A|I: The AI Times – Canadian pension manager to co-lead deal valuing Cohere at $5 billion

Plus: Feds broaden foreign investment scrutiny; Why Apple bought DarwinAI.

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Canadian Pension Fund PSP To Co-Lead Funding in Cohere at $5 Billion Valuation

Canadian pension investment manager PSP Investments is set to co-lead a funding round of at least $500 million in Toronto-based Cohere, an artificial intelligence developer that competes with OpenAI, according to a person briefed on the matter. The round values Cohere at around $5 billion, but the deal isn’t finalized and that number could change. It isn’t clear if the valuation includes the value of the new cash.

PSP is valuing the company at more than 200 times its forward revenue, which is higher than the revenue multiple of OpenAI and some other AI developers.

(The Information)

Waabi to use Nvidia chip to power autonomous trucking solution

Toronto-based autonomous vehicle startup Waabi has partnered with semiconductor giant Nvidia on a new artificial intelligence-powered solution for the trucking sector.

Waabi plans to integrate Nvidia’s DRIVE Thor chip into its AI-driven trucking system, Waabi Driver, beginning in 2025. Waabi Driver is a trainable system that uses AI, sensors, and cameras to navigate roads safely and efficiently without human intervention.


Canada to toughen foreign investment rules for AI, space technology

Canada will tighten its scrutiny of foreign investments in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and space technology as the government expands its power to stall and block deals for national security reasons.

Non-Canadian companies will have to give advance warning to the government before they invest in or acquire Canadian entities in those key technology sectors, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in an interview with Bloomberg.

(BNN Bloomberg)

RealSage closes $5.5 million CAD to fuel growth of AI-powered real estate software

Toronto-based RealSage, which sells artificial intelligence-powered data intelligence software to help multi-family rental housing asset managers operate more efficiently, has secured $5.5 million CAD ($4 million USD) in seed funding.

The proptech startup intends to use this funding to fuel its continued United States expansion and product development efforts.


DarwinAI’s journey: How a little-known Waterloo startup caught Apple’s eye

The only visible sign of Apple’s presence in the Ontario tech hub of Kitchener-Waterloo is the gleaming, glass-fronted Apple Store nestled between a Lululemon outlet and a shoe mart at the Conestoga Mall.

But a brisk half-hour walk from Waterloo’s “premier shopping destination,” at the top end of town where a few tech firms cluster, sit offices in which a team of artificial intelligence researchers developed a novel approach to building deep learning models—work that could bolster the Silicon Valley tech giant’s growing AI ambitions.

Apple’s acquisition of DarwinAI buys it a team of computer vision experts who developed technology for training AI models faster and making them smaller.

Sources with knowledge of DarwinAI told The Logic that Apple made the initial approach, with negotiations starting last October and the deal closing in January.

(The Logic)

Flare acquires US-based competitor Foretrace

Montréal-based cybersecurity startup Flare has acquired fellow United States-based data exposure company Foretrace for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, Flare CEO Norman Menz said the deal is aimed at broadening Flare’s capabilities for collecting emergent threat data. As part of the deal, Foretrace founders Nick Ascoli and Matt Mosley will be joining the company as senior product strategist and vice president of strategic partnerships, respectively.


Amazon spends $2.75 billion on AI startup Anthropic in its largest venture investment yet

Amazon is making its largest outside investment in its three-decade history as it looks to gain an edge in the artificial intelligence race.

The tech giant said it will spend another $2.75 billion backing Anthropic, a San Francisco-based startup that’s widely viewed as a front-runner in generative artificial intelligence. Its foundation model and chatbot Claude competes with OpenAI and ChatGPT.

The companies announced an initial $1.25 billion investment in September, and said at the time that Amazon would invest up to $4 billion. Wednesday’s news marks Amazon’s second tranche of that funding.


Notman House is for sale. A startup-led effort wants to buy it back

Montréal startup space Notman House is officially on the market, and local real estate investment and rental startup Guiker wants to buy it with the help of community investors.

The proposal comes after the OSMO Foundation defaulted on its debts to the Business Development Bank of Canada and Investissement Québec, who provided initial grants to finance Notman House.

“We’re really kind of on the brink of losing Notman House,” Gabriel Sundaram, co-founder of Mission.dev, told BetaKit. “What we believe is that our initiative is the only one that gives an opportunity for Notman’s mission to continue to exist.”


B.C. robot-maker Sanctuary AI lands investment from Accenture

Professional-services giant Accenture today said it has invested an undisclosed amount of money in Vancouver-based Sanctuary AI, which aims to make what it calls “the world’s first human-like intelligence in general purpose robots.”

(Business in Vancouver)

C100 launches new Growth Program to support later-stage companies

C100 has launched a new program aimed at supporting the growth of later-stage Canadian technology companies.

The new Growth Program is designed to address challenges faced by fast-growing tech companies in Canada, such as the scarcity of risk-tolerant capital, a lack of senior talent capable of assisting with global expansion, and insufficient personalized mentoring for the founders of scaling firms.


Startup Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque Steps Down

Stability AI Chief Executive Officer Emad Mostaque has resigned from the British artificial intelligence startup — a move that follows quarrels with investors and waves of senior staff departures.

Chief Operating Officer Shan Shan Wong and Chief Technology Officer Christian Laforte will serve as interim co-CEOs, the startup said in a blog post late Friday. Mostaque is also leaving the company’s board.

In a post on X, Mostaque wrote that he made the decision to resign, and that he would focus on solving the problem of the concentration of power in AI.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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