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Hopper closes $96 million USD from Capital One at more than $5 billion valuation (BETAKIT)
In an interview with BetaKit, Hopper president Dakota Smith said the firm plans to invest in a few areas, including Hopper Cloud, social commerce, and international market expansion. Capital One is also extending the length of its existing strategic partnership with Hopper.
Amazon, in broad cost-cutting review, weighs changes at Alexa and other unprofitable units (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)
As part of the monthslong cost-cutting review, Amazon’s leadership is closely evaluating its Alexa business, according to people familiar with the matter. The business has more than 10,000 employees and is a major recipient of investment capital, some of the people said. Internal documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal show that in some recent years Amazon’s devices unit, which includes Alexa, had an operating loss of more than $5 billion a year.
As demand booms and recession looms, Busbud acquires fellow Canadian travel tech startup Betterez (BETAKIT)
Busbud, which saw its business take a hit in 2020 amid COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, has benefitted recently from a big rebound in demand for travel. After laying off staff early in the pandemic, Busbud evolved, and the firm has seen success since expanding beyond just bus tickets to helping travellers find and book other forms of ground transportation, including train, ridesharing, and shuttle trips.
Shopify is outsourcing many of its customer-support roles to the Philippines after layoffs (INSIDER)
The TaskUs contractors appear to be taking on roles throughout Shopify’s support organization, including on “high-tiered” teams and on teams that work with Shopify Plus merchants. Plus merchants pay at least $2,000 a month for a subscription.
Louis Têtu explains how Coveo is bucking tech trends ahead of SAAS NORTH keynote (BETAKIT)
Ahead of his SAAS NORTH talk on the BetaKit Keynote Stage, we sat down with Têtu to discuss why Coveo continues to buck tech trends, and tease some of the predictions the CEO will provide in Ottawa next week.
Redfin is shutting down its home-flipping business and laying off 13% of staff (INSIDER)
Of the cuts, 264 of those are related to the company’s home-flipping business, RedfinNow, which it will shut down, the company said in a financial filing. An additional 218 staffers will have their roles eliminated, though they’re being offered a new role within the company, Redfin said.
With Passage acquisition 1Password prepares to battle tech giants for passwordless future (BETAKIT)
When Shiner took over the reins at Agile Bits—the company that would eventually morph into 1Password—ten years ago, it was a small development shop based in Toronto. By January of this year, the company was valued at $6.8 billion, following a $744 million CAD Series C round.
GoTo plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs in bid to reach profit (BNN BLOOMBERG)
The reduction, equal to more than 10% of the workforce, will affect all divisions, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private. Shares of the company rose as much as 9.6% in Jakarta, the biggest intraday gain in almost two months.
How Poseidon Ocean Systems pivoted internationally when domestic opportunity dried up (BETAKIT)
Speaking with BetaKit, Heather Clarke explained Poseidon’s journey, how she stumbled upon her big opportunity, and how she managed the process of commercializing two products globally.
As demand slips, online used car dealers like Carvana face a rocky road (MODERN RETAIL)
Carvana, the online marketplace known for its car vending machines, is suffering from industry-wide dips in demand as drivers shift their spending priorities. Last week, the company reported an 8% year-on-year loss in units sold for the third quarter, as well as a 3% loss in revenue from this time last year. Meanwhile, other big used vehicle marketplaces are also seeing sales stumble heading into the new year.
TouchBistro secures $150 million to move upmarket and pursue strategic M&A as it braces for more economic uncertainty (BETAKIT)
As people stopped eating out amid lockdowns and heightened concerns about the coronavirus, many restaurants were forced to either close temporarily or shut their doors for good. In turn, the tech companies that cater to them, like TouchBistro, Lightspeed, and Toast, had to contend with a drop in sales and adjust their plans.
Juul reaches financing deal, plans to cut 30% of jobs to dodge bankruptcy (CNBC)
“Today, Juul Labs has identified a path forward, enabled by an investment of capital from some of our earliest investors,” a Juul spokesperson told CNBC. “This investment will allow Juul Labs to maintain business operations, continue advancing its administrative appeal of the FDA’s marketing denial order and support product innovation and science generation.”
Ordergroove raises $100M to bring subscriptions to consumer packaged goods (CRUNCHBASE)
Ordergroove, an e-commerce platform that helps consumer packaged goods companies with subscription services, announced on Thursday it raised $100 million in fresh funding led by growth equity firm Primus Capital Partners.
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