Canadian startup news of the week (2/5/23)

Mark McQueen CIBC Innovation Banking
Plus: Raven Indigenous Capital Partners closes second fund.

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

CIBC Innovation Banking president Mark McQueen to depart for “next adventure”

When McQueen will be officially leaving CIBC, and who his successor might be, is unclear at this time. McQueen has been leading CIBC Innovation Banking since the bank acquired Wellington Financial in 2018.

OpenText closes $5.8 billion USD acquisition of Micro Focus, makes workforce reduction

OpenText said that it expects to balance the combined entities by reducing its workforce by eight percent, due to the acquisition of Micro Focus.

Lightspeed one-time net loss of $814.8 million USD sends Groundhog Day signal: six more weeks of tech winter

Lightspeed also posted revenues of $188.7 million, an increase of 24 percent compared to the same time last year.

Raven Indigenous Capital Partners tops initial target for second fund with $100 million final close

Raven Capital’s second fund is meant to build on the venture firm’s Fund I, investing exclusively in Indigenous enterprises that demonstrate commercial viability, potential for scale, and measurable community benefit streams.

CoinSmart to seek monetary damages from Coinsquare following collapse of acquisition deal

While CoinSmart has accepted that the deal will no longer proceed, the startup reiterated its position that Coinsquare “had no legal basis” to terminate the transaction. CoinSmart said it plans to pursue the matter further in court.

Ada latest Canadian unicorn to make additional staff cuts

Ada did not respond to questions about the number of employees that have been let go from the company, stating only that it reduced “a portion” of its workforce. Ada’s CTO Jessica Popp posted to LinkedIn that she was let go as part of the cuts.

Faced with insolvency, Ottawa’s Tehama forges ahead with founder-backed restructuring

Court filings viewed by BetaKit show that Tehama applied for insolvency under the Canadian Creditors Arrangements Act as of January 20. Accounting firm Deloitte has been appointed to oversee Tehmaha’s insolvency.

How to grow investment in women-led startups

Women are less likely to get funded and are woefully underrepresented in both the startup founder and venture capital (VC) ranks. However, we’re approaching what might later be called a tipping point.

Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • SF – AppDirect acquires Telecom Brokerage Inc. (read more)

  • STE – RocketRez – $20M (read more)

  • TOR – VerticalScope lays off 22 percent of staff (read more)

  • TOR – New School Foods – $15.9M (read more)

  • OTT – Invest Otawa – $6.6M (read more)

  • OTT – Shopify invests in Triple Whale (read more)

  • MTL – Hippoc – $3M (read more)


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    “It's not like a light comes down from heaven and says 'now you shall stop your company.' But, man, was it very difficult emotionally.”

    Entrepreneur and BetaKit Podcast co-host Rob Kenedi explains the process of launching and eventually shuttering his startup, Staid.


    “I honestly feel as though 2023 is going to be one of those years in Canadian tech where companies are going to have to be accountable.”

    Award-winning Amber Mac returns to the award-nominated BetaKit Podcast for the first AMA episode of 2023, answering listener questions about: mass tech layoffs and CEO departures; VCs killing rounds because LPs can't (won't?) pay up; opportunities for tech growth in Atlantic Canada; and the essential 10 minutes talking ChatGPT and 'Next Big Things'.

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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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