R|T: The Retail Times – Shopify and Lightspeed shares surge after beating forecasts

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Plus: Amazon unveils first BNPL option for SMBs through Affirm.

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Shopify shares jump after company’s Q3 revenue, profit beat analyst expectations (BETAKIT)

Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify posted higher-than-expected revenue and profit during the third quarter of 2023 after cutting costs and teaming up with Amazon on fulfillment.

Per Shopify’s latest earnings report, the firm’s total Q3 revenue hit $1.7 billion USD—a 25 percent year-over increase that translates to 30 percent when accounting for the sale of its logistics business. Meanwhile, Shopify posted $718 million in net income during Q3, a big jump compared to the $159 million the Ottawa-based company lost during the same period last year.

Flexport Buys Shuttered Trucking Startup Convoy’s Technology

Flexport has reached a deal to buy the technology of shuttered trucking startup Convoy, as Flexport doubles down on its U.S. trucking ambitions even as it grapples with its own business slump.

Convoy, once valued at $3.8 billion, shut down in October after failing to find a buyer or raise fresh capital. Convoy CEO Dan Lewis will join Flexport as part of the acquisition, and Flexport won't take on any of Convoy's liabilities as part of the deal.

What is generative AI and will it provide the ROI that executive leadership is looking for?

Global retail giants are seeking cost-efficient solutions to improving their customer experience, and AI is the answer.

Did you know 85% of execs say generative AI will be interacting directly with customers in the next two years? As a result, 63% say that they will have invested in generative AI use cases that serve their agents by the end of 2023.

From reducing customer support response times to guiding consumers to new products, AI is poised to transform eCommerce. Become an expert on generative AI and separate the buzz from reality with the ultimate guide to generative AI for customer service.

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Lightspeed’s stock rises as firm exceeds outlook for fiscal Q2, achieves positive EBITDA (BETAKIT)

Lightspeed recorded its first period of positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDTA) as a public company in Q2, posting a slim, $200,000 profit by this metric, beating its prior forecast of negative $4 million.

In a statement, Lightspeed CEO Jean Paul Chauvet hailed reaching positive EBITDA as “a significant achievement” for the firm.

Unredacted FTC suit shows ‘Project Nessie’ price-raising algorithm made Amazon $1.4B (TECHCRUNCH)

The mysterious “Project Nessie,” hinted at in what little was not redacted in the FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon, is indeed an algorithmic pricing scheme that raised prices where it could do so safely, generating some $1.4 billion for the company during its years of operation.

The FTC’s allegations of anti-competitive behavior cover a number of different practices, among them price manipulation. And the poster child for this practice was Project Nessie.

Faire cuts 250 employees in its second layoff round in last year (BETAKIT)

Kitchener-Waterloo and San Francisco-based online wholesale marketplace Faire has laid off 250 employees.

This marks Faire’s second round of layoffs in slightly more than a year, and comes 18 months after the company raised $416 million USD in a Series G extension. In October 2022, Faire laid off roughly seven percent of its then-1,200 employees, contending with a fading e-commerce boom.

Kinaxis shares rise as software firm boosts EBITDA guidance after strong Q3 report (OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL)

Kinaxis stock got a bump Thursday after the company reported strong third-quarter earnings and said its sales pipeline continues to grow despite stiffening economic headwinds that have caused some customers to delay signing contracts.

Kinaxis, which helps manufacturers and retailers track inventories and shipments in real time while forecasting demand for future inventory, posted a net profit of $7.4 million, compared with a net loss of $1.7 million a year ago. That amounts to a profit of 25 cents per diluted share in the third quarter, as opposed to a loss of six cents per share in the same period a year ago.

Damon Motors revs up to go public on the Nasdaq via reverse merger (BETAKIT)

Vancouver-based electric motorcycle company Damon Motors is looking to list on the Nasdaq through a reverse merger with a spin-off of Inpixon, a California-based IoT company.

The combined company will then be listed on the Nasdaq, pending approval of its application.

WeWork Plans to File for Bankruptcy as Early as Next Week

WeWork is planning to file for bankruptcy as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter, in what would mark a stunning reversal for the flexible-office-space venture that was once valued at $47 billion. New York-based WeWork is considering filing a chapter 11 petition in New Jersey, the people said.

Bridge the gap: SMB cybersecurity challenges threaten customer trust and business viability (BETAKIT)

Cybercrime is up over 600 percent since the start of the pandemic, but according to new Mastercard Canada research, only 16 percent of Canadian SMB owners surveyed say they know what to do in the event of an attack.

Speaking with BetaKit, Aviva Klein, the Vice President of Digital Payments and Cybersecurity Solutions for Mastercard in Canada, explained the disconnect between the priorities of customers and the actions of SMBs, and how conversations about cybersecurity need to be reframed.

BetaKit Live: Getting Hybrid Work Right (BETAKIT)

The future has arrived early for Canadian businesses, as hybrid work shifted from a COVID-19 emergency response to a permanent reality: sixty-five percent of Canadian knowledge workers now work in a remote or hybrid format.

In partnership with Intel Canada, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed panel conversation on the new best practices to ensure that businesses in 2023 are getting hybrid work right for the long term.

Amazon unveils buy now, pay later option from Affirm for small business owners (CNBC)

Amazon is unveiling its first buy now, pay later checkout option through Affirm for the millions of small business owners who use its online store.

The service, with loans ranging from $100 to $20,000, will be available to all eligible customers by Black Friday, or Nov. 24. It is specifically for sole proprietors, or small businesses owned by a single person, the most common form of business ownership in the U.S.

BDC Capital recommits to leading seed deals in startups across Canada with new $50-million fund (BETAKIT)

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has launched a new $50-million CAD Seed Venture Fund, committing $10 million annually over the next five years to pre-seed and seed-stage software startups across Canada through BDC Capital.

The software-focused Seed Venture Fund will be sector-agnostic, with an eye towards enterprise software-as-a-service, FinTech, healthtech, artificial intelligence (AI), and proptech startups.

The Seed Venture Fund marks BDC’s first foray back into general seed-stage investing since its Strategic Initiatives Program (SIP) ceased making investments in new companies around 2017.

Buy now, pay later platform Tabby nabs $200M in Series D funding at $1.5B valuation (TECHCRUNCH)

Tabby, previously headquartered in Dubai but now based in Riyadh, has raised $200 million in its Series D funding round, achieving a valuation of $1.5 billion. This positions the shopping and financial services app as the first fintech startup unicorn in the Gulf, underlining its substantial growth and market importance in how customers shop and pay.

Why Canadian SMBs are choosing managed service partners to protect against cyber threats (BETAKIT)

Let’s face it, the pace of business transformation has hit warp speed, especially for SMBs.

Cisco’s Cybersecurity Readiness Index found that Canada falls under the global average in cybersecurity readiness. Only nine percent of Canadian organizations have a “mature” level of preparedness to handle the security risks of our hybrid world, compared to fifteen percent globally.

So how do you pick the right cybersecurity partner?

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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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