R|T: The Retail Times – Shopify swaps key execs amid financial downturn

Shopify
Plus: Microsoft invests in Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens startup.

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Shopify swaps CFO, COO amid financial downturn (BETAKIT)

Amy Shapero, the company’s CFO of five years, will step down following Shopify’s third quarter 2022 earnings announcement on October 27. Jeff Hoffmeister will take over as CFO. Hoffmeister will join Shopify from Morgan Stanley, where he spent over two decades in its technology investment banking group.

As well, the company announced that Kaz Nejatian, vice president of product, will succeed Toby Shannan as COO, effective immediately.


Cazoo exits EU and extends layoffs to 1,500 people (SIFTED)

The company confirmed to Sifted that the move will result in 750 job losses. This latest round of cuts follows another 750 layoffs announced in June, meaning a total of 1,500 people leaving the company in 2022, representing 30% of its workforce.


Panache closes $100 million for second fund as firm doubles down on seed-stage startups (BETAKIT)

Originally launched in 2018 by a team that came out of 500 Startups Canada, Panache’s stated goal at the time was to become “the most active and best-performing fund of its kind in the country.” It’s a feat that Panache has been able to achieve in the last five years, according to Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) data. Panache has invested in 100 companies to date, including Certn, Clutch, MobSquad, and Dooly.


Online grocery company Misfits Market to acquire Imperfect Foods (TECHCRUNCH)

Both online grocery platforms, Misfits Market raised nearly $530 million since being founded in 2018, most recently a $200 million Series C round in 2021 that put its valuation at over $1 billion. Meanwhile, Imperfect Foods, founded in 2015 to rescue and redistribute goods, brought in a total of $229 million, including a $110 million Series D round last year.


Five months in, details on Canada’s new Innovation and Investment Agency remain sparse (BETAKIT)

Since the budget announcement, the federal government has little to offer about what the agency will look like, its role, how it will work and, most importantly, whether it will work at all. Queries to the federal government only elicit vague statements about why the new agency is needed, but yield nothing concrete about its potential workings.


Grab Zeroes In on Costs as Super App Looks to Cut Losses (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Grab Holdings Ltd. ’s finance chief is pruning the company’s spending as the ride-hailing and food-delivery app looks to cut its losses and get closer to break-even.

The company in late August reported revenue of $321 million for the second quarter, up 79% from the prior-year period. Its loss shrank to $572 million, down 29% from the second quarter of 2021. Grab said it expects gross merchandise value measuring total transactions to grow between 21% and 25% this year, down from its previous estimate of 30% to 35%, in part due to foreign-exchange effects. It forecast revenue to come in between $1.25 billion and $1.3 billion this year, the high end of its previous guidance.


Shopify plans to contest $40 million Express Mobile patent infringement verdict (BETAKIT)

In a verdict filed earlier this week, a Delaware, US jury has decided that the Ottawa-based e-commerce giant’s tech infringes upon three patents held by Express Mobile related to software for providing content to mobile devices.


Instagram Scaling Back Shopping Features Amid Commerce Retreat (THE INFORMATION)

In an internal memo on Tuesday, staff were notified that Instagram’s existing Shopping page will eventually disappear, “given shifts in company priorities.”

Instagram isn’t abandoning shopping altogether: over the next few months the company will test a simpler and less personalized version of the shopping page known internally as “Tab Lite,” according to the memo, which The Information has seen.


Jombone closes $3.3 million to modernize the blue-collar staffing industry (BETAKIT)

According to Jombone co-founder and CEO Sumit Sahdev, the sector has been working “in an antiquated fashion” for decades, relying on inefficient, expensive, and highly manual processes to find, hire, manage, and pay workers. “There has been no innovation in this industry for a very, very long time,” Sumit Sahdev told BetaKit in an interview.


Instacart Buys Online Local Grocery Startup in Deal Spree (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Ithaca, New York-based Rosie has an app that connects customers to local, independent supermarkets and also offers a white-label e-commerce product to its grocers. The company was valued at $40 million in 2021 and had raised a total of $12 million in funding, according to PitchBook.


Amazon is buying mechatronics specialist Cloostermans (TECHCRUNCH)

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Amazon family and extending the impact we can have at a global scale,” said Frederik Berckmoes-Joos, CEO of Cloostermans, in a statement in a blog post published by Amazon. “Amazon has raised the bar for how supply chain technologies can benefit employees and customers, and we’re looking forward to be part of the next chapter of this innovation.”


Myplanet raises $14 million CAD to become leader in emerging ‘composable commerce’ market (BETAKIT)

“We had this ‘aha’ moment back in 2019, where we realized that this category, composable commerce, was right at that tipping point of going to the mainstream,” Myplanet founder and CEO Jason Cottrell told BetaKit in an interview.

“The ecosystem was [becoming] more established, the core vendors were now raising their Series B [and] their Series C [rounds], and so, we kind of sat back and made what at the time was a risk risky bet, but now seems great in hindsight.”


Microsoft invests in Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens startup (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Microsoft is the first US-based investor in Uber known to have backed CloudKitchens, the “dark kitchen” start-up run by the ride-hailing company’s controversial co-founder Travis Kalanick, sources told The Financial Times. The investment was part of CloudKitchens’ $850 million funding round that closed in November 2021, which valued the Los Angeles-based company at $15 billion.


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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