Canadian startup news of the week (11/21/21)

SaaS

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. If you prefer this update hit your inbox every week, make sure to subscribe to the BetaKit Newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page.

Top Stories of the Week


Faire banks $400 million USD Series G at $12.4 billion valuation

Kitchener-Waterloo and San Francisco-based retail startup Faire has closed its third major funding round in 13 months. On the heels of its successful European expansion, Faire has secured $400 million USD in Series G financing at a $12.4 billion valuation, nearly quintuple its value following its Series E round last October.


Coveo makes strong debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Québec City-based Coveo’s share price rose in its Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) debut this week, becoming a bright light in what has been a lacklustre season for Canadian tech IPOs, with many falling short of expectations. Meanwhile, Ottawa’s Telesat began trading on the TSX and the Nasdaq to underwhelming initial results.


How a shift in strategy took once-struggling Looka back to profitability

In the fall of 2019, Toronto-based Looka was facing major difficulties, laying off 80 percent of its staff following a failed rebrand that cut its revenue in half. But two years on, after shifting its strategy, the startup has turned things around, tripled its monthly revenue, and returned to profitability.


TSXV-listed CloudMD to acquire TSX-listed MindBeacon in $116 million deal

Less than a year after going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), Toronto-based digital mental health startup MindBeacon has agreed to be acquired by TSX Venture Exchange-listed Vancouver software firm CloudMD.


L-SPARK’s Leo Lax: Canadian SaaS has “arrived”

In a series of interviews from SAAS NORTH, BetaKit spoke to L-SPARK’s Leo Lax about how Canadian SaaS has “arrived,” Bessemer Venture Partners’ Alexandra Sukin about the firm’s SaaS investment approach, and RBCx’s Anthony Mouchantaf about Canada’s tech ecosystem’s dependence on government support.


BetaKit Live: How to drive growth and innovation through impact investing

In the next BetaKit Live on Thursday December 2, leaders from TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, the Global Impact Investing Network, and Gotcare explain the corporate venture capital and impact investing space.


CDW survey uncovers troubling data about the state of cybersecurity in Canadian startups

Theo Van Wyk, Head of Solutions Development and Cybersecurity at CDW Canada, unpacks troubling statistics from a new CDW cybersecurity survey.


What To Expect From Your Lead Investor

Silicon Valley Bank shares tips on what to expect from your lead investor and how to build a strong relationship with them.


Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • PCQ – Moment Energy – $3.5M (read more)

  • WPG – Neo Financial secures $1.6M grant from Government of Manitoba (read more)

  • TOR – Northleaf Capital Partners announces funding, plans to launch tech fund (read more)

  • TOR – Espresso Capital secures $200M credit facility to back tech firms (read more)

  • TOR – Clutch – $100M (read more)

  • TOR – HiMama – $70M (read more)

  • TOR – Emerge Commerce acquires WholesalePet.com for up to $31.2M (read more)

  • TOR – Klir – $20.1M (read more)

  • TOR – Kira Talent sells majority stake to ETS Strategic Capital (read more)

  • TOR – Composer – $6.73M (read more)

  • TOR – Delvinia sells key assets to Schlesinger Group (read more)

  • TOR – Judo – $3.8M (read more)

  • TOR – Tribe acqui-hires two of the co-founders of pe•ple (read more)

  • OTT – GaN Systems – $189.7M (read more)

  • MTL – Sagard Private Equity Canada secures $200M for inaugural fund (read more)

  • MTL – Klik acquired by Bizzabo for $13.5M (read more)

  • MTL – Billdr – $4M (read more)

  • MTL – Simplyk – $3.7M (read more)


RECOMMENDED BY INNOVATE BC

If your business is currently hiring for a tech role you can get up to $10,000 through Innovate BC’s Innovator Skills Initiative program.

The Innovator Skills Initiative program has been expanded to make a positive impact on the B.C. economy, particularly for communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The program will help create a more diverse tech sector and, with talent shortages filled, B.C. businesses will have the opportunity to expand and grow.

The Innovator Skills Initiative program aims to help under-represented groups get their first job in the tech sector by ensuring placements for under-represented people are available.

Learn more about the program here.


SHOPIFY’S CRYPTO BROS, AND ANTI-GROWTH IS COOL NOW

Unlike past AMA episodes, this week’s version features no questions better suited for a Master’s thesis. It does feature the requisite amount of shenanigans.


THE CDL MENTORING SESSION THAT GAVE BRICE SCHESCHUK IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Brice Scheschuk (Wind Mobile, Globalive) explains the motivation behind his new initiative to improve the craft of mentorship and create more resilient entrepreneurs.


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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.