Canadian startup news of the week (6/12/22)

Shopify Tobias Lütke
Plus: The results are in for Tobi Lütke at Shopify.

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


Legaltech unicorn Clio now also a centaur after hitting $100 million USD in ARR milestone

After becoming a unicorn last year, Clio has now surpassed $100 million USD in annual recurring revenue (ARR), achieving centaur status—a title used to describe private software-as-a-service companies with over $100 million in ARR. According to San Francisco-based VC firm Bessemer’s State of the Cloud 2022 report, “being a centaur is the new milestone to celebrate.”


Shopify shareholders approve increased voting power for CEO Tobi Lütke, 10-for-1 stock split

The 40 percent voting stake gives Lütke, his family and his affiliates, 40 percent of the total voting power as long as he remains at the company in an official capacity. Should Lütke step away from the company, the founder share would have a sunset clause; the founder share is not transferable. However, even if the CEO’s equity stake is diluted to as low as 1.1 percent, he would not be obliged to give up the voting power as long as he remains with Shopify.


Clearco expands to Germany while cutting staff in Ireland

Irish media outlet Independent.ie was first to report last week that Clearco had cut around 10 percent of its Dublin staff. A Clearco spokesperson confirmed cuts had been made to BetaKit, but claimed they were less than 10 percent of its overall Dublin headcount. The spokesperson did not confirm the exact number of employees cut; at the time of its expansion announcement, Clearco employed a team of 75 in Dublin.


1Password adds Shopify alum Erin Zipes as chief legal officer, doubling C-suite over past year

1Password CEO Jeff Shiner said Zipes’ experience leading Shopify through its IPO and her commitment to diversity “will be essential” to the company’s growth trajectory. With the addition of Zipes, 1Password has doubled the size of its C-suite over the past year.


Thin Air Labs secures $20 million in initial close of Prairie-focused venture fund

Thin Air Labs got its start around 2019; around the time that Lochrie and fellow Wave co-founder Kirk Simpson sold the company to H&R Block in 2019 for $537 million CAD. Simpson stayed on at Wave, while Lochrie moved to Calgary, where he has roots, in pursuit of growing Prairie tech. He created Thin Air alongside Jim Gibson and Greg Hart (Gibson has since departed Thin Air for the School for Advanced Digital Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology).


Hopper rolls out new FinTech products as it aims to build a “travel super app”

The new products are part of Hopper’s ongoing push into new verticals and build on some of its previous FinTech products, such as its price freeze or flight disruption guarantee. While the new products are consumer-facing with a downloadable app, they are also available through Hopper’s B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud. The latter allows travel providers to integrate and distribute Hopper’s FinTech and travel agency content and has provided much of the company’s revenue in recent years.


Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

  • BUR – Vybe Network – $13.1M (read more)

  • CAL – Government of Alberta to invest $23M in Calgary quantum hub (read more)

  • CAL – PayShepherd – $3.1M (read more)

  • WAT – Accelerator Centre secures $10M from FedDev Ontario (read more)

  • TOR – Delphia – $60M (read more)

  • TOR – Virgo Group – $10M (read more)

  • TOR – Mash – $7.5M (read more)

  • TOR – Orna – $1M (read more)

  • MTL – Flare Systems – $9.5M (read more)

  • MTL – IntelliSports – $2.5M (read more)


    WHAT’S BEHIND THE EXPLOSION IN ACQUISITION ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

    “It’s like you’re getting married and writing your prenup and your divorce agreement on the day you get married.”

    Elizabeth MacRae (Village Wellth) explains how YouTubers, Boomers, and banks with favourable terms are fuelling an explosion in acquisition entrepreneurship.


    WHY CANADIAN TECH FOUNDERS NEED BETTER MENTORS

    “We have really no programming to teach mentors, it’s all tribal.”

    Brice Scheschuk (Wind Mobile, Globalive) discusses the CDL session that gave him imposter syndrome, prompting the launch of MindFrame Connect to improve the craft of mentorship and create more resilient entrepreneurs.


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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