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
BetaKit has announced a new strategic partnership with Good Future to fuel the growth of Canada’s leading startup and technology publication.
Good Future, the family office of Canadian entrepreneurs Arati Sharma and Satish Kanwar, will support the advancement of BetaKit’s business and inject capital as the new majority shareholder. Good Future’s investment will accelerate the growth of BetaKit’s editorial and business teams from coast to coast, with new hires already on the way!
Since its launch in 2008, the Toronto-based MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) has grown into one of the country’s most active early-stage venture capital (VC) firms. But after Graphite Ventures was spun out from IAF in late 2021 as a private sector fund, IAF lost nearly all of its employees. Emil Savov was hired and tasked with rebuilding the IAF team.
His work is now getting closer to completion.
According to a report released by Shopify Tuesday, the e-commerce giant’s merchants generated a cumulative $9.3 billion in sales over Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. This marks a 24 percent increase from the same period 2022, which was itself a record-setting Black Friday-Cyber Monday for the company.
French quantum computing firm PASQAL has launched a five-year, $90 million initiative within DistriQ, the quantum innovation zone located in Sherbrooke, Québec.
The project aims to conduct manufacturing and commercialization activities for quantum computers, as well as research and development in collaboration with academic and industrial partners, with an ultimate goal of promoting Sherbrooke as an international quantum hub.
Vancouver-based Spring Impact Capital is rolling out a new impact-focused venture capital fund targeting early-stage Canadian firms developing scalable climate and health solutions.
Spring Impact Capital was founded in January by leaders from Vancouver impact investing incubator and accelerator Spring Activator (Spring). The VC firm recently secured its first close toward its $20-million CAD target from Spring and a group of other undisclosed individuals.
Montréal-based venture builder and investor, Diagram Ventures, also launched its ClimateTech Fund this week, securing nearly $50 million CAD in commitments as part of its initial closing.
Startup Genome released its climate tech-focused startup ecosystem report Thursday, which ranks global ecosystems based on the current state of startup activity in cleantech and the “blue economy,” which the report defines as technologies specific to ocean innovation.
The report ranked Atlantic Canada eighth in the top blue economy startup ecosystem rankings, and an impressive third-place in the top five blue economy startup ecosystems in North America.
As for Startup Genome’s cleantech ecosystem rankings, three Canadian regions cracked the top 50 list: Vancouver, Toronto-Waterloo, and Calgary.
Despite layoffs and economic uncertainty, Canada still faces a tech talent shortage. Yet many viable candidates who could help fill the gap often struggle to build the networks and skills necessary to break into the industry.
Speaking with BetaKit, Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of ComIT, explained more about how Team-UP’s programming and structure help people successfully break into tech.
The future came early for Canadian businesses, as hybrid work shifted from a COVID-19 emergency response to a permanent reality. Now, some sixty-five percent of Canadian knowledge workers work in a remote or hybrid format.
In a recent BetaKit Live, three experts—Denis Gaudreault, the country manager for Intel Canada, Michael Almeida, a business unit leader at Softchoice, and John Trougakos, a professor at the University of Toronto—all shared their perspectives on how other companies of all sizes can get hybrid work right.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VAN – Spring Impact Capital launches new $20M fund (read more)
VAN – ThoughtExchange – $13.5M (read more)
RSS – Omnicart – $1M (read more)
TOR – Willow.ca acquired by Guiker (read more)
TOR – Pillway – $9.5M (read more)
MTL – Diagram Ventures secures $50M for new ClimateTech Fund (read more)
MTL – Geomega – $2M (read more)
SHB – PASQAL launches $90M quantum initiative (read more)
The BetaKit Podcast
“Verticalized AI applications right now are available, right now accelerating industry after industry.”
Canadian tech luminaries probe deep questions in this compilation of interviews recorded live at SAAS NORTH.
“If you’re pension-backed you gotta deliver returns, buddy.”
OMERS Ventures senior managing partner Michael Yang recounts a turbulent year for the pension-backed VC firm, and what the future holds for “OV 3.0”.