R|T: The Retail Times – iGaming competition heats up in hot market

Sports Betting Ontario
Plus: Walmart sees more than 2,000 job cuts in e-commerce warehouses.

The Retail Times is a weekly newsletter covering retail tech news from Canada and around the globe.

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One year in, competition in Ontario’s iGaming market remains red hot (BETAKIT)

As one of North America’s largest markets by adult population, Ontario was initially pegged to generate approximately $570 million in iGaming revenue in 2022; the results were almost three times higher.

As the iGaming market heads into its second year in the province, companies are doubling down on unique growth strategies to gain an edge.

New SkipTheDishes CEO looks to expand online delivery beyond food

The newly minted chief executive officer of SkipTheDishes Inc. is counting on the pandemic-led demand for online delivery services to expand the company’s offerings from food to other options in Canada.

“We’re asking what are things people would like to have delivered quickly; how can we get them back more of their time,” SkipTheDishes' new CEO Steve Puchala said. “At the end of the day, we want to be everywhere that customers would like us to be. We want to remain a habitual part of their lives.”

Join us in Toronto April 25-27 for Causal Islands: The Future of Computing Conference

Hear from talented speakers like anthropologist and designer Maggie Appleton on the rise of Generative AI and its impact on human communication, or Ink + Switch researcher and M.I.T. Ph.D. student Geoffrey Litt on empowering users to build personal software that can be tailored to meet their unique needs.

Learn about advancements in P2P software from Fission applied researcher Quinn Wilton on building a decentralized edge database, and how Indigenous cultural knowledge can be used as a framework for computing science and computer programming from computational media artist Jon Corbett.

With 16 speakers and three days of talks and networking (including an evening social with live coding performances!), this will be one event you don’t want to miss.

Buy your tickets today and use code BKITNEWS for $150 off in-person tickets.

Cannabis vaporizer startup Greentank Technologies closes $22.2 million CAD Series B (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Greentank Technologies has closed a $22.2 million CAD ($16.5 million USTD) Series B funding round to continue developing its cannabis vaporizer hardware.

Co-founder Corey Koffler said that the funding will be used to “create a new generation” of heating elements for the vapes. Greentank’s pens eliminate the use of traditional ceramic and wicked coil systems commonly used in most vaporizer products today and use 99.99 percent biocompatible materials.

Walmart sees more than 2,000 job cuts in e-commerce warehouses (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Walmart Inc.’s job cuts at five US e-commerce fulfillment centers will affect more than 2,000 positions, according to regulatory filings, though impacted employees may find other roles at the company.

The regulatory filings add precision to the staffing cuts at the Walmart warehouses, which the company confirmed last month without quantifying.

VCCI-backed Kensington Capital Partners secures $158 million first close for third venture fund (BETAKIT)

Now over halfway towards its $290 million target, Kensington is the first of four fund managers selected by the Government of Canada's Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative to announce it has closed its financing.

With its first close, Kensington Venture Fund III (KVFIII) surpassed the $150 million size of Kensington's last venture fund. KVFIII will serve primarily as a fund-of-funds, backing Canadian venture capital funds, with a quarter of its capital reserved for direct investments in tech startups.

Groupon, which has lost 99.4% of its value since its IPO, names a new CEO… based in Czech Republic (TECHCRUNCH)

A dozen years ago, Groupon shot to fame popularizing the online group buying format, confidently rejecting a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google and instead going public with a $17.8 billion market cap.

The Chicago-based company, which today has a market cap of just $103 million (a drop of 99.4% from its public market debut), has appointed Dusan Senkypl, a current board member, as interim CEO to run the company out of the Czech Republic.

Brizo Data raises $12 million to bring data insights to foodservice industry (BETAKIT)

Québec City-based Brizo Data has secured over $12 million CAD for its Series A round as it looks to “become the source of truth on the foodservice and hospitality industries.”

Founded in 2020, Brizo has built a data platform that provides foodservice and hospitality organizations with insights to help inform their sales processes. The startup claims its data comes from more than one million foodservice establishments across Canada and the United States.

Apple to make small number of job cuts in some corporate retail teams (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Apple Inc. is eliminating a small number of roles within its corporate retail teams, according to people with knowledge of the matter, marking its first known internal job cuts since it embarked on a belt-tightening effort last year.

How startups can access an untapped pool of talent in Canada (BETAKIT)

Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of tech skills school ComIT, explains what founders need to be aware of when hiring rural employees.

Scoop: Dunzo secures $75M via convertible notes, fires 30% staff (THE ECONOMIC TIMES)

Reliance Retail-backed quick commerce startup Dunzo has secured funding of $75 million through convertible notes. It is also laying off about 30% of employees in addition to planning a shift in the business model.

ChopValue raises $10.36 million CAD to globalize its chopstick-repurposing technology (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based startup ChopValue announced a $10.36 million CAD ($7.7 million USD) funding round to expand its home and office products made solely from recycled chopsticks.

Since its founding in 2016, ChopValue has turned millions of chopsticks into products such as tables, desks and chairs.

Info Edge Ventures-backed 1K Kirana lays off 40% workforce to restructure business (MONEYCONTROL)

“We are currently in the process of restructuring as our growth forecasts have changed. We are changing our focus areas and moving out of a few geographies. Due to this, we have to let go of 40 percent of our employees,” Co-founder Kumar Sangeetesh said in a statement to Moneycontrol’s queries.

However, multiple sources privy to the matter told Moneycontrol that the number was at least over 60 percent of the workforce, or at least 600 employees. The startup was allegedly struggling to raise fresh funding due to investors' increased focus on profitability and financial metrics.

Unreserved dismisses portion of $25 million lawsuit against real estate associations as new regulations for open bidding expected (BETAKIT)

Unreserved’s dismissal of the defamation lawsuit comes amid a new regulation in Ontario that will allow property sellers the option of disclosing competing offers, a practice known as “open bidding.” Open bidding is what Unreserved’s real estate auction marketplace offers, and is what originally led to part of the tension between the startup and sued real estate boards.

Online wholesale retailer Boxed files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Boxed Inc., an online bulk retailer that thrived during the pandemic, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday. The New York-based firm listed as much as $102.6 million in assets and up to $190.4 million in liabilities in a Chapter 11 petition filed in the district of Delaware.

Before filing for bankruptcy, the company was seeking to sell itself with help from Solomon Partners, according to a regulatory filing. In January, Boxed received a $20 million infusion, which briefly improved its share price.

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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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