Canadian startup news of the week (3/27/22)

Plus: How NFTs might change music and gaming.

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


PwC digital banking director Abraham Tachjian to be named Canada’s open banking lead

BetaKit reported that PwC Canada digital banking director Abraham Tachjian had been chosen as Canada’s open banking lead prior to his official announcement this week. Tachjian’s appointment is the latest step in a drawn-out process that has been criticized by Canadian FinTech companies for its glacial pace. The news comes shortly after an open letter from Canada’s FinTech leaders calling for progress on the file.


With the spotlight shining on Canadian tech, Kanata Ventures wants international startups to become part of the story

Toronto-based Kanata Ventures wants to help global B2B startups accelerate their growth by providing a soft landing in the Canadian market. While it will invest through a standard 10-year limited partnership, Kanata is not purely a venture firm.


How Optimity’s Jane Wang turned a personal tragedy into a life optimization platform

Optimity CEO Jane Wang’s work became deeply personal in 2011 when her mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. At the time, Wang’s work focused on early cancer prevention, yet her mother couldn’t benefit from that research.


BetaKit Live: How NFTs might change music and gaming on March 29th

On Tuesday, March 29th at 4:00pm EDT, BetaKit Patreon supporters have a front-row seat to learn about how NFTs are impacting the world of entertainment – specifically the music and gaming industries.


Larger rounds, US dollars fuelled Canadian tech’s record-shattering 2021

According to briefed.in’s annual tech report, Canadian startups raised a total of $14 billion across 698 deals through 2021. This represents a 218 percent increase in investment dollars and a 31 percent increase in deal volume from 2020.


WonderFi clears regulatory hurdles, set to close acquisition of registered crypto marketplace Bitbuy

Vancouver’s WonderFi has completed its acquisition of First Ledger Corp, the parent company of Toronto-based Bitbuy. Amid mounting regulatory pressure, the company’s CEOs think the acquisition could mark a step towards more crypto consolidation and potential DeFi regulation.


Québec’s 2022 budget heavy on R&D, light on addressing tech talent shortage

From an innovation standpoint, the Government of Québec’s latest budget focuses primarily on R&D and life sciences, but features little to address the tech talent shortage. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan unveiled its own budget, which was light on overall innovation investment but boosts the province’s startup tax credit.


Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • CAL – Helcim – $16M (read more)

  • CAL – Reach – $30M (read more)

  • WPG – RoofBundle – $500K (read more)

  • KIT – ApplyBoard acquires Panda Portal (read more)

  • KIT – IntelliCulture – $1.7M (read more)

  • TOR – ShopThing – $10M (read more)

  • TOR – SecureKey Technologies acquired by Avast (read more)

  • KIN – MaxSold – $16.1M (read more)

  • OTT – One9 Venture Partners launches Special Mission Fund I (read more)

  • MTL – CarbiCrete – $15M (read more)

  • Hardbacon acquires Simple Rate (read more)


WHAT IMPACT DO PROVINCIAL BUDGETS HAVE ON CANADIAN TECH?

“Here’s something that I didn’t anticipate when we began doing these conversations across provinces: they don’t talk to each other.”

CCI’s Ben Bergen and Bronte Valk walk through Alberta and BC’s latest budget commitments.


WHY CANADIAN TECH’S RISE IS BUILT ON A STACK OF JENGA BLOCKS

Recognize that we’re going from an unprecedented monetary boom cycle to probably an unprecedented monetary contractionary cycle.”

RBCx’s Director of Venture Capital, Anthony Mouchantaf, joins to discuss the current Canadian tech boom, and explain why ‘all that glitters is not gold’.


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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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