R|T: The Retail Times – Swyft cuts, lightning-fast acquisitions

GoBolt
Plus: Rohlik bags $231M as market cools on food delivery startups.

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GoBolt buys same-day delivery startup BoxKnight to accelerate move into small parcel space (BETAKIT)

GoBolt was previously a customer of Montréal’s BoxKnight’s same and next-day delivery service. The acquisition closed in May and will see GoBolt fold BoxKnight into its parcel division. The financial terms of the all-cash deal were not disclosed.

In an interview with BetaKit, GoBolt co-founder and CEO Mark Ang described the acquisition of BoxKnight as a “a really natural move,” adding that it fits within the firm’s vision “to make logistics easier than the purchase itself” and aids GoBolt’s move into the small parcel delivery space.


Shopify-backed ecommerce delivery startup Swyft latest Canadian tech company to cut staff (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Aadil Kazmi, CEO and co-founder of Toronto-based Swyft Technologies Inc., confirmed in a text that his startup has laid off 10 of its staff in Canada and the U.S. “to hyper focus on the core business.”


Plobal Apps raises $8.5 million in Bessemer-led round to scale mobile e-commerce app for Shopify merchants (BETAKIT)

Elevation and Bessemer also co-led Plobal’s $5.5 million seed round last year. With the two rounds, Plobal’s total funding to date is $14 million. Founded in 2016 by Atul Poharkar, Plobal provides director-to-consumer brands with a platform that can build and deploy their mobile apps, increase mobile app installations, and engage with customers.


Wholesale marketplace Faire, a major presence in Kitchener, opens Toronto office (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

The company, headquartered in San Francisco but with Mr. Cortes leading a team of nearly 250 staff of mostly engineers in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, was most recently valued at nearly US$12.6-billion. The company is now investing further in Canada, announcing a new downtown Toronto office Thursday with room for at least 150 staff. And its executives are confident they won’t stop there. “I just don’t know how long we’re going to be able to fit,” Mr. Cortes said of the new office.


With Canadian tech IPOs on pause, private markets face a higher bar (BETAKIT)

Last year, we saw many tech companies forgo private capital raises, opting for a public launch instead. After a sleepy decade averaging approximately one tech IPO a year, 16 tech companies with offering sizes larger than $50 million debuted on the Toronto Stock Exchange during this period of explosive activity.

But markets oscillate, and like a pendulum, it has swung the other way, with private market growth capital once again the pathway of choice for tech firms.


Rohlik bags $231M as market cools on food delivery startups (TECHCRUNCH)

The salad days are over for many startups in the online food delivery sector. Following a long period of cash injections, splashy and high-profile promotions, these days, layoffs, M&A and dropping valuations are too often the stories you’re more likely to hear about a lot of them.

Today, though, comes an interesting exception: Rohlik, an online grocery delivery startup based out of Prague with some 1 million customers.


Shopify shareholders approve increased voting power for CEO Tobi Lütke, 10-for-1 stock split (BETAKIT)

A May 20 filing argued that the plan carries “inadequate protection” for the interests of minority shareholders and limits their rights. “Ultimately, while we acknowledge the board’s concerns around the approaching sunset of the CEO’s effective controlling voting stake, we are not persuaded that the proposed arrangement is the correct solution,” Glass Lewis wrote.


Marc Lore’s Food-Delivery Startup Wonder Is Valued at $3.5 Billion After Capital Raise (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Wonder Group, a food-delivery startup led by Jet.com founder Marc Lore, has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the business at a time when the venture-capital market is cooling. New York-based Wonder closed a $350 million funding round last month, according to company officials, bringing the total amount raised in debt and equity to $900 million.


Startup Luxembourg wants Canadian founders to know its country is a gateway to the European market (BETAKIT)

Leaders of Startup Luxembourg, the brand for the country’s tech ecosystem, are on a trade mission to Canada, including a stop at Collision 2022, to entice Canadian founders to launch in Europe through Luxembourg.


Carvana hits a pothole as its shares tumble 90% and layoffs hit. Here’s what the future could hold for the online used car dealer (FORTUNE)

Carvana, the nation’s largest online used auto dealer, has spent most of its 10-year journey with its accelerator punched to the floor. The company capitalized on strong demand for an Amazon-like car shopping experience, helping customers avoid the inconveniences of visiting vehicle lots and haggling with pushy salespeople.


Hopper rolls out new FinTech products as it aims to build a “travel super app” (BETAKIT)

While the new products are consumer-facing with a downloadable app, they are also available through Hopper’s B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud. The latter allows travel providers to integrate and distribute Hopper’s FinTech and travel agency content and has provided much of the company’s revenue in recent years.


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Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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