Canadian startup news of the week (12/05/21)

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

Communitech exploring $200 million venture fund(BETAKIT)

CEO Chris Albinson spoke to the strategy on a recent episode of The BetaKit Podcast, and while he is still vague on many details of how Communitech will help create Canadian winners to own the podium, one thing is clear: Communitech wants to launch a venture fund to support their growth.

Extreme Venture Partners founders, Chamath Palihapitiya lose appeal in Tinder sale lawsuit(BETAKIT)

Justice William Hourigan had harsh words for EVP founding partners Sundeep Madra and Amar Varma, as well as Social Capital CEO and former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, in the tangled court case over whether the three had conspired to acquire mobile software development shop Xtreme Labs at a discounted price, in addition to breaching contractual obligations with EVP.

The untold story of Recon Instruments’ impact on the Vancouver tech scene(BETAKIT)

Much ink has rightfully been spilled documenting Thinkific’s rise to success, starting with the company’s 2012 genesis and ending with its public listing. But the real story about Thinkific’s journey begins much earlier, with a Vancouver-based company called Recon Instruments.

Survey suggests progress, room for improvement on equitable compensation for women in venture capital(BETAKIT)

The survey found that, for investment roles, salaries and bonuses are lower for women than men in more junior roles, but higher in more senior positions, with the exception of partners.

Gradient Spaces, Georgian launch incubator program for early-stage 2SLGBTQIA+ founders(BETAKIT)

Gradient Spaces, a Toronto-based not-for-profit that was created by former Venture Out team members following the mass resignations that took place last fall, has opened applications for its new Georgian-backed, equity-free virtual incubator program for Canadian tech founders who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+.

How Katherine Regnier found the right enterprise customers for Coconut Software(BETAKIT)

In a recent interview for the #CIBCInnovationEconomy Podcast, Regnier explained Coconut’s uncommon founding story and what she attributes as the secrets to her success landing enterprise clients.

Shopify merchants generate record $6.3 billion USD in sales during Black Friday, Cyber Monday(BETAKIT)

During 2021’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, Shopify merchants collectively generated $6.3 billion USD in sales worldwide, a 23 percent rise compared to 2020. Meanwhile, on Giving Tuesday, fellow Canadian tech platform Benevity saw donations double through its corporate purpose platform, as over $112 million was given to more than 43,000 causes via Benevity.

Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • SF – Maple VC announces $16.5M Fund II (read more)

  • VAN – General Fusion – $166M (read more)

  • VAN – Klue – $79.2M (read more)

  • VAN – Spare – $18M (read more

  • KEL – Staffbase acquires Valo Solutions (read more)

  • CAL – mCloud Technologies raises $12.1M in Nasdaq uplisting (read more)

  • CAL – Summit Nanotech wins $1M Women in Cleantech Challenge (read more)

  • AB + SK – Waitwell, PulseMedica, StoreToDoor secure funding (read more)

  • TOR – Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (MARZ) – $6.5M (read more)

  • TOR – Just Boardrooms – $3M (read more)

  • TOR – Alida – $3M (read more)

  • TOR – Arteria AI to acquire H4 assets (read more)

  • TOR – Bidmii raises $1M led by Scott McGillivray (read more)

  • TOR – Willful secures $750K, backing of Dragon Michele Romanow (read more)

  • MTL – Life House – $77M (read more)

  • MTL – Polystyvert – $3.5M (read more)

  • QC – Coveo closes $32M TSX IPO over-allotment option (read more)

  • HAL – Volta gives five Atlantic Canadian tech startups $25K each (read more)


Your business currently can get up to $10,000 to hire for a tech role through Innovate BC’s Innovator Skills Initiative program.

The Innovator Skills Initiative program aims to help under-represented groups, including Indigenous, BIPOC, 2SLGBTQQIA+, neuro-diverse, persons living with a visible or invisible disability, non-binary, women, youth from care and others get their first job in the tech sector by ensuring placements for under-represented people are available.

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. If you are looking to diversify your talent pool with skilled workers, the ISI program is for you.

Apply here!


“This episode is going to get a little bit SaaS-y.”

A highlight of BetaKit’s interviews at SAAS NORTH, featuring: Bessemer Venture Partners, Trulioo, Plaid, RBCx, Unbounce, and L-SPARK.


New Communitech CEO Chris Albinson outlines the Waterloo Region tech hub’s new True North strategy, its goals, and what that has to do with Shopify and the Olympics.

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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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