Canadian startup news of the week (3/26/23)

Vertu Capital founder and managing partner Lisa Melchior.

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

Vertu Capital closes first private equity fund with over $300 million

Led by founder and managing partner Lisa Melchior, Vertu Capital appears to be Canada’s first private equity firm founded by a woman. Prior to launching Vertu Capital, Melchior spent 17 years at OMERS Private Equity, where she led the Ontario pension giant’s North American technology investment group as managing director.


Magnet shareholders approve $1.8 billion Thoma Bravo acquisition as campaign against deal proves unsuccessful

Despite public opposition from Nellore Capital on the grounds of undervaluation, Thoma Bravo has agreed to pay $44.25 per share to holders of Magnet’s subordinate voting stock, a more than 15 percent premium to Magnet’s January 19 closing price.


BC suffered biggest year-over-year venture funding drop among all Canadian ecosystems in 2022

According to a new report from briefed.in, startups in BC raised a total of $1.3 billion in 2022 down by 67.5 percent from 2021, but up by 34 percent from 2020. Of all the Canadian tech regions tracked by briefed.in, BC saw the most significant year-over-year decline in funding.


How 1Password plans to build a passwordless future

Over the past year, the Canadian company with “password” in its name has been explicit about its desire to build a future without them.


Québec budget aimed at stimulating the economy with investments in tech sectors, skilled labour

Québec Finance Minister Eric Girard released the 2023-2024 budget, making clear that the provincial government is betting on economic growth. The plan earmarks $900 million towards new initiatives intended to stimulate economic productivity and innovation, and $615 million to address the labour shortage.


Canada Drives undergoing restructuring as it files for creditor protection

The restructuring follows existing struggles at Canada Drives, which made staff cuts earlier this year, citing macroeconomic conditions. Canada Drives will continue to run its marketplace, but plans to facilitate vehicle inventory and financing options through automotive dealerships throughout Canada.


Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • BC – Federal government splits $25.7M across 10 BC companies (read more)

  • VAN – Operto Guest Technologies – $34.4M (read more)

  • SEA – Amazon to lay off 9,000 employees (read more)

  • CGY – Symend cuts team by 25 percent (read more)

  • CGY – Mercator AI – $5.1M (read more)

  • EDM – Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute – $30M (read more)

  • TOR – FreshBooks lays off 10 percent of staff (read more)

  • TOR – TransCrypts – $2.4M (read more)

  • OTT – Rewind lays off 27 percent of staff (read more)

  • MTL – Haply Robotics – $4.8M (read more)

  • MTL – Noze – $1M (read more)

  • QC – Evol – $10M (read more)


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    MICHELLE SCARBOROUGH EXPLAINS WHY BDC IS THINKING BIGGER WITH THRIVE PLATFORM

    "We're seeing way more women found new technology companies in the market than we did five years ago. By a magnitude—like three times. It's substantial."

    Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner of Thrive Venture Fund, explains the origins of BDC's $500 million commitment to women-led startups and funds, and the progress she's seen since 2017.


    RAINE MAIDA AND SENATOR DEACON DISCUSS BIG TECH’S CONTROL OVER DIGITAL CREATORS (AND THE NEWS)

    "We are in the midst of a new technological payola."

    Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida and Senator Colin Deacon join for a frank discussion about Big Tech's leverage over Canadian content as Parliament looks to pass new regulations in Bill C-11 and Bill C-18.


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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a freelancer with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in history, tech, and gaming. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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