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.
Top Stories of the Week
Canada is in a global race for the worldwide tech talent pool, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser. In a bid to stay ahead of competition, Fraser introduced what he called the country’s first strategy focused on attracting foreign tech workers.
Last week, FinTech and payment startup Helcim unveiled its latest hardware product: a new point-of-sale device called Smart Terminal.
The journey to this launch was not an easy one for the Calgary-based startup. According to founder and CEO Nicolas Beique, the terminal was initially scheduled for a 2022 release before "the rug pulled from underneath us."
As the economy has deteriorated, non-traditional investors have pulled back from the venture capital space and the IPO market has cooled.
Despite some positive signs recently indicating that the state of play is on its way toward improving, PitchBook analysts believe that it will still take some time for the overall VC market to rebound—let alone reach its previous highs.
Canada’s cleantech sector has worked hard to earn its reputation as a global leader, but while the US pumps billions into the industry Canadian regulators have been dragging their heels, and experts warn that it’s causing homegrown innovation to migrate south.
Vancouver-based alternative lender Montfort Capital and its subsidiary, TIMIA Capital, have teamed up with American institutional asset manager Arena Investors to help “fill a void” in the technology lending space left by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
NGen and DIGITAL intend to build on Canada’s National Quantum Strategy (NQS), launching $30 million in new projects to drive the commercialization of quantum technologies.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
SAC – Joyful Ventures – $23M (read more)
KW – Passage – $40M (read more)
KW – University of Waterloo invests $5M to create new VC fund (read more)
TOR – Financeit acquires Simply Group Financial (read more)
TOR – Tokens.com acquires Slang (read more)
TOR – Ontario Centre of Innovation – $50M (read more)
TOR – Vector Institute for AI – $27M (read more)
TOR – Boxhub – $12.4M (read more)
TOR – Elevate and The Firehood – $2.3M (read more)
TOR – Jombone – $1M (read more)
TOR – Chexy wins $50K at DMZ’s Insiders Event (read more)
TOR – Formaloo wins $15K at DMZ’s Insiders Event (read more)
TOR – Loopio lays off nine percent of staff (read more)
The BetaKit Podcast
“Something else that’s unique about the Calgary ecosystem…we’re hungry. We’re really, really hungry.”
James Lochrie (Thin Air Labs) and Brett Colvin (Goodlawyer) join for an Alberta tech vibe check, discussing the recent election, big funding news, and the value of community building.
"Unfortunately, there's a long history over the last decade that I tend to lean into controversies around any event that we're holding anywhere in the world, especially four weeks out, because the volume of tickets that are booked locally is highest in the final weeks."
BetaKit's one-on-one interview with Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave on the eve of Collison 2023 after the tech conference announced a (one-year) return to Toronto for 2024.
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