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
More Canadian technology startups have made the difficult decision to cut costs or close down amid a sector-wide downturn.
Just this week, Silofit officially closed its doors and Fable announced that it laid off employees. Top Hat has also reduced its headcount.
This trio is far from alone.
The National Bank announced Aug. 1 an agreement to acquire the commercial loan portfolio of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) Canadian branch.
The portfolio is comprised of approximately $1 billion CAD in loan commitments, of which some $325 million CAD are outstanding. The assets will be integrated into National Bank’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, under the leadership of Tuyen Vo, head of this group since 2019.
Shopify made gains for the third quarter running, defying the indifferent markets still rattling investors. Shopify posted a year-over-year increase in total revenues of 31 percent to $1.7 billion. It was the third quarter running the e-commerce retailer was able to report an increase in revenues.
Toronto-based Graphite Ventures has reached $110 million CAD in the final close of its Fund IV as the firm continues to expand its reach beyond Ontario to startups Canada-wide.
While Graphite is industry agnostic, it concentrates investments in B2B SaaS, FinTech, digital health, and “capital-efficient hardware” with many companies using AI and machine learning.
Toronto-based Tenstorrent, which builds computers meant to train and run AI models, has closed a $100-million USD ($133.3 million CAD) funding round as it looks to advance product development in a time of accelerated AI adoption across a range of industries.
How can venture capitalists take an informed approach while investing in technologies that are in the middle of a hype cycle?
BetaKit sat down with Luge Capital’s co-founder and general partner David Nault at Startupfest this year, where he spoke about his personal investment thesis and how Luge Capital’s portfolio companies are incorporating AI into their strategies.
Growing as a developer is about more than finding new ways to ship code.
BetaKit spoke with two leaders–Ricardo Maldonado, a Development Lead at Calgary-based Suncor, and Betheena Elgincolin, Senior Technology Architect at TELUS–about their careers and what advice they would share with junior colleagues.
New data from briefed.in gives an optimistic outlook on the venture health of Canada's biggest tech ecosystems in Q2 2023.
Following a sluggish start to the year, Toronto and British Columbia's tech ecosystems saw a resurgence in venture funding in the quarter, mostly due to larger deals between fewer companies.
Alberta tech is on pace to eclipse its 2022, with companies raising a lively $123.8M in Q2 2023. Québec followed suit, maintaining an upward trajectory in the quarter, growing 42 percent from Q1 2023 and 81 percent year-over-year.
Meanwhile, venture deal volume in the Waterloo Region reached a three-year low in the second quarter of 2023, but unreported deals could be shaping an unfair perception of the local tech sector.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
CGY – Carbon Upcycling Technologies – $34.4M (read more)
CGY – SensorUp – $12M (read more)
CGY – Nex Gen VC Partners – $8M (read more)
CGY – PrairiesCan commits $6.1M to Calgary Innovation Hub (read more)
TOR – VoxNeuro – $4.5M (read more)
TOR – Part3 – $2.8M (read more)
MTL – Local Logic – $17.5M (read more)
MTL – Paper lays off 105 employees (read more)
NB – NBIF, ONB inject $2M into Climate Impact Fund (read more)
Top Canadian tech founders started here.
The University of Waterloo plays a pivotal role in nurturing tech success in Canada. With Canada’s #1 Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering programs, we have the best tech talent.
Our co-op students are fueling the talent needs of startups and scale ups. Build your talent strategy to fill junior tech roles with co-op students from Canada’s most innovative university.
With access to 70 per cent of funding opportunities, hiring students is affordable.
The BetaKit Podcast
"I don't think our entrepreneurs are not risk takers; I just don't think our culture is set up to accept those risk takers."
It's a Canadian tech summer vibe check as the gang answers submitted listener questions: on the low government trust battery in the wake of another cabinet shuffle, cleantech tax credit delays, and a Hypergrowth program designed to pick winners; whether or not Canada can handle 10,000 H-1B visa applicants given our national housing crisis; and yes, whether or not Canadian entrepreneurs are taking risks and solving big problems.
“For a lot of Indigenous storytellers, there’s a lot of interest in those [tech] platforms, because those entities haven’t said no to our community for 50 years.”
Indigenous content creators are caught between a rock and a hard place with the Online Streaming Act and the Online News Act—it’s sadly familiar territory.
Award-winning Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster, and arts leader Jesse Wente joins to evaluate the options offered by Big Tech, traditional media, and the Canadian government before providing strong prescriptions better suited to the situation.