The Retail Times is a weekly newsletter covering retail tech news from Canada and around the globe.
Subscribe to R|T using the form at the bottom of this page to ensure you don’t miss out on the most important retail tech news every week!
Life House closes $77 million CAD round co-led by Inovia, Kayak to help hotels boost profitability (BETAKIT)
Life House saw significant growth during the pandemic as hotel owners sought to control costs amid COVID-19 disruptions, and now plans to start selling its revenue management software to third-party hotel operators.
Gift now, pay later with Zip this holiday!
Zip Canada just released its 2021 Holiday Spending Report showing that while Canadians may not be ready to travel internationally this season, they’re eager to shop! And younger Canadians are citing payment flexibility as a leading factor in their purchase decision-making process.
Using Zip, shoppers can take advantage of a flexible payment solution that splits their purchase into 4 equal instalments over 6 weeks, interest free. This holiday, consider shopping online with Zip retailers so you can gift now and pay later!
To find out more and see what Canadians are planning on spending, budgeting, and gifting this year, check out Zip Canada’s 2021 Holiday Spending Report!
Swiggy to invest $700 million in instant grocery delivery service (TECHCRUNCH)
The SoftBank-backed startup, which initially launched Instamart in two Indian cities in 2020, said that the quick grocery delivery service is now available in 18 cities and clocking over a million orders per week.
Communitech exploring $200 million venture fund (BETAKIT)
TCEO Chris Albinson spoke to the strategy on a recent episode of The BetaKit Podcast, and while he is still vague on many details of how Communitech will help create Canadian winners to own the podium, one thing is clear: Communitech wants to launch a venture fund to support their growth.
Rapid grocery startup Jokr raises cash at $1.2 billion valuation (BNN BLOOMBERG)
Founded by Chief Executive Officer Ralf Wenzel, a former Delivery Hero SE executive, Jokr aims to bring consumers fresh groceries and other consumer goods in 15 minutes from urban micro-fulfillment centers.
Coveo closes over-allotment option, raises additional $32 million CAD (BETAKIT)
Québec City-based Coveo has closed its over-allotment option, pulling in another $32 million from its Toronto Stock Exchange debut where it raised $215 million. BetaKit recently spoke to Coveo’s chair and CEO, Louis Têtu, about how the company prepared to take itself public.
How wholesale market Faire turned ‘not on Amazon’ into a $12 billion company (FAST COMPANY)
There are other wholesale platforms catering to independent retailers, but none has momentum to match Faire’s. The Kitchener-Waterloo and San Francisco-based company recently raised $400 million USD in Series G financing at a $12.4 billion valuation, its third major funding round in 13 months.
Survey suggests progress, room for improvement on equitable compensation for women in venture capital (BETAKIT)
The survey found that, for investment roles, salaries and bonuses are lower for women than men in more junior roles, but higher in more senior positions, with the exception of partners.
Shopify sued by publishers accusing company of profiting from textbook piracy (BNN BLOOMBERG)
Five textbook publishers are accusing Shopify Inc. of profiting from content sold through Shopify’s software that’s pirated or infringes on their trademarks.
Grab and GoTo IPOs have one little problem: angry gig workers (REST OF WORLD)
With Singapore and Indonesia’s superapps finally in reach of U.S. listings, union trouble brews at home.
Apple’s hourly workforce is struggling (THE VERGE)
The company’s hourly workers say conditions are untenable. Does Apple care?
How Katherine Regnier found the right enterprise customers for Coconut Software (BETAKIT)
In a recent interview for the #CIBCInnovationEconomy Podcast, Regnier explained Coconut’s uncommon founding story and what she attributes as the secrets to her success landing enterprise clients.
Shopify merchants generate record $6.3 billion USD in sales during Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BETAKIT)
During 2021’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, Shopify merchants collectively generated $6.3 billion USD in sales worldwide, a 23 percent rise compared to 2020. Meanwhile, on Giving Tuesday, fellow Canadian tech platform Benevity saw donations double through its corporate purpose platform, as over $112 million was given to more than 43,000 causes via Benevity.
Lululemon accuses Peloton of being a ‘copycat’ as fitness giants trade lawsuits (CBC)
It began as a partnership between two of the biggest names in home fitness: B.C.-based clothing retailer Lululemon and U.S. exercise bike juggernaut Peloton.