R|T: The Retail Times – Shopify takes stake in Faire as company discourages employee side hustles

Tobi Lütke Shopify
Plus: Instacart quickly loses its IPO gains.

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Shopify takes stake in Faire as part of new partnership (BETAKIT)

As consolidation continues in the e-commerce space, Shopify and Faire announced a new global partnership that makes Faire the recommended wholesale marketplace for Shopify.

As part of the deal, Shopify will also become a Faire shareholder. The firms did not disclose how much of a stake Shopify is taking in Faire.

Reports of a Shopify-Faire partnership surfaced in Business Insider back in July, with Shopify taking a five percent stake in the $12.5 billion company.

Hopper Contracts With Hotel Bedbanks After Losing Expedia Partnership (SKIFT)

Two months after Expedia Group abruptly stopped providing Hopper with hotels and vacation rentals, Hopper announced Wednesday that it struck deals with two hotel bedbanks — Hotelbeds and WebBeds — to add more than 700,000 properties to its roster.

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UK-based Captain AI will relocate to Canada after closing $2.1 million USD to serve restaurants in North America (BETAKIT)

Restaurant logistics startup Captain AI has secured $2.1 million USD in seed funding to fuel its go-to-market efforts in Canada and the United States (US).

Captain AI, which was founded by Canadians but initially launched in the United Kingdom (UK), has spent six years quietly building an artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed to help restaurant chains manage and improve their in-house food delivery operations.

In a leaked memo, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke discourages employees from having side hustles, saying Shopify requires 'unshared attention' (INSIDER)

Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke wrote a company-wide memo Wednesday discouraging employees from having side hustles.

"I recently learned our offer letters and some Vault pages have been suggesting side gigs," Lütke wrote in a post on Shopify's workplace page that was viewed by Insider. "This surprises me because it directly contradicts the countless times I've said Shopify is like a professional sports team that requires our unshared attention."

Elevate announces CIX acquisition and new $2-million innovation challenge for youth mental health (BETAKIT)

Elevate kicked off this year's tech and innovation festival on its main stage by announcing its acquisition of the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) and a partnership with MaRS and Kids Help Phone to launch a $2-million innovation challenge aimed at improving youth mental health.

Instacart’s 11% plunge on second day of trading wipes out almost all of its IPO gains (CNBC)

Instacart shares slumped nearly 11% in their second day of trading Wednesday, continuing a slide that began immediately after the stock hit the Nasdaq on Tuesday, and leaving it narrowly above its initial public offering price.

Instacart’s falling share price suggests investors are still hesitant to buy into tech companies that are aiming to disrupt traditional markets despite challenging economics.

Saskatoon software startups Vendasta, 7shifts, Andgo Systems make layoffs (BETAKIT)

Vendasta, 7shifts, and Andgo Systems recently laid off employees, BetaKit has learned.

In Vendasta’s case, the move follows a slew of recent acquisitions and marks part of a push toward profitability as investor priorities have shifted.

For 7shifts and Andgo, they come after both startups failed to meet growth targets as economic conditions have deteriorated.

Neo Financial, Float, and Cohere headline LinkedIn’s sixth annual list of Canada’s top 15 startups (BETAKIT)

In its blog post, LinkedIn highlighted difficulties faced by startups this year, such as venture capital deals in Canada dropping by 71 percent on an annual basis in the first quarter, higher interest rates, and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Despite that, the list of Canada's top 15 startups reflects the resilience of FinTech and artificial intelligence (AI) startups, with just over half of the ranked startups involved in either of those sectors.

The FTC just hit Amazon with a major antitrust lawsuit (TECHCRUNCH)

The Federal Trade Commission made its big move against online shopping giant Amazon on Tuesday, accusing the company of illegally stifling competition on its way to becoming a ubiquitous retail presence and one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Amazon predictably pushed back against the FTC’s allegations, which could amount to an existential threat to the company’s market dominance.

Front Row Ventures closes over-subscribed $5.5-million CAD pan-Canadian fund (BETAKIT)

Front Row Ventures, the university student-led fund that invests in student-led startups, has closed $5.5 million for its first pan-Canadian fund.

Historically, Front Row Ventures has focused on investing in early-stage, student-led Canadian startups. The fund received $600,000 in 2017 from Real Ventures to invest in 24 student-led startups over the next four years.

Flexport fires CFO, HR chief departs weeks after sudden ouster of Dave Clark as CEO (CNBC)

Three weeks after Flexport founder Ryan Petersen fired Dave Clark as CEO and returned to run his supply chain software startup, the company has informed CFO Kenny Wagers last week that he was being let go.

While Flexport’s business was thriving during the Covid e-commerce boom, it’s been hit hard over the past year as global economic tumult has led to a dramatic slump in global freight movements.

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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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