A|I: The AI Times – Valence’s new discoveries

Plus: Ocean robotics firm Nauticus to go public via $560M SPAC deal.

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Valence Discovery announces $10.9 million CAD for AI-aided drug discovery and formulation (BETAKIT)

The startup partners with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, using AI and machine learning to support their drug discovery efforts.


SoftBank SPAC to take Walmart-backed Symbotic public in $5.5 bln deal (REUTERS)

Walmart Inc-backed Symbotic said it would go public through a merger with a SoftBank Group Corp blank-check firm in a deal offering the robotics and automation startup a pro-forma equity value of $5.5 billion.


TealBook looks to become global leader in supply chain data with $50 million in new funding (BETAKIT)

Since 2015, TealBook has been building its procurement intelligence platform to provide supply chain data to buyers. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, TealBook’s goal is to help companies more easily source and access their suppliers’ data.


Nauticus, ocean-robots firm, to go public via $560M SPAC deal (THE STREET)

Nauticus makes AI software for ocean-tasked robots. It’s going public via a special purpose acquisition company, CleanTech Acquisition.


SVB report finds Canadian venture activity reached new heights in 2021 (BETAKIT)

Canada is set to finish off 2021 with a new record for venture capital deals, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the Markets report for the fourth quarter of 2021.


Ukko Agro closes $5.1 million seed round to help farmers make crop management decisions at scale (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based software startup Ukko Agro has secured $5.1 million CAD in seed financing and the support of Canadian agriculture investors like Emmertech to fuel the growth of its AgTech platform.


G.M. says Dan Ammann is out as chief of Cruise, its driverless-car unit (NEW YORK TIMES)

The high-profile head of Cruise, General Motors’ autonomous-driving unit, is leaving the company, the carmaker said.


IBM to hire 350 tech employees in Nova Scotia (BETAKIT)

The company is looking to hire for roles in artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud for the local CIC, which IBM calls “an entrepreneurial startup within IBM Consulting” that specializes in application management solutions and digital transformation consulting services.


Canada’s surging AI ecosystem needs more than machine learning specialists (THE LOGIC)

Sam Pasupalak describes it as “mission impossible.”


How the global “phenomenon” of impact investing is heating up in Canada (BETAKIT)

In a recent BetaKit Live, Blair Miller, Managing Partner of the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Chenny Xia, the CEO of Pollinator Fund portfolio company Gotcare, and Amit Bouri, the CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), looked back on how impact investing has developed globally, the growth of impact investing in Canada, and what it means to scale impact.


New mandate letter gives Minister Champagne long to-do-list for Canadian tech and innovation (BETAKIT)

The letters came two months after Trudeau announced his new, post-election cabinet on October 26. The shuffle followed the September election, which saw the prime minister lose some of his cabinet ministers.


Why computers don’t need to match human intelligence (WIRED)

With continuing advances in machine learning, it makes less and less sense to compare AI to the human mind.


Accelia Capital launches $50 million VC fund to back women-led startups in Québec (BETAKIT)

Accelia Capital intends to fund innovative, Québec technology companies. The fund will focus “particularly [on] high-impact, high-performing, women-owned and women-led businesses, which in turn will foster increased diversity in the sector,” according to the fund’s partners.


Levi’s AI chief says algorithms have helped boost revenue (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

The use of AI has helped the apparel company make better decisions in areas such as pricing and shipping, Chief Strategy and AI Officer Katia Walsh says.


Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories, tracking Canada’s innovation economy and the people and companies building it, and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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