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How the Silicon Valley Bank shutdown might impact Canadian tech (BETAKIT)
The run on Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has ended almost as quickly as it started, with news breaking Friday that the bank has been closed by regulators, which have taken control of its deposits.
This dramatic and quick downfall for one of tech's most prominent financial institutions is likely to have cascading effects across not only Silicon Valley but Canadian tech.
Amazon’s belt-tightening affects towns across the U.S.
(THE WASHINGTON POST)
The company spent more than a year running a beauty contest to attract the best economic incentives for its second headquarters, drawing hundreds of applications from cities around the country before landing on the D.C. area.
But now some projects — including HQ2, as it is known, in Arlington, Va. — are facing delays and some communities worry the projects may never materialize.
Daily Blends raises $2.7 million CAD, signs Metrolinx deal to deploy smart vending machines (BETAKIT)
Daily Blends’ partnership with Metrolinx will see its healthy food vending machines available for commuters at certain transit locations. In addition to its deal with Metrolinx, Daily Blends said it also has smart vending machines available at several hospitals, factories, and the University of Toronto.
Meet UniUni, Shein’s last-mile solution delivered by gig drivers (TECHCRUNCH)
UniUni was an underdog in the competitive restaurant delivery race. A logistics firm that shipped e-commerce products from China to Canada happened upon one of its contract vehicles in Vancouver and asked if the company wanted to help drop off a few parcels in the neighborhood. UniUni said yes, and before long, the one-off project grew into a long-term partnership.
Toronto venture funding saw a “return to sanity” in 2022 (BETAKIT)
Toronto’s venture funding in 2022 may have dipped from a record-breaking 2021, but still far surpassed 2020 and 2019, signalling a “return to sanity” for the city’s tech sector. Meanwhile, the Waterloo Region saw a continued decline in venture funding activity throughout 2022, culminating in a four-year low in deal volume.
Uber is considering spinning off freight logistics division
Uber Technologies Inc. is exploring whether to spin off its Uber Freight logistics arm in a sale or as a separate publicly traded company to streamline its focus on ride hailing and food delivery, according to people familiar with the matter. If the company lands on an IPO, it may not happen until next year and will depend on market conditions, another person said.
Sanctuary marks first commercial test of “human-like” robots in Mark’s clothing store (BETAKIT)
According to the Vancouver startup, the week-long pilot at the Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC)-owned store saw the robot complete 110 retail-related tasks correctly, including picking and packing merchandise, cleaning, labelling, folding, and more.
Ten things worth reading on International Women’s Day (BETAKIT)
For International Women’s Day, BetaKit has updated the following list with new talking points, educational tools, and support resources. BetaKit has also updated its list of programs and organizations that support Canadian women in tech.
Airbnb cuts recruiting staff by 30% even as it selectively hires
The cuts affected 0.4% of the San Francisco-based company’s total workforce of 6,800, a spokesperson said, noting that it’s not an indication of more widespread layoffs.
Financially, the company is doing better than ever. Airbnb reported its first profitable year in 2022, reporting net income of $1.9 billion.
Six months after petition launch, federal minister calls market benefits plan “essential” to Global Talent Stream visa (BETAKIT)
The Plan requires participating companies in the Global Talent Stream to demonstrate how their hiring of international talent is having “positive impacts” on the local labour market.
It’s an aspect of the program that some in the Canadian startup community see as a time-consuming barrier built into a program meant to streamline hiring talent from abroad.
The e-commerce industry braces for impact after Silicon Valley Bank’s demise (MODERNRETAIL)
Given that e-commerce startups have historically raised lower amounts of venture capital funding than, say, SaaS startups, many of them are less reliant on Silicon Valley Bank than other types of tech companies.
However, Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse will lead to a seismic ripple effects for all the other companies that e-commerce startups rely on, from banks to alternative lenders to technology vendors.
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