R|T: The Retail Times – Inside the chaos of New York’s Airbnb ban

Plus: Flexport continues weekly cuts with 20 percent workforce reduction.

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Federal government announces first VCCI inclusive growth stream VC fund recipients (BETAKIT)

The Government of Canada is investing up to $25 million CAD into five Canadian venture capital (VC) funds through the inclusive growth stream of the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).

These VC fund recipients include Calgary-based District Ventures Capital and The51’s Food and AgTech Fund, Toronto's BKR Capital and Ripple Ventures, and Halifax-based Sandpiper Ventures.

New York’s Airbnb Ban Is Descending Into Pure Chaos (WIRED)

As few as two percent of New York City’s previous 22,000 short-term rentals on Airbnb have been registered with the city since a new law banning most listings came into effect in early September. But many illegal short-term rental listings are now being advertised on social media and lesser known platforms, with some still seemingly being listed on Airbnb itself.

“People are going underground,” claims Lisa Grossman, a spokesperson for Restore Homeowner Autonomy and Rights (RHOAR), a local group that opposed the law.

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Goldman Sachs Offloads ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Firm in Quick Retreat (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that it would offload GreenSky, a major player in the “buy now, pay later” lending sector, less than two years after buying the company, in the latest hit to its consumer-finance ambitions.

The outlook for both Goldman and the buy now, pay later industry was vastly different in 2021 when the bank paid $1.7 billion for GreenSky, which focuses on home improvement loans.

BetaKit Live: Bridging the cybersecurity gap for SMBs (BETAKIT)

Ahead of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023, Mastercard found that only 16 percent of small business owners are certain of next steps to take following an cyber attack, with just 18 percent totally confident their business could fully recover within six months.

In partnership with Mastercard, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on what Canadian small business owners can do to bridge their cybersecurity gap.

Toronto to put a cap on ride-hail licences (TORONTO STAR)

Toronto will freeze the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles operating on its streets, after a surprise council vote Wednesday that Mayor Olivia Chow said would benefit app company workers and reduce emissions.

Toronto’s cap on the number of gas-burning Uber and Lyft vehicles on Toronto’s streets stands to disrupt an industry that critics say is unfair to its drivers.

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.

Canada's Spin Master toys buying U.S. rival Melissa & Doug for $950M (CBC)

Spin Master Corp. announced a deal on Wednesday to buy U.S.-based toy company Melissa & Doug for $950 million US.

Spin Master is best known for its Paw Patrol, Bakugan, Hatchimals, Rubik's Cube and Gund brands.The agreement also includes up to an additional $150 million US that is subject to achieving certain financial targets for 2024 and 2025.

Neo Financial, Jobber, WaitWell among winners of sixth annual Start Alberta Tech Awards (BETAKIT)

Twelve awards were handed out to companies and members of Alberta's tech ecosystem at the Start Alberta Tech Awards hosted in Edmonton this week.

The 2023 awards not only celebrated some of this year's standout deals and capital raises, but also turned the spotlight to the province's emergent ventures.

Flexport is laying off 20% of its workforce (CNBC)

Supply chain software startup Flexport plans to cut approximately 20% of its global workforce as part of a new round of layoffs that’s expected to begin on Friday, CNBC has learned.

The layoffs add to recent turmoil at the company since Petersen returned as CEO last month after abruptly ousting his hand-picked successor Dave Clark.

Quickly secures $10 million in equity and debt to help businesses pay promptly (BETAKIT)

A Calgary-based FinTech startup that helps small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) unlock capital has secured $10 million CAD in debt and equity in seed financing. Quickly offers what it calls an early payment technology that companies can incorporate into their supply chains.

This enables firms to offer early payments at a discount to any of their vendors suppliers, or well as anyone else invoicing the company.

China’s livestream shopping bubble is popping (REST OF WORLD)

Livestream shopping, which became wildly popular in China over the pandemic, was once a booming industry — with nearly half the country’s internet users buying from livestream sellers by mid-2023.

But the livestream shopping bubble has begun to deflate this year. Faced with dwindling salaries, longer working hours, and increased competition, sellers have been questioning their job prospects in the industry.

Accel leads $21M investment in UK care home marketplace Lottie (TECHCRUNCH)

Lottie, a UK-startup with an online marketplace that helps those seeking care find the best care homes and services for their needs, announced it has raised $21 million (£16.35 million) in a Series A round .

Last year, Lottie acquired a care home software company called Found, which many care homes already used to manage the occupancy and CRM side of their business.

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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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