R|T: The Retail Times – Shopify and Lightspeed bring positive earnings to pessimistic markets

A pair of hands holding a mobile phone which has the Shopify logo on it
Plus: Uber is finally making money after years of losses.

The Retail Times is a weekly newsletter covering retail tech news from Canada and around the globe.

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Shopify posts positive revenues in Q2 2023 for third quarter running (BETAKIT)

Shopify made gains for the third quarter running, defying the indifferent markets still rattling investors. Shopify posted a year-over-year increase in total revenues of 31 percent to $1.7 billion. It was the third quarter running the e-commerce retailer was able to report an increase in revenues.

Lightspeed beats market expectations for revenue and earnings, paving way to profitability (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Payments-and-retail platform Lightspeed Commerce Inc. beat market expectations for revenue and earnings, with chief executive Jean Paul Chauvet saying the latest quarter paves the way for the Montreal-based company to reach its long-standing goal of becoming profitable.

In recent months, Lightspeed has kept a tight focus on unifying its point-of-sale and payment initiatives, so that it may reduce complexity by simplifying bookkeeping and becoming a one-stop shop for the businesses it works with.

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National Bank acquires Silicon Valley Bank's Canadian commercial loan portfolio (BETAKIT)

The National Bank announced Aug. 1 an agreement to acquire the commercial loan portfolio of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) Canadian branch.

The portfolio is comprised of approximately $1 billion CAD in loan commitments, of which some $325 million CAD are outstanding. The assets will be integrated into National Bank’s Technology and Innovation Banking Group, under the leadership of Tuyen Vo, head of this group since 2019.

Apple Sees Third Straight Quarter of Falling Sales, but Services Unit Hits Record (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Apple said revenue declined for the third consecutive quarter, the company’s most prolonged sales slump since 2016 as the iPhone-maker continued to deal with declining demand for consumer devices.

iPhone sales fell below expectations, but Apple said revenue in its services unit reached a new all-time high of $21 billion, driven by more than one billion paid subscriptions.

Graphite Ventures closes $110-million Fund IV as firm builds its national presence (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based Graphite Ventures has reached $110 million CAD in the final close of its Fund IV as the firm continues to expand its reach beyond Ontario to startups Canada-wide.

While Graphite is industry agnostic, it concentrates investments in B2B SaaS, FinTech, digital health, and “capital-efficient hardware” with many companies using AI and machine learning.

Amazon Posts 11% Rise in Revenue as Growth Improves

All that cost-cutting at Amazon might be paying off. The company isn’t back to the torrid growth of its youth but managed to raise revenue by 11 percent, to $134.4 billion, in the second quarter, beating Wall Street expectations by about $3 billion.

What has some analysts worried is that Amazon’s newfound desire to keep expenses down clashes with its longstanding obsession over making customers happy.

Experienced developers share their career advice for young professionals (BETAKIT)

Growing as a developer is about more than finding new ways to ship code.

BetaKit spoke with two leaders–Ricardo Maldonado, a Development Lead at Calgary-based Suncor, and Betheena Elgincolin, Senior Technology Architect at TELUS–about their careers and what advice they would share with junior colleagues.

Uber’s Business Is Finally Making Money After Years of Losses

Uber Technologies posted its first-ever operating profit in the second quarter, a milestone in its long-term efforts to stem losses in its businesses carrying people and delivering food.

The quarter was the first since Uber’s 2009 founding that it reported its underlying operations were profitable. The company projected continued growth for the third quarter ending Sept. 30.

Canadian venture status report: Q2 2023 (BETAKIT)

New data from briefed.in gives an optimistic outlook on the venture health of Canada's biggest tech ecosystems in Q2 2023.

Following a sluggish start to the year, Toronto and British Columbia's tech ecosystems saw a resurgence in venture funding in the quarter, mostly due to larger deals between fewer companies. 

Alberta tech is on pace to eclipse its 2022, with companies raising a lively $123.8M in Q2 2023. Québec followed suit, maintaining an upward trajectory in the quarter, growing 42 percent from Q1 2023 and 81 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, venture deal volume in the Waterloo Region reached a three-year low in the second quarter of 2023, but unreported deals could be shaping an unfair perception of the local tech sector.

Walmart Pays $1.4 Billion to Boost Flipkart Stake

Walmart has paid $1.4 billion to buy out a large investor in Flipkart, further cementing its control of the Indian e-commerce giant.

Privately held Flipkart is one of the largest e-commerce companies in India. The investment offers the U.S. retail behemoth greater exposure to the fast-growing global digital-consumer market.

Canadian startup struggles continue as Silofit closes up shop, Top Hat and Fable cut staff (BETAKIT)

More Canadian technology startups have made the difficult decision to cut costs or close down amid a sector-wide downturn.

Just this week, Silofit officially closed its doors and Fable announced that it laid off employees. Top Hat has also reduced its headcount, BetaKit has learned. This trio is far from alone.

Storage Startup Clutter, Running Out of Cash, Sells Itself at Steep Discount (THE INFORMATION)

Late last month, the CEO of storage and moving startup Clutter, which had been valued at a reported $600 million in 2019, emailed some of the company’s investors to say the firm was in dire straits.

To stay alive, it struck a deal to be sold for pennies on the dollar to one of its business partners and existing shareholders, publicly traded Iron Mountain.

‘A Nice Bike, When It Works’: Riders Fret After E-Bike Maker Goes Bust (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

VanMoof, the Dutch e-bike maker that gained a zealous following, tripled its sales in the pandemic and raised more than $180 million in funding, declared bankruptcy last month, leaving riders in limbo.

That’s because the eye-catching e-bikes, which start around $2,000, are built from proprietary parts that only the company makes, and many of the bikes’ functions are linked to VanMoof’s smartphone app.

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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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