R|T: The Retail Times – Affirmed partnerships

Amazon logo on phone
Plus: Mexican unicorn gets $810M in debt financing.

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D2C travel lifestyle brand Monos closes $40.2 million CAD Series B round (BETAKIT)

Existing Monos investor Venn Growth Partners led the financing, with participation from Strand Equity—both of which invested in Monos’ $10 million Series A funding round that wrapped up earlier this year.

Two Swedish Delivery Startups Merge at $1.7 Billion Valuation (BNN BLOOMBERG)

The new company, Instabee, will be owned by the respective founders of the two startups as well as by Kinnevik AB, an 80-year-old investment firm started by the Stenbeck family. Other backers include Creades AB, EQT AB, AMF and Hennes & Mauritz AB.

Amazon, Square launch buy now, pay later options in Canada (BETAKIT)

Amazon partnered with American payment network Affirm, while Square launched its integration with Afterpay. The launches mark the latest BNPL offerings to be introduced into the country, following a slew of other services that were recently made available to Canadian consumers.

Amazon’s $1.7 Billion Proposed Purchase of Roomba Maker Under FTC Investigation (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

The FTC’s review is the latest investigation involving Amazon. The agency also is examining Amazon’s $3.9 billion deal to buy 1Life Healthcare Inc., which operates One Medical primary-care clinics in 25 U.S. markets.

Real Ventures swaps managing partners as firm pauses fundraising (BETAKIT)

Real Ventures is making its second major leadership change in the last two years with co-founder John Stokes taking over as managing partner from Janet Bannister, BetaKit has learned.

Stokes co-founded Real Ventures in 2010, leading the firm’s investments in companies like Unsplash, Transit App, Dcbel, and Wrk.

Kavak, Mexican ‘unicorn’ startup, to receive US $810 million in debt financing (MEXICO NEWS DAILY)

Kavak, which runs online used-car marketplaces in seven countries, said Tuesday that it had secured $675 million in funding from the bank HSBC.

The used-car company aims to lower barriers to loans in Latin America, where only 1.5 in 10 people own a vehicle.

With new Thrive platform, BDC commits half a billion dollars to invest in Canadian women-led startups and funds (BETAKIT)

BDC first launched the WIT Venture Fund in 2017 to help address the need for direct investment in Canadian early-stage, women-led tech firms and to make indirect investments in women-led funds.

The direct investment fund, which marks the WIT team’s second fund, has been allocated $300 million to back firms at the seed, Series A, and Series B stages.

Instacart Plans to Focus IPO on Selling Employee Shares (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

In meetings with prospective investors in recent weeks, Instacart executives said they didn’t plan to issue many new shares in their IPO, the people said. The sale of mostly employee shares would allow Instacart’s staff, including some of its earliest hires, to at last cash out of some of the shares they have been accumulating.

Startup syllabus: how Dal Innovates embraced innovation education in Atlantic Canada (BETAKIT)

Halifax’s Dalhousie University (“Dal”), through its award-winning program Dal Innovates, is working to provide this education with multiple programs that encourage and support academics considering or otherwise joining the innovation economy.

Glovo fined $78M for labor breaches in Spain (TECHCRUNCH)

El Pais reported that the record sanction for the company was issued for a finding that the startup had 10,614 workers falsely classed as “autónomos” (aka self employed) in Barcelona and Valencia, after the Department of Labour found the couriers were in an employment relationship with the company.

Seattle adds another unicorn as grocery retail tech startup Swiftly raises $100M (GEEK WIRE)

Swiftly provides brick-and-mortar grocers with branded phone apps designed to help retailers gather highly valuable customer data and earn advertising dollars while improving shoppers’ experience in the store. The apps can help consumers find what they’re looking for in the aisles, recall past purchases and skip lines by scanning products and paying with their phones.

How to navigate the tangled web of government startup grants (BETAKIT)

Despite billions of dollars in available grants, many startups don’t seek them due to application complexity, confusion in finding them to begin with, or a mix of both.

This is something the Cisco Grants Support Program is working to solve. The Grants Office helps startups of all sizes navigate the grant funding landscape in Canada and apply for relevant grants.

A government-run delivery app was built to fight a tech monopoly in Brazil. So why was it banned? (REST OF WORLD)

In a self-proclaimed attempt to bust the monopoly of privately owned last-mile delivery apps, Rio de Janeiro’s government created its own app to compete in the market rather than attempt regulating private apps. Critics of the initiative claimed that the app, with its lower fees and fixed-rate pay for delivery workers, created unfair competition with privately owned apps.

GM invests in Canadian battery recycler to fight supply shortage (TECHCRUNCH)

The automaker invested through its GM Ventures arm in a Series A financing round for Lithion Recycling, a developer of advanced battery recycling technology. Together, the two companies will work toward establishing a circular ecosystem for recycling EV batteries, a critical bottleneck as the industry races to phase out gas engines at the end of the decade.

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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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