R|T: The Retail Times – Klarna joins growing BNPL trend, sunsets rewards program

Plus: The Amazon union movement reaches Québec.

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Klarna is sunsetting its rewards program as it rolls out a new physical card

Klarna is closing its rewards program as it introduces a physical card to U.S. shoppers, the latest example of how burgeoning fintech platforms are repositioning themselves as payment providers.

Klarna’s move from rewards club to cashback points to a growing trend among these platforms. It’s the third buy now, pay later platform to sunset its rewards program this year — Afterpay closed its Pulse rewards program at the end of January and Affirm discontinued its rewards program in early February.


Across-the-pond acquisitions: Descartes acquires ASD

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.-based Descartes Systems Group has acquired Dublin, Ireland’s Aerospace Software Developments. Descartes said that ASD, which provides customs declaration software for logistics service providers, will complement its current global logistics network and provide Irish customs domain experience.

Descartes’s growth has been fuelled by an active acquisition strategy, which mostly targets other freight, transportation, and supply chain management companies.


Union files application to represent workers at Amazon facility in Laval, Que.

A Quebec-based union says it has filed an application to represent hundreds of Amazon workers at a warehouse in the province.

The union, which represents 330,000 workers across a wide array of industries, says the tribunal will now have to ensure the union cards warehouse workers signed represent a majority of staff at the facility.

(The Globe and Mail)

Boom and goConfirm launch new products from experienced #CDNtech leaders

Two new offerings have come out of companies led by former leaders within Canadian tech giants.

Founded by Shopify alumni Robleh Jama, CEO, and Krishna Satya, CTO, Boom is looking to inject energy into remote work meetings with camera personalization tools.

Meanwhile, goConfirm, a Toronto-based identity-verification platform for peer-to-peer marketplaces founded by former Wave CEO Kirk Simpson and early Wave investor Peter Carrescia, has released a new tool that can vet suspicious emails and texts.


Tesla teases robotaxi ridehailing function in its app

Tesla provided a sneak peek of its upcoming ridehailing mobile app in the company’s latest earnings report. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, has said that Tesla will unveil a long-gestating robotaxi in August.

“Tesla will be operating the fleet,” Musk said during an earnings call Tuesday. “So you can think of Tesla like some combination of Airbnb and Uber.”

(The Verge)

How Canada’s capital gains tax changes might impact Canadian tech

Last week, Canada’s Liberal government announced capital gains tax changes that, for the technology sector, have overshadowed all other items in Budget 2024.

As these proposed changes stand to have a significant impact on Canada’s tech sector, BetaKit thought it worthy to take a deep dive to explain what they are and what they might mean for various industry stakeholders once they begin to come into effect on June 25 of this year.


BetaKit launches new program for Innovation Leaders

We are pleased to announce BetaKit Innovation Leaders, a new program designed to provide Canada’s top innovation organizations with exclusive programming and insights.

BetaKit Innovation Leaders will benefit from exclusive programming streams, tailored insights, and increased visibility of their work across the ecosystem through our partner offerings. Most importantly, their investment will help expand our coverage of Canadian tech and innovation, benefitting our readers and the sector at large.


Amazon ends drone program in California, plans to start deliveries in Arizona later this year

Amazon is shuttering its drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California, one of the earliest U.S. test sites for the decade-long project.

The program, called Prime Air, has struggled to get off the ground since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos first detailed his vision in 2013 of autonomous drones delivering packages weighing less than 5 pounds in 30 minutes or less.

Amazon said in a blog post Monday that it intends to keep expanding drone deliveries to more U.S. cities in 2025, and plans to open up in part of the Phoenix area later this year. The company said it’s working with the Federal Aviation Administration and local officials to get permission for drone deliveries in Tolleson, Arizona, west of Phoenix.


Changemakers: Did the SEC just help Manifest Climate scale?

Greenhouse gas levels are at an all-time high, more than a million species face extinction, and we currently use more of the earth’s resources than we can renew.

If that’s not enough to keep you up at night, the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US just made climate reporting mandatory for public companies, following repeated commitments from Ottawa to introduce mandatory climate-related reporting requirements for Canadian companies as well.

To regulators, these changes present an opportunity to advance global climate goals and mitigate investor risk.


Why You Can’t Get a Restaurant Reservation

Everyone needs to eat somewhere, and in New York City that place is often a restaurant.

Since the pandemic, tough reservations have gotten even tougher.

To sidestep the reservation scrum, particularly at a hundred and fifty of the city’s buzziest restaurants, a new squad of businesses, tech impresarios, and digital legmen has sprung up, offering to help diners cut through the reservation red tape, for a price.

(The New Yorker)

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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