R|T: The Retail Times – Market downturn hits Ritual, Bonsai, Sonder

Plus: Amazon is running out of people to hire.

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After raising over $1 billion USD in the last year, Faire CTO says startup is poised for growth during market downturn (BETAKIT)

“Some of the companies that are the most successful today have grown during a downturn in the market because they were well-positioned to do it, they had money in the bank, and they took the opportunity,” said CTO Marcelo Cortes, adding that Faire hopes to do the same.


Ocado Seeks $704 Million From Share Placing to Fund Expansion (BNN BLOOMBERG)

The British e-commerce group will raise the funds via an accelerated share placing, which includes a tranche for retail investors, the company said in a statement Monday. Ocado also agreed a new £300 million credit facility with a group of banks and reiterated its outlook for this year.


Shopify employees told hiring will slow at town hall (BETAKIT)

At a town hall meeting today with Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, the company’s staff was told to gird their loins. Employees heard that they should lower their expectations regarding company growth, and that hiring will slow. Meanwhile, Shopify revealed over 100 platform updates and feature launches through its new Editions showcase.


Sonder Slashes Workforce by More Than 20 Percent, Including Top Tech Exec (SKIFT)

The San Francisco-based startup outlined the layoffs as part of a new plan in an SEC filing that prioritizes reaching positive quarterly free cash flow within 2023, without additional fundraising. It also wants to improve growth quality by increasing its “high threshold for incremental signings targeting 100 percent capital light” — this is where the real estate partner covers the upfront pre-opening costs and capital expenditure of onboarding the unit.


Bonsai has laid off around two-thirds of staff over last two months (BETAKIT)

Approximately 30 workers lost their jobs as part of Bonsai’s most recent cuts. The startup now sits at 25 full-time and contractor employees. Siddiqui said the layoffs affected the entire organization, from product and engineering to operations and customer service.


Zomato acquires Blinkit for $568 million in instant-grocery delivery push (TECHCRUNCH)

The deal marks a significant value erosion in Blinkit, which became a unicorn a year ago and had raised about $700 million mostly against equity. When the two firms agreed for an acquisition earlier this year, they had valued the deal between $700 million and $750 million, TechCrunch earlier reported.


Ritual lays off 16 percent of staff to “prepare for a recession” (BETAKIT)

The Ritual CEO described the layoffs as a “difficult” but necessary step for the startup as the prospect of a recession looms amid rising inflation. According to Reddy, the staff cuts come as part of a restructuring that will see Ritual concentrate its resources on “fewer products and services,” but he did not specify which products and services.


Potloc raises $35 million to expand social media sampling tech across North America, Europe (BETAKIT)

“Potloc is a growth story that we are excited to be a part of,” said Tony van Marken, managing partner and co-founder at First Ascent Ventures. “They are disrupting old methods by delivering tangible value in new ways and having a major impact on how companies acquire consumer insights to make decisions.”


M&A likely to be a significant driver of value for Canadian tech firms in 2022 (BETAKIT)

Canada will soon close out the first half of 2022, and already, the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) appears unrecognizable from that of 2021. PwC’s Canada-focused M&A report found M&A activity across the country saw similarly explosive growth last year.


China’s Covid Fallout Flattens JD.com’s Online Birthday Bash (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

JD.com said Monday that turnover on its platforms during this year’s June 18 shopping festival, known as 618, grew by 10.3% to 379.3 billion yuan, equivalent to $56.5 billion, the slowest expansion since the e-commerce giant first disclosed numbers for the event in 2017.


Why VC Deven Parekh doesn’t mind “overpaying” for a good deal (BETAKIT)

Parekh has invested in software for his entire VC career but has never seen growth quite like during the COVID-19 pandemic. He chalks this growth up to a massive acceleration of companies adopting software, first for working remotely during the depths of the pandemic but now for a hybrid and flexible work future.


Leaked Amazon memo warns the company is running out of people to hire (VOX)

“If we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labor supply in the US network by 2024,” the research, which hasn’t previously been reported, says.


Flipp acquires digital savings content platform Reebee (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2012 by Michal Martyniak and Tobiasz Dankiewicz, Reebee is a digital advertising platform that helps consumers discover local products. The company claims that its platform has over 2 million monthly Canadian users.


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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