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
The Government of Canada is investing up to $25 million CAD into five Canadian venture capital (VC) funds through the inclusive growth stream of the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).
These VC fund recipients include Calgary-based District Ventures Capital and The51’s Food and AgTech Fund, Toronto's BKR Capital and Ripple Ventures, and Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures.
BOSTON-BASED HAEMONETICS ANNOUNCES INTENT TO ACQUIRE OPSENS IN HEALTHTECH DEAL WORTH $345 MILLION CAD
A duo of healthtech firms have announced an agreement in which Boston-based Haemonetics will acquire Quebec City-based OpSens in a roughly $345 million CAD ($253 million USD) deal.
Haemonetics outlined the financial and strategic benefits it plans to see from the transaction, including what it identifies as an addressable $1 billion market for OpSens’ fibre optic sensor technology.
After buying four companies in the past two years, Saskatoon-based Vendasta has secured $20 million CAD in equity Series E funding to continue its acquisition spree.
This announcement comes shortly after BetaKit reported on layoffs at Vendasta as part of a push to reach profitability by the end of 2023.
Vancouver-based Unblocked emerged from stealth last Tuesday with a coding workflow platform and news of a January 2022 $8.3-million USD ($11.3-million CAD) seed round.
Unblocked’s founder and CEO, Dennis Pilarinos, announced the seed funding in a blog post on the startup’s website last Tuesday. Unblocked has roots in the company Pilarinos founded in 2015, Buddybuild, a developer support service that was acquired by Apple in 2018 and integrated into Xcode Cloud.
Quantum Industry Canada (QIC), a non-profit group advocating for Canada’s quantum technology sector, has appointed Lisa Lambert as its first-ever CEO.
Lambert’s appointment marks QIC’s first major move since receiving $1.4 million as part of the federal government’s $360-million National Quantum Strategy.
Ahead of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023, Mastercard found that only 16 percent of small business owners are certain of next steps to take following an cyber attack, with just 18 percent totally confident their business could fully recover within six months.
In partnership with Mastercard, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on what Canadian small business owners can do to bridge their cybersecurity gap.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VAN – Unblocked – $11.3M (read more)
CGY – Quickly – $10M (read more)
SSK – Vendasta – $20M (read more)
KW – FluidAI – $15M (read more)
TOR – Ten Key Labs – $10.5M (read more)
MTL – HaiLa Technologies – $14M (read more)
QC – Haemonetics to acquire OpSens (read more)
Unlock Your Cyber Safety with Protexxa's Defender Platform
In a world increasingly threatened by cyberattacks, Protexxa unveils Defender, a game-changing personal cyber security assessment platform.
During Cyber Security Awareness Month, this Canadian firm empowers North American internet users to bolster their online defences. With approximately 90% of breaches stemming from human error, Protexxa Defender employs AI to uncover and remove unauthorized online images. It goes a step further with a personalized incident response plan, equipping users to navigate cyberattacks effectively.
In a time when 77% of cases involve data breaches and 68% see data exfiltration, our digital lives demand protection. Protexxa's assessment, priced at just $49.99 CAD, arms individuals with insights, a cyber hygiene rating, and tailored security tips.
Claudette McGowan, Founder and CEO of Protexxa, emphasizes, "A connected world is a vulnerable world. Our mission is to make cyber security accessible to everyone."
Join the mission to elevate digital security; learn more at protexxa.com.
The BetaKit Podcast
"So there are good things about the state of the market today compared to where we were in the 2000s. There are things that are not as good, and then you have fundamental issues that occurred in the aftermath of the dotcom era that never got solved."
Investor and Canadian tech archeologist Matt Roberts (CMD Capital) discusses his journey to investigate the last 20-plus years of venture capital in Canada, what he learned, and which parts of our past continue to rhyme.
“I profoundly believe that open source is the way forward for AI so that we avoid this monopoly of power.”
Hugging Face Climate Lead + AI Researcher Dr. Sasha Luccioni discusses the need to make AI “less bad for the planet,” how tracking carbon impacts and sharing data can help, and how the company she works for is trying to be GitHub for AI. Recorded live at ALL IN 2023 in Montréal.