder of Ottawa-based artificial intelligence startup MindBridge, Solon Angel, announced that he has joined Fresh Founders as a managing partner.
Fresh Founders is an early-stage investment and advisory firm that calls itself “an exclusive, invite-only, mastermind group of founders, CEOs and high-impact individuals.”
TIKTOK TO REMOVE ‘STOREFRONT’ INTEGRATION WITH SHOPIFY AND OTHERS, PUSHING MERCHANTS TO USE TIKTOK SHOP
Social media giant TikTok is sunsetting its Storefront feature, which enables merchants on Shopify and other platforms to sync their product catalogues to TikTok.
As TikTok Storefront ends, Shopify has added another integration to its platform: Solana Pay. Built on the Solana blockchain, Solana Pay is a decentralized payments protocol by San Francisco-based Solana Labs.
The Air Canada partnership may be seen as part of Hopper’s ongoing push to create what it’s calling the first travel super app in North America. It’s also the first airline-focused instance of its successful Hopper Cloud B2B initiative, which lets travel businesses integrate FinTech products. A company spokesperson told BetaKit that Hopper’s FinTech offerings now represent approximately 50 percent of its total app revenue.
The Firehood, an angel network that focuses on supporting women in the technology sector, and Toronto-based nonprofit Elevate have unveiled the 37 startups participating in the first cohort of its joint incubator for women entrepreneurs, the Women+ Entrepreneur Incubator.
No two startup journeys are identical. However, trends can emerge across businesses and, as the saying goes, success leaves clues.
As part of a CIBC Innovation Banking video series, leaders from four different companies–Bridgit, 7Shifts, Jane App, and Bloomerang–shared the key lesson that helped them scale.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – Redbrick acquires Animoto (read more)
VAN – Blanka – $2.7M (read more)
AB – Alberta Innovates invests $13.6M in 19 Alberta projects (read more)
CGY – ResolvMD – $2M (read more)
KW – Magnet Forensics acquires Griffeye (read more)
KW – OpenText acquires Kinematik (read more)
The BetaKit Podcast
We know you love VCs on the BetaKit Podcast. So here's an all-VC episode of the BetaKit Podcast.
Featuring: Chris Neumann (Panache Ventures), Matt Cohen (Ripple Ventures), John Ruffolo (Maverix Private Equity), Michelle Scarborough (Thrive Venture Fund), Satraj Bambra (Round13's Digital Asset Fund).
“I sometimes feel like Canada needs to up [its] risk-taking ability.”
“It’s the latest shiny thing that a lot of people are running after.”
“Markets are now audiences. Your competitive moat is your community.”
Canadian tech luminaries brave tornados and beanbag chairs to discuss renewed due diligence, DEI, and AI’s impact on investment theses in this compilation of interviews recorded live at Startupfest.