R|T: The Retail Times – “Ready-to-eat” gets funding fuel while grocery delivery grinds to a halt

Plus: Shopify takes heat from ISS over plan to give CEO more power.

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WeCook raises $40 million to fuel expansion of “ready-to-eat” meal service (BETAKIT)

The deal represents Claridge Food Group’s first investment. As part of this $40 million total, Investissement Québec has provided $13 million, while Desjardins Capital, which previously participated in two prior WeCook funding rounds in 2020 and 2021, has invested $3 million in WeCook and joined the Claridge Food Group investment vehicle.

Rapid grocery delivery boom comes to a grinding halt as Getir, Gorillas slash jobs (CNBC)

This week, two of the largest instant grocery apps, Getir and Gorillas, announced decisions to lay off hundreds of employees. Another firm, Zapp, said it is proposing redundancies in its U.K. team.

Led by former Shopify executive, on-demand delivery service Trexity raises $5 million for Canadian expansion (BETAKIT)

The capital will also enable Trexity to increase engagement in its current markets of Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Winnipeg, and to hire 10 to 15 employees over the next six months for its marketing, sales, and engineering teams. 

Shopify takes heat from ISS over plan to give CEO more power (BNN BLOOMBERG)

“Canadian market best practices generally call for a following of a one share, one vote principle, with a view to alignment between economic interest and voting power at a given company,” ISS said in a report Tuesday to clients. The founder share for Lutke “requires minority shareholders to effectively embrace a multiple class share structure for even longer than was envisioned” at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2015.

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The federal government wants to address Canada’s intellectual property woes, but is its strategy paying off? (BETAKIT)

While companies like Ranovus demonstrate how Canadian tech companies can scale through the development of IP, many stakeholders from the IP sector believe that most Canadian startups are not deriving value from their IP, which has put Canada behind its peers in the global race for IP rights.

Amazon Quietly Axed Millions of Square Feet of Warehouse Space (THE INFORMATION)

The scope of the pullback, which is previously unreported, shows how quickly Amazon has reversed course on an aggressive build-out. Amazon shuttered a former Cadillac dealership in Manhattan that it had turned into a hub for last-mile delivery outfitted with e-cargo bikes. And it’s working to find new tenants to sublease two sprawling fulfillment centers built to its specifications, among many others.

Canadian innovators wonder what proposed SR&ED review will accomplish (BETAKIT)

Speaking over the phone with BetaKit, Munro noted the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program–better known as SR&ED–isn’t working, in his opinion. But he wasn’t convinced another review of the $4 billion annual program would fix things. After all, the SR&ED program has been tinkered with and reviewed almost constantly since it was first established in 1944.

Sheertex CEO Katherine Homuth’s quest to create unrippable tights has hit some snags (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Katherine Homuth once gleaned this nugget of wisdom from a podcast: Improving a company by 5% a year causes everything to break internally. “And when you’re trying to grow like us—100%-plus every year—you break everything all the time,” she says.

Finn raises $110M to expand car subscription platform in US, Germany (TECHCRUNCH)

The funding, which brings Finn’s valuation to “more than $500 million,” comes at a time when consumers are starting to shift away from traditional car ownership models like leasing or financing. Car subscription platforms, especially ones that offer electric vehicles like Onto in the U.K. and imove in Norway, are taking off as trends like usership over ownership, online shopping and EV usage rise.

Lightspeed sees path to profitability despite posting $146.1 million loss in fiscal Q4 (BETAKIT)

Lightspeed CEO JP Chauvet told an earnings call that the company wasn’t nearly as concerned over inflation and the economy potentially plunging into a recession as it had been over the pandemic. “Any impact from a recession is nothing from what we’ve seen from COVID-19,” he said.

Instacart to Slow Hiring to Focus on Profitability Ahead of IPO (BNN BLOOMBERG)

“We hired more than 1,500 people over the last year and nearly doubled the size of our engineering teams,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “As part of our second-half planning, we’re slowing down our hiring to focus on our most important priorities and continue driving profitable growth.&rdquo

Shopify beta testing new rewards program, Shop Cash (BETAKIT)

Shopify is testing a rewards program called Shop Cash. The Ottawa-based e-commerce giant has quietly rolled out a beta version of the rewards program, which appears to be a way to entice consumers into using its mobile shopping app. Shopify has also recently rolled out the ability for Shopify merchants to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method through a partnership with Crypto.com.

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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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