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
Canadian venture capital investment hits all-time high of $14.2 billion in 2021
Canadian venture capital (VC) investment hit an astounding mark this past year, increasing 215 percent from 2020. VC investment in 2021 hit $14.2 billion, following a trend of record years for venture investment that blew all past years out of the water.
Canadian government launches $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program
The Canadian government plans to invest $4 billion over four years to fuel tech adoption efforts for up to 160,000 small to medium-sized businesses. In Ontario, the provincial government also announced the launch of its new intellectual property (IP) agency.
We need to keep talking about founder mental health
Eigenspace co-founder Jesse Rodgers emphasizes the need for founders to talk about mental health, and shares tips on where to get support.
Zymeworks co-founder, former CEO Ali Tehrani joins Amplitude Ventures as venture partner
Precision health-focused investment fund Amplitude Ventures has strengthened its team by adding biotech veteran Ali Tehrani as a venture partner. The move comes shortly after Tehrani stepped down as president and CEO of Vancouver-based Zymeworks, which he co-founded over 18 years ago.
The Group Ventures secures $20 million for Fund II to invest in Canadian, Israeli tech startups
In an exclusive interview with BetaKit, Balass and Carr spoke about the firm’s first fund, investment strategy, and what TGV hopes to accomplish through Fund II.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – WeCommerce to acquire KnoCommerce (read more)
VAN – Sanctuary AI – $75.5M (read more)
CAL – Summit Nanotech – $17.8M (read more)
WIN – FGC Health acquires Pharmacy Access Solutions (read more)
ON – Ontario commits up to $22M to Agri-Tech Innovation Program (read more)
TOR – Disco – $15M (read more)
TOR – Flashfood – $12.3M (read more)
TOR/HAL – Curv Health – $5.1M (read more)
TOR – Epoch Integration – $593K (read more)
TOR – OpsLevel – $15M (read more)
QC – Walo – $1.1M (read more)
RECOMMENDED BY UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
U OF T STARTUP SUCCESS STORIES:
Drawing on our incredible range of research areas, University of Toronto entrepreneurs have secured $2 billion+ in investment and created 600+ venture-funded startup companies over the past decade.
Together, our entrepreneurs are powering breakthroughs in biotech, creating solutions to combat climate change, and transforming fields with AI.
• Deep Genomics uses AI to find life-saving drugs for genetic diseases faster.
• Reeddi’s solar-powered battery was just named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2021.
• Erthos is re-envisioning single-use plastics using a sustainable plant-based resin.
Learn more about these and other innovative U of T startups.
UKRAINE, SOONICORNS, CANADIAN TECH VIBE CHECK
Co-hosts Douglas Soltys and Rob Kenedi are joined by BetaKit associate editor Meagan Simpson to answer listener questions submitted LIVE during a special Twitter Spaces AMA edition of the BetaKit Podcast.
WHAT DOES THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE TEACH US ABOUT TECH PLATFORMS?
Josh O’Kane (Globe & Mail) and Katie Jensen (Vocal Fry Studios) discuss Joe Rogan and the rise of misinformation coinciding with the democratization of media.