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
Pulling out of the European market, OMERS Ventures has opted to refocus its investment efforts on Canada and the United States (US) amid the market downturn.
The retreat comes just four years after OMERS Ventures began ramping up its focus on the region with a €300-million fund for European startups followed closely by its first $750-million USD transatlantic fund.
As part of the move, Harry Briggs has been let go, while fellow OMERS Ventures European managing partner Jambu Palaniappan is joining Checkatrade as its next CEO.
BROOKFIELD AND SEQUOIA HERITAGE’S REPORTED NEW FUND IS WELL-POSITIONED TO SCOOP UP DISCOUNT TECH STARTUPS
If Pinegrove is looking to capitalize on low tech valuations, the firm will have a multitude of targets.
Per a May PitchBook report, during the first quarter of 2023, VC valuations in the United States (US) continued their descent, and down rounds increased. Pre-money valuations for venture-growth-stage companies in particular fell to a median of $90 million—a nearly 75 percent drop from the 2021 full-year record high of $355 million, according to PitchBook.
ALBERTA LOOKS TO HYDROGEN AS THE “NEXT FRONTIER” IN ENERGY, INVESTS $45 MILLION IN RELATED TECHNOLOGIES
Alberta is pumping $45 million into hydrogen-related technologies.
The new funding will be used to support researchers, innovators, companies, and industry to develop technologies that are critical to advancing the province’s Hydrogen Roadmap and Natural gas strategy released in 2021.
Toronto-based 1Password is the only Canadian company featured in this year’s Cloud 100 list.
The list is a ranking of global private cloud-computing companies jointly created by Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures, in partnership with Forbes magazine.
Fredericton-based criminal-intelligence startup Cybercheck has made Chris Ramsey its CEO, effective September 2023.
Ramsey has held senior executive roles at NASDAQ, and NYSE-traded firms, including Salesforce, where he led social media listening and analytics products to triple-digit growth as chief customer officer.
AS STARTUPS LOOK TO US FOR CAPITAL, ANTLER’S SHAMBHAVI MISHRA CALLS ON CANADIAN VCS TO LEAD MORE ROUNDS
Coupled with geopolitical tensions, rising interest rates, and inflation, funding for startups in Canada and beyond has dried up, leaving some to make layoffs or close up shop.
According to Antler’s director of growth and portfolio Shambhavi Mishra, the fact Canadian founders still find it easier (and faster) to secure capital from the United States is among several taboo topics early-stage founders have raised at Startupfest this year.
Following the record-breaking peaks for venture funding in 2021, investors’ approach to capital deployment have shifted, with some calling it a “return to due diligence.”
RBCx Capital vice president Sue Umapathy, who’s been given the nickname ‘Capital Whisperer’ by her team, shared the firm’s approach to due diligence with BetaKit, confirming that timelines for that process have been increased.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – Niricson – $10M (read more)
VAN – General Fusion – $33.5M (read more)
KEL – Happipad – $1.3M (read more)
TOR – EventMobi acquires Run The World (read more)
TOR – NPower – $2.5M (read more)
MTL – AppDirect acquires ADCom’s VEEUE, NOC (read more)
Addressing Canada’s talent gap in the tech industry boils down to removing the barriers for equity-deserving groups.
The Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) program is a cost-free digital and professional skills development initiative that bridges the employment gap. It equips students in their final semester and post- secondary graduates with in-demand skills for entry-level tech roles. ADaPT supports a diverse group of talent from varied educational backgrounds, with 81% of participants identifying as belonging to at least one equity- deserving group. Backed by 70+ hours of intensive training, the program exposes participants to tech career pathways.
The ADaPT program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and led by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute in collaboration with TECHNATION Canada.
To support future talent in thriving tech careers within Canada’s changing job market and become an ADaPT employer, find out more here.
The BetaKit Podcast
“I sometimes feel like Canada needs to up [its] risk-taking ability.”
"It's the latest shiny thing that a lot of people are running after."
"Markets are now audiences. Your competitive moat is your community."
Canadian tech luminaries brave tornados and beanbag chairs to discuss renewed due diligence, DEI, and AI's impact on investment theses in this compilation of interviews recorded live at Startupfest.
“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.