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
Good things come in threes. For the third straight year, Canada’s largest in-person SaaS community has partnered with the publication of record for Canadian tech and startups at SAAS NORTH this November in Ottawa.
Wealthsimple VP of platform engineering Anne Steptoe, Paper CTO Roberto Cipriani, and former Shopify VP of product acceleration Satish Kanwar will flex their technical chops, while OpenView’s Kyle Poyar, m]x[v Capital’s Mark Ghermezian, and BDC Capital’s Michelle Scarborough will provide a wide range of venture perspectives.
Use the code “BETAKIT25” for 25 percent off your ticket. Because BetaKit loves SaaS.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has launched a new $50-million CAD Seed Venture Fund, committing $10 million annually over the next five years to pre-seed and seed-stage software startups across Canada through BDC Capital.
The software-focused Seed Venture Fund will be sector-agnostic, with an eye towards enterprise software-as-a-service, FinTech, healthtech, artificial intelligence (AI), and proptech startups.
The Seed Venture Fund marks BDC’s first foray back into general seed-stage investing since its Strategic Initiatives Program (SIP) ceased making investments in new companies around 2017.
Shopify posted $718 million in net income during Q3, a jump from the $159 million the Ottawa-based company lost during the same period last year.
In other earnings news this week, Lightspeed also exceeded its outlook, recording its first period of positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDTA) as a public company in Q2, posting a slim, $200,000 profit by this metric, beating its prior forecast of negative $4 million.
In a statement, Lightspeed CEO Jean Paul Chauvet hailed reaching positive EBITDA as “a significant achievement” for the firm.
BlackBerry has officially announced the retirement of John Chen, its CEO and executive chair of 10 years.
Under Chen’s leadership, BlackBerry pivoted from a consumer-oriented mobile phone manufacturer to an enterprise security and IoT solutions provider. Chen will retire upon the completion of his contract, which is set to expire November 3, and will be succeeded by current board member Richard “Dick” Lynch on an interim basis.
The Royal Bank of Canada’s technology and innovation arm, RBCx, has brought on four former Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) Canada employees, becoming the latest in a growing list of Canadian banks to snap up employees from the failed tech financier.
RBCx has hired Filip Stoj, former VP of early-stage startups at SVB Canada, to lead its early-stage banking practice, as well as Andrew Owusu-Sefa (one of SVB’s first 10 Canadian employees) to serve as VP of early-stage banking.
Michael and Richard Hyatt have acquired a majority stake in Mississauga-based DataStealth, an enterprise cybersecurity firm that helps banks and hospitals protect their data.
For the brothers—both successful Canadian tech entrepreneurs-turned-investors who previously built, scaled, sold, and exited Toronto-based Dyadem and BlueCat in deals totalling more than $1 billion—the transaction marks a return to operations.
The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) plans to audit embattled federal cleantech investment agency Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
The announcement comes shortly after the Government of Canada suspended SDTC from funding new projects after a third-party investigation discovered evidence of conflict of interest and governance issues at SDTC.
Cybercrime is up over 600 percent since the start of the pandemic, but according to new Mastercard Canada research, only 16 percent of Canadian SMB owners surveyed say they know what to do in the event of an attack.
Speaking with BetaKit, Aviva Klein, the Vice President of Digital Payments and Cybersecurity Solutions for Mastercard in Canada, explained the disconnect between the priorities of customers and the actions of SMBs, and how conversations about cybersecurity need to be reframed.
The future has arrived early for Canadian businesses, as hybrid work shifted from a COVID-19 emergency response to a permanent reality: sixty-five percent of Canadian knowledge workers now work in a remote or hybrid format.
In partnership with Intel Canada, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on the new best practices to ensure that businesses in 2023 are getting hybrid work right for the long term.
Let’s face it, the pace of business transformation has hit warp speed, especially for SMBs.
Cisco’s Cybersecurity Readiness Index found that Canada falls under the global average in cybersecurity readiness. Only nine percent of Canadian organizations have a “mature” level of preparedness to handle the security risks of our hybrid world, compared to fifteen percent globally.
So how do you pick the right cybersecurity partner?
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VAN – Damon Motors to go public on Nasdaq via reverse merger (read more)
KW – Faire lays off 250 employees (read more)
MIS – Hyatt brothers acquire majority control of DataStealth (read more)
TOR – Promise Robotics – $20.8M (read more)
TOR – Brickeye – $5M (read more)
OTT – FigBytes acquired by AMCS (read more)
LVL – SMT Intelligence – $68M (read more)
MTL – Kento Health – $4.1M (read more)
How to get hybrid work right for the long term
Did you know 89% of workers and decision-makers are onside for hybrid work?
As evolving working arrangements become a reality for more organizations, there are concerns about sustaining productivity and avoiding employee burnout.
With employees working from anywhere at anytime, hybrid work is straining the capacity of IT teams and budgets, while introducing new security risks that can’t be ignored.
What can Canadian companies do to solve the challenges and take advantage of the rewards of hybrid work over the long term?
Download this article featuring a conversation with a hybrid work expert discussing best practices to ensure that businesses in 2023 are getting hybrid work right for the long term.
The BetaKit Podcast
“What happens when the technologists decide what they do is more important than the government and they don’t want to play by those rules?"
Discussing Marc Andreessen's Techno-Optimist Manifesto and what the Canadian government is offering up instead of open banking.
“When you’re a FinTech you’re a second-class citizen when it comes to accessing infrastructure, and so you’re spending a lot of time trying to innovate on table stakes, which takes away from the actual innovation that you want to offer.”
Wealthsimple VP and chief compliance officer Hanna Zaidi joins for a wide-ranging conversation on what’s impeding financial services modernization, and what Canadians are missing because of it.