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Founded by former Wave CEO Kirk Simpson and early Wave investor Peter Carrescia, Toronto-based identity verification Confirm officially launched its identity verification product on Wednesday, aimed at making peer-to-peer selling over online marketplaces safer.
Confirm says it allows people to create a verified digital ID, called a ConfirmID, by submitting a headshot and government-issued document. Users can then create a transaction with their ConfirmID and send it as a link when facilitating an online transaction, which will prove the identity of the buyer and seller without oversharing personal information.
Etsy Cuts 11% of Headcount as Competition From Shein and Temu Mounts
Etsy is laying off roughly 11% of its workforce, a spokesperson confirmed, as the e-commerce site that helps small businesses sell handmade goods grapples with a slowdown in consumer spending and increased competition from competitors like Shein and Temu.
Etsy has seen revenue growth slow sharply over the past three years, as the pandemic’s e-commerce boom faded and customers flocked to sites offering cheaper alternatives.
Montréal-based mobile checkout startup Leav has raised $2.3 million CAD in seed funding for its scan-as-you-go checkout platform.
Leav created its current cloud-based platform, which allows retailers to minimize in-store checkout processes. The platform allows retail customers to scan item barcodes using their mobile devices as they shop, letting customers skip the checkout lineup entirely.
India’s Udaan scores $340 million in new funding
The investment arm of the U.K. retail bank M&G has led a funding of $340 million into Udaan, a business-to-business e-commerce startup, in one of the largest financing rounds secured by an Indian startup in 2023.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, which helps merchants in smaller Indian cities and towns secure inventories from major brands as well as gain access to working capital, said the new funds include some convertible debt.
Toronto-based Terminal, a trucking telematics integrations startup, has closed a $3.1-million USD ($4.2 million CAD) seed round after being one of seven Canadian-affiliated companies participating in Y Combinator’s Summer 2023 cohort.
The growing number of telematics, and the disorganized nature of having separate telematics providers for needs from GPS to LEDs, has been a pain point for trucking fleet owners which require the integrations for regulated safety and insurance purposes. Terminal offers its own API which allows insurance products and fleet software access to various digitized vehicle stats all in one place.
TikTok is spending $1.5 billion on a joint venture to solve the problem of Indonesia’s surprise social media shopping ban
Just two months ago, ByteDance-owned TikTok abruptly closed its shopping platform in Indonesia to comply with surprise regulations from the Southeast Asian country’s government. Jakarta ordered social media companies like TikTok and Facebook to stop selling goods on their platforms, demanding a separation of social media and e-commerce services.
It’s no secret that 2023 has been a tumultuous year for tech. But in some ways, for founders, it was a year like any other: navigating challenges and uncertainty to find opportunity and success.
We asked a group of Canadian tech founders to reflect back on an unpredictable year. They shared their views on adopting new technologies, celebrated their biggest wins, and shared what learnings they’ll bring into 2024.
Bolt Lays Off 29% Of Staff in Latest Cut for Checkout Software Firm
E-commerce startup Bolt, whose aggressive fundraising during the pandemic became the target of a federal securities probe, has laid off 29% of staff, according to a company spokesperson. The firm’s round of layoffs, which occurred last week, is at least the fourth set of job cuts at Bolt since early 2022.
Notman House, the Montréal startup hub run within a 187-year-old heritage building, will likely be put up for sale as government creditors claim years of unpaid debt.
Many are now concerned about what Notman’s uncertain future means for Montréal tech.
A new initiative with a similar mission called Ax-C, which is set to open on the former trading floor of the Montréal Exchange by the end of next year, has garnered $48 million in government support. Meanwhile the OSMO Foundation, which owns and operates Notman House, owes $323,000 in unpaid mortgage fees to the Business Development Bank of Canada and Investissement Québec.
After successfully operating businesses through both the dot-com bust and the 2008 Financial Crisis, John Raeder has developed a “paranoia of operational frailty,” always planning for a doomsday scenario.
In a recent #CIBCInnovationBanking podcast episode, Raeder shared how he thinks about growing businesses—and what founders should be doing to set the stage for growth.
Qogita — a wholesale marketplace for retailers — raises $86M Series B to compete with Ankorstore in Europe
Qogita, a two-sided e-commerce wholesale marketplace aimed at retailers largely in the health and beauty sectors, has raised €80 million ($86 million) in a Series B round led by London’s Dawn Capital. The company plans to use the cash to expand into more categories.
New Zealand-headquartered and Canada-connected Xero recently launched a gen AI solution for its Xero Central self-service helpdesk, built in partnership with Québec-based AI software platform Coveo.
Speaking with BetaKit, Nigel Piper, executive general manager at Xero, explained how the project came to be and what it took to build and implement a solution.
Gildan shareholders demand company reinstate CEO, claiming succession was mishandled
(THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Two of Gildan Activewear’s largest shareholders are demanding the Canadian clothing maker reinstate its founder and chief executive officer Glenn Chamandy, saying the company botched its CEO succession.
“The board’s poor handling of succession and questionable judgment when it comes to its most important responsibility and decision have put Gildan’s business and shareholders at great risk,” said the Browning West letter, signed by company founders Usman Nabi and Peter Lee.
Vancouver-based Vistara Growth has raised over $200 million CAD for its latest technology-focused private credit fund.
Vistara, which targets enterprise software companies with between $10 million and $100 million in annual recurring revenue, creates tailored investment structures comprised of debt, equity, or some combination of the two to help tech companies finance organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, or shareholder liquidity initiatives.