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

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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


Whitecap Venture Partners closes $140 million Fund V to invest across Canada(BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Whitecap Venture Partners, which has a portfolio that includes Canadian tech companies like Bolt Logistics and Silofit, has secured $140 million CAD for its fifth fund. Through Fund V, Whitecap plans to expand its geographic investment focus to all of Canada, and allocate more capital towards the seed stage, as it looks to back more B2B software and medtech startups.


Wealthsimple sells UK book of business as FinTech giant focuses solely on Canada (for now?)(BETAKIT)

Wealthsimple announced that it has sold its United Kingdom book of business to Moneyfarm, completing a transition it began earlier this when it sold its United States (US) book of business to focus its efforts on Canada. The startup also shared a pricing change to its Trade service designed to simplify US trades.


Cross-Border Impact Ventures launches with $30 million in commitments for women, youth-focused healthtech fund(BETAKIT)

CBIV plans to focus primarily on medical device, diagnostic, and digital health firms based in North America, Europe, and Israel, with a secondary eye towards commercial-stage companies in emerging markets that possess “global technology transfer potential.”


NACO names Backbone Angels’ Arati Sharma 2021 Angel of the Year(BETAKIT)

Former Shopify senior leader and current founding partner of Backbone Angels Arati Sharma has been named Canada’s Angel of the Year by the National Angel Capital Organization. “I do hope that this inspires more people to write cheques and back women,” Sharma told BetaKit in an interview.


Alison Sunstrum, Kookai Chaimahawong join The51’s new AgTech fund(BETAKIT)

Sunstrum and Chaimahawong recently took on the roles to support The51 in raising capital for its second investment fund. The51 announced the fund, focused on food and AgTech, in September.


Nuvei shares drop amid short seller report(BETAKIT)

Nuvei saw its share price fall rapidly after a short-seller report from Spruce Point Capital Management, which also recently targeted Lightspeed Commerce, accused Nuvei of covering up a pattern of business failures, lack of organic growth, and “web of relationships with individuals connected to major Ponzi Schemes and alleged fraudulent activities.” Nuvei has since called the report “intentionally misleading,” adding that it “draws inaccurate conclusions.”


Inside the rise of Canadian venture studios(BETAKIT)

“Five [or] seven years ago, people were like, ‘I don’t like this, this is not real venture,” Francois Lafortune, CEO and co-founder of Diagram Ventures, told BetaKit in an interview earlier this year. “Now, some of the best brand name funds in the world do this.”


How to (successfully) pivot your startup, from a company that did it twice(BETAKIT)

It’s hard to recognize you need a radical course correction. And it’s hard to pull one off once you’ve decided to go for it. We asked a CEO who had two successful pivots to share tips with us.


The metrics that show your startup is healthy(BETAKIT)

Mike Kwatinetz of Azure Capital Partners shares his approach to evaluating businesses and how to paint a picture that shows the quality of your startup.


Tech panel thinks Canadian startups are ready to move from defence to offence in 2022(BETAKIT)

In a recent BetaKit Live panel discussion, Shaun Ricci, General Manager, Talent Intelligence at Ceridian Dayforce, Lissa Ricci, Head of Sales, Small Business Solutions at Cisco Canada, and Andrew Popliger, Partner, National Tech Sector Leader at PwC spoke about the changing tides in Canadian tech and explained why talent is at the top of everyone’s mind right now.


Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • VAN – Damon Motors – $37.9M (read more)

  • CAL – Kudos – $10M (read more)

  • CAL – Benevity to acquire Alaya (read more)

  • TOR – GoodGood – $6.5M (read more)

  • TOR – TriplePlay, Vivid Machines, getware.ai, and OutPoint raise $5.7M (read more)

  • TOR – Shabodi – $3.1M (read more)

  • TOR – Sleep Country acquires 25 percent stake in Sleepout (read more)

  • TOR – Influitive acquires PostBeyond (read more)

  • OTT – Gadget – $8.5M (read more)

  • OTT – Lockheed Martin commits $1.3M to Université de Sherbrooke’s Institut Quantique (read more)

  • MTL – Nomic Bio – $17M (read more)

  • MTL – Trolley – $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.


CONDUIT MAKES THE CASE FOR DEFI(BETAKIT)

“Imagine that the bank is a program.”

Conduit co-founder Kirill Gertman joins to discuss why he’s excited about decentralized finance and what’s still missing in the DeFi stack.


BESSEMER, AND TRULIOO, AND PLAID – OH MY!(BETAKIT)

“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.


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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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