R|T: The Retail Times – Hopper makes deep staff cuts, pulls back from Asia to pursue profitability

Hopper founders (from left) Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk.
Plus: Canada looks at limiting number of Airbnbs to free up rentals.

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Cleantech startup Relocalize secures $4.78 million CAD to develop hyperlocal food distribution (BETAKIT)

Montréal-based cleantech startup Relocalize has raised a $4.78-million CAD ($3.5 million USD) seed round to help prepare its autonomous production platform for growth. Relocalize also claims the round will help seal its leadership position as the industry’s first distributed, hyperlocal food and beverage manufacturing startup.

D. Wayne McIntyre, CEO and co-founder of Relocalize, said the company's technology allows the startup to make food at the point of distribution and eliminate the middle mile altogether.

Hopper cuts 30 per cent of staff in push by Montreal online travel company to reach profitability (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

One of Canada’s largest private technology companies, the online travel services provider Hopper, has cut 30 per cent of its full-time staff in an effort to reach profitability.

The company will pull back on marketing in some territories, including in Asia, where its eponymous consumer travel-booking app hasn’t yet gained many customers.

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Business getaway marketplace RetreatsAndVenues takes first prize in New Ventures BC 2023 startup competition (BETAKIT)

New Ventures BC has given out $250,000 in prize money to the winners of its 23rd annual startup competition, presented by Innovate BC.

The competition brings together the province's top startups who receive access to education, mentorship, and prize money. This year, B2B marketplace RetreatsAndVenues took home the top prize of $110,000 and the title of BC’s top startup.

Amazon Used Secret ‘Project Nessie’ Algorithm to Raise Prices

Amazon used an algorithm code-named “Project Nessie” to test how much it could raise prices in a way that competitors would follow, according to redacted portions of the Federal Trade Commission’s monopoly lawsuit against the company.

MaRS and Innovate UK announce cohort for third advanced manufacturing incubator (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based innovation hub MaRS Discovery District has announced the third cohort of United Kingdom (UK)-based startups participating in Innovate UK’s advanced manufacturing incubator program.

The various startups focus on industrial automation, carbon adsorbents, and aerospace maintenance, among other things.

Ottawa looks at limiting number of Airbnbs to free up rentals

The Liberal government is planning limits to Airbnbs to free up more rental units as part of a broader political strategy to counter Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s campaign to win over Canadians who are upset about the rising cost of living, federal officials say.

One initiative under active consideration by the federal cabinet is a plan to induce municipalities to limit the number of Airbnb units through bylaw changes to boost long-term rentals.

Your finance team isn't immune to digital transformation (BETAKIT)

In a recent conversation with Zoho, a cloud software provider for businesses, Julian Weber, CEO of SELISE Digital Platforms, shared his journey and how he digitized his finance function in a way that helped grow the business.

Airbnb Is Fundamentally Broken, Its CEO Says. He Plans to Fix It.

Airbnb's CEO, Brian Chesky, was described as grounded and realistic after speaking with Bloomberg, confessing that the platform's latest improvements are, in fact, patches over deep cracks in Airbnb’s foundation.

“We need to get our house in order,” he says. “We need to make sure the listings are great, we’re providing great customer service and we’re affordable. And I’ve told our team that we can get back to creating new and exciting things once we’ve fixed that foundation.”

Ecosystem fears cleantech funding gap as ISED pauses SDTC funding after mismanagement investigation (BETAKIT)

The Government of Canada has suspended Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) from funding new projects following the conclusion of a third-party investigation into allegations of mismanagement at the federal cleantech investment agency.

Canadian investors BetaKit spoke to said even a temporary pause on new SDTC funding could have a significant impact on Canada’s early-stage cleantech startups, at a time when venture and debt financing have become even harder to secure, and cleantech capital and companies are already fleeing south.

Flexport Exits Mount as CEO Ryan Petersen Overhauls Tech, Legal and Sales Teams (THE INFORMATION)

Ryan Petersen’s clearout of Flexport’s top management is continuing. The logistics startup’s top engineering executive, longtime chief legal officer, and its Asia sales head have left the company.

This week’s departures mean that a total of at least 10 executives have left or been fired in the month since Petersen returned as CEO.

Fidelity funds load up on Canadian tech stocks Shopify, Lightspeed, Open Text, filing shows (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments Canada made a decisive push into domestic technology stocks during its most recent fiscal year, betting big across several funds on three companies in particular, including Shopify.

Across all funds, Fidelity Investments Canada held 14.23 million Shopify shares, valued at $783.3-million, on June 30, compared with just 1.4 million shares worth $57-million a year earlier.

Saskatoon software startups Vendasta, 7shifts, Andgo Systems make layoffs (BETAKIT)

Vendasta, 7shifts, and Andgo Systems recently laid off employees, BetaKit has learned.

In Vendasta’s case, the move follows a slew of recent acquisitions and marks part of a push toward profitability as investor priorities have shifted.

For 7shifts and Andgo, they come after both startups failed to meet growth targets as economic conditions have deteriorated.

TikTok Halts Indonesia Online Shop to Comply With New Rule

TikTok will suspend its online-retail operation in Indonesia from Wednesday to comply with curbs on social commerce, a big setback for the Chinese-owned startup in one of its fastest-growing markets.

Indonesia last week announced sweeping regulations that will force ByteDance’s TikTok to split its shopping feature from the popular video-scrolling service in the country.

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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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