R|T: The Retail Times – Canadian-founded company behind Instant Pot files for bankruptcy

Plus: Shopify partners with Volt to offer open banking solutions (but not in Canada).

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Shopify partners with Volt to offer open banking solutions (but not in Canada) (BETAKIT)

Shopify is partnering with United Kingdom-based FinTech startup Volt to offer open banking capabilities that Canadians can’t take advantage of amid seemingly endless delays in implementing this country’s open banking framework.

Company behind Instant Pot, founded in Canada, files for bankruptcy (GLOBAL NEWS)

The company behind the Instant Pot, founded in Ottawa but now based outside of Chicago, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the craze over its kitchen contraption appears to have fizzled.

Sales of “electronic multicooker devices,” most of which are Instant Pots, reached US$758 million in 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but plunged 50 per cent by last year, to US$344 million.


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Startup Train returns as Startupfest 2023 announces over $300,000 in prizes (BETAKIT)

Startupfest, a celebration of startups in Montréal, has announced the return of its train service, Startup Train, as well as over $300,000 in prizes.

Taking place from July 12 to July 14, Startupfest has revealed several major attractions this year, including investment prizes for startups and an express train for attendees to get to the event from the Toronto area.

Lobby Roundup: Lyft looking to slow down Ontario’s implementation of a new minimum wage law (INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM FOUNDATION)

Lyft wants the Ontario government to slow down its implementation of a law that guarantees a minimum wage for digital platform workers, according to the IJF’s roundup of lobbying registrations.

Collision whispers, new AI officer, fundraising landscape the talk of Vancouver Startup Week 2023 (BETAKIT)

Vancouver Startup Week (VSW) finally returned to its in-person format and featured whispers of new Canadian tech events and the advent of a Chief AI officer in Vancouver.

Amazon HQ2 opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Virginia offices (THE WASHINGTON POST)

After massive construction efforts, tense public meetings, a shift to remote work, and plenty of publicity and controversy along the way, Amazon executives cut a giant orange ribbon Thursday to formally open the company’s new Northern Virginia headquarters.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the formal opening of the first phase of Amazon’s “HQ2” in the Crystal City neighborhood, where it has hired more than 8,000 workers and said it eventually plans to create 25,000 new jobs in total.

Applications are open for Google’s startup accelerators for women and Black founders (BETAKIT)

Google has opened applications for its Black Founders and Women Founders startup accelerator programs.

According to Google, it will select twelve startups from across North America for each program, which are both three-month, virtual bootcamps. Participants will receive mentorship and technical project support, as well as attend workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development.

Alibaba to launch local versions of its China e-commerce site in Europe (CNBC)

Michael Evans, president of Alibaba, said the company will bring one of its China e-commerce services into Europe. The European launch of Tmall, focused on selling local brands to local shoppers in Europe, reflects a significant shift in strategy for Alibaba in its international e-commerce operations.

Shopify plans to “aggressively pursue” ID of funders in cases against “patent trolls” (BETAKIT)

After battling patent trolls for years, Shopify has announced plans to fight back by seeking to uncover the identity of people and organizations funding patent trolls suing Shopify.

Ticketmaster, others agree to upfront, all-in prices as part of Biden war on junk fees (REUTERS)

Ticketmaster and other companies have agreed to offer consumers upfront, all-in pricing, rather than as a surprise at checkout, the White House announced as it convened a meeting on Thursday.

It is part of Biden's broader effort to crack down on junk fees imposed by ticket companies, banks, airlines and other industries.

Saskatoon startups Rivercity, 7shifts team up to enhance food temperature monitoring for restaurants (BETAKIT)

Rivercity Innovations (RCI) has launched the integration of its cold chain monitoring sensors and software with 7shifts, which provides a restaurant team management platform.

In this partnership, RCI will deliver its temperature monitoring services to 7shifts’ more than 40,000 clients.

Grubhub lays off 15% of corporate workforce, or about 400 employees (CNBC)

Food delivery platform Grubhub laid off about 400 employees, or 15% of its corporate workforce, citing a need to maintain “competitiveness,” the company’s CEO said in a message to employees.

Google unveils a new virtual try-on feature for apparel as it tries to fend off competition in shopping (MODERNRETAIL)

Google has launched a new generative AI-powered virtual try-on option for shoppers searching for apparel.

While Google is pitching this try-on feature through the buzzy lens of generative AI tech, consultants and analysts said this new tool is in someways a subset of augmented reality. In that sense, Google is essentially trying to play catch up to rivals like Snap, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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