R|T: The Retail Times – Shein’s revenue surpasses Zara, Alibaba is worth about half of Tencent

Shopify building
Plus: Is Shopify still an Ottawa darling?

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Q3 2023 marked a three-year low for venture deal volume in Canada

The third quarter of 2023 marked Canada’s slowest quarter for venture capital (VC) activity in three years, according to a new report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

The CVCA partly attributed the slowdown in investment to a decline in megadeals during the quarter and its resulting impact on average deal size. Per the report, only seven megadeals closed in Q3, nearly halving the average deal size quarter-over-quarter to just $8.9 million.


Shein’s Revenue Surged More Than 40%, Likely Surpassing Zara

Shein’s revenue surged more than 40 percent to $24 billion between January and September from a year earlier, growth that highlights the mounting threat for Amazon as the China-founded retailer looks to expand beyond fast fashion by ramping up sales of other goods like appliances and electronics.



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Hopper-linked Deep Sky closes $57.5-million Series A to make Canada a “carbon removal capital”

Montréal-based carbon-capture startup Deep Sky has closed $57.5 million CAD in Series A financing as it looks to make Canada the “carbon removal capital of the world.”

Launched in 2022 by Montréal-based travel tech giant Hopper co-founders Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk, the startup aims to take advantage of Eastern Canada’s rich hydroelectric energy sector to draw carbon dioxide molecules from the air and the ocean using renewable energy.


Once a darling of Ottawa, Shopify increasingly distancing itself from city

For its 19 years in existence, Shopifyhas been synonymous with Ottawa.

But these days, Ottawa is seemingly no longer the centre of Shopify’s universe. Many of its top-ranking executives, CEO Tobi Lütke included, recently departed the city and several others never bothered to move there in the first place.

“I think it’s no accident that many of (Shopify’s) new executives are not based in Ottawa,” said Rick Watson, founder of RMW Commerce Consulting in New York, “because that’s what it takes to attract the talent.”


BDC’s Thrive Lab announces 25 co-investment partners

The Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Thrive Lab is ready to begin deploying capital in women-led businesses from its $35 million envelope following the announcement of 25 co-investment partners.

Thrive Lab said its partners were chosen based on their track record of supporting women entrepreneurs or their expertise in social impact.

Thrive Lab’s first phase will target firms aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as food security, responsible agriculture, health and well-being, education, reduced inequalities, and responsible consumption and production.


How China became the world’s shopping cart

The rise of Chinese shopping platforms has reshaped online shopping for buyers and sellers. Their ultra-low prices have enticed customers and beaten back the competition but also invited scrutiny.

For now, though, the boom continues.


Revenue growth is more complex than ever. Here’s how your finance team can drive value

The finance department touches every single area of the business, from internal operations to customer contracts. Yet the finance function has been relatively stagnant, often seen as “bean counters” warning of new spending while the rest of the organization embraces technology and new techniques.

A recent report by Float featured interviews with startup finance experts, exploring in detail why financial transformation is essential for startups now, impacting their people, processes, and systems.


Before TikTok Turned Into a Rival, Amazon Saw a Potential Partner

Late last year, Amazon executives met with their counterparts at TikTok parent ByteDance to propose a novel idea: creating a new advertising format that would let customers buy items from Amazon ads on TikTok without leaving the app.

Instead of partnering, ByteDance would soon start challenging Amazon’s e-commerce business more aggressively with the U.S. launch of TikTok Shop.


“We are still waiting”: FinTech leaders urge Liberals to enact much-delayed open banking rules

A coalition of Canadian tech leaders have penned a new letter to Canada’s finance minister, pressing for a clear roadmap on the long-overdue rollout of open banking.

“A lack of competition stifles innovation, drives up prices, and leads to stagnation. Canadians suffer as a result,” the letter stated. “During this cost of living crisis, there’s never been a greater need to give Canadians more control over their money.”

The letter, which was coordinated by the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI), has 36 signatories as of Wednesday afternoon, including executives from Canada’s FinTech startups and scale-ups.


Airbnb acquires AI startup for just under $200 million

Airbnb has made its first acquisition as a public company, nabbing Gameplanner.AI in a deal valued at just under $200 million, sources familiar with the deal told CNBC.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has said that generative AI will radically change the platform and that he wants to use it as a “travel concierge” that learns about users over time and enhances their travel experiences — for example, matching users with the right rooms or homes.


New foodtech association looks to promote more sustainable seafood alternatives

Future Ocean Foods (FOF), headquartered in Halifax, aims to support plant-based, fermented and cultivated foodtech solutions that are viable alternatives to seafood.

According to a statement released by FOF Monday, the new group will work to increase product trials for alternative seafood products and deepen the market penetration of startups operating in this sector.


Alibaba Is Worth About Half of Tencent as Demand Recovery Lags

Alibaba Group’s market value has slumped to only about half that of rival Tencent Holdings as the former’s e-commerce-centric business faces sluggish demand and intensified competition.

Alibaba on Thursday abruptly ended its plan to spin off its cloud unit, citing heightened US restrictions on chip sales to China. The announcement, along with lower-than-expected domestic e-commerce sales, sent the stock tumbling about 10% in Hong Kong, its largest decline this year.


Acton Capital closes $240-million USD Fund VI to invest in tech startups across Canada and Europe

Acton Capital has closed its sixth venture capital (VC) fund, securing $240 million USD to back tech startups across Canada and Europe.

To date, Acton has backed nine Canadian tech firms. Acton partner Hannes Blum, based in Vancouver, has led the firm’s investments in Canada for the past seven years. According to Blum, Acton intends to back 15 to 20 startups in total through Fund VI, including another two to four Canadian startups.


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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