R|T: The Retail Times – Shopify is in a “fight” with CRA over merchant records

Plus: Alibaba surprises with chairman and CEO replacement.

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

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Shopify makes checkout solution Shop Pay available to enterprise retailers not using Shopify (BETAKIT)

Shopify is making its one-click online checkout solution, Shop Pay, available to enterprise retailers not currently using Shopify.

This Shop Pay expansion marks the latest move on one front of the battle for e-commerce supremacy, as Shopify, Amazon, and other players compete to own the checkout experience.

CRA asks Shopify to hand over records for more than 120,000 Canadian businesses to check for tax evasion (TORONTO STAR)

The Canada Revenue Agency is demanding six years’ worth of records from Shopify on all of its Canada-based businesses to verify their tax compliance.

Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke vowed to "fight" the CRA's move in a statement on Twitter, saying the demand felt "like low-key overreach."

Addressing Canada’s talent gap in the tech industry boils down to removing the barriers for equity-deserving groups

The Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) program is a cost-free digital and professional skills development initiative that bridges the employment gap. It equips students in their final semester and post-secondary graduates with in-demand skills for entry-level tech roles.

ADaPT supports a diverse group of talent from varied educational backgrounds, with 81% of participants identifying as belonging to at least one equity-deserving group. Backed by 70+ hours of intensive training, the program exposes participants to tech career pathways.  

The ADaPT program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and led by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute in collaboration with TECHNATION Canada. 

To support future talent in thriving tech careers within Canada’s changing job market and become an ADaPT employer, find out more here.

Collision will remain in Toronto for 2024 (BETAKIT)

Collision has officially announced that Toronto will host its tech event in 2024.

The one-year extension of the original 2019 deal comes after BetaKit reported the future of the conference was in question due to the departure of Mayor John Tory and increased financial asks.

Food ordering service Ritual lays off 40% of employees

Toronto-based takeout service Ritual Technologies Inc. cut nearly half of its work force on Wednesday, adding to a slew of global layoffs in the tech sector.

This is the third round of staff cuts for Ritual over the past few years.

Alibaba names new chairman, CEO in surprise succession plan

Alibaba is replacing eight-year veteran chief Daniel Zhang at the helm of a Chinese e-commerce leader bleeding market share and struggling to revive growth in the post-COVID era.

Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai will take Zhang’s position as the chairman of the board. Eddie Wu will take over as chief executive of the US$240 billion company..

2022 angel investment in Canada mirrored VC dip, dropping 37 percent year-over-year (BETAKIT)

According to NACO, despite record demand, total angel investment in Canada during 2022 fell 37 percent year-over-year to $166 million CAD. Last year, angel organizations facilitated 653 investments in 379 companies.

While deal count rose slightly in 2022 compared to 2021, NACO noted a trend towards follow-on angel investments.

Amazon’s footprint in Canada keeps growing despite economic headwinds (THE LOGIC)

As Amazon was served a lawsuit from the FTC over "deceptive" Prime sign-up and cancellation process this week, the e-commerce giant's Canadian distribution network is on pace to 28.3 million square feet by the end of 2024.

The ongoing expansion suggests Amazon has mostly spared its Canadian operations from the wrenching cycle of growth and contractions seen in the United States.

Neptune Retail to buy Coupons.com-parent for $430 million (REUTERS)

Retail marketing firm Neptune Retail Solutions will acquire Coupons.com-parent Quotient Technology for $430 million in cash.

The company had been exploring options that included a sale, Reuters reported in March, as its clients slashed advertising spending amid fears of an economic slowdown.

EDC increases its matching investment maximum from $5 million to $25 million (BETAKIT)

Export Development Canada (EDC) is expanding its Investment Matching Program for small and medium-sized exporting companies.

The program jumps from matching up to $5 million in capital to matching up to $25 million, and is available through qualified venture capital and private equity investors.

How AI meal recommendations made Hungryroot a $250 million business (MODERN RETAIL)

At Hungryroot, AI selects 70% of what customers buy. Since the company rebranded into an online grocery subscription service in 2019, Hungryroot has been leveraging AI to personalize its customers’ orders.

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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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