R|T: The Retail Times – Thrasio raised $3 billion. Now it’s filing for bankruptcy.

Plus: US resistance has Shein eyeing UK to IPO.

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Finix launches integrated payments offering in Canada

San Francisco-based FinTech company Finix has officially launched its business payments solution in the Canadian market.

Canada marks the first international launch for Finix. In a statement sent to BetaKit, Finix CEO and co-founder Richie Serna said the firm launched a private production beta in the country last year after finding Canada was underserved in terms of integrated payments.


Shein Considers London IPO Amid US Resistance to Listing

Fast-fashion company Shein is considering the possibility of switching its initial public offering to London from New York because of hurdles to the listing in the US, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A listing in London would be a potential boon to the beleaguered market, after one of the worst years for IPOs in its modern history. About $1 billion was raised in the UK via IPOs last year, the lowest level in decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

(BNN Bloomberg)

QueerTech acquires accelerator Gradient Spaces to support more 2SLGBTQ+ tech workers

QueerTech, a Montréal-based nonprofit that supports 2SLGBTQ+ tech workers and entrepreneurs, announced this week it has acquired Gradient Spaces, a Toronto-based accelerator for 2SLGBTQ+ startup founders in Canada.

As part of the acquisition, QueerTech said it will maintain key Gradient Spaces’ partnerships and explore new opportunities to expand the accelerator’s impact. QueerTech said it plans to release details on strategic plans and the integration of volunteers in the coming weeks.

Since its founding in 2020, Gradient Spaces has worked to build “affirming, generative, and joyful spaces” for Queer startup founders and ecosystem partners aligned around enabling the success of 2SLGBTQ+ innovators.


Expedia to Lay Off 1,500 – Nearly 9% of Workforce

Expedia Group announced late Monday that it began notifying 1,500 employees that they would be laid off “in light of the Company’s organizational and technological transformation.”

These job cuts include 208 Expedia Group employees in headquarters city Seattle, according to a WARN notice. Those layoffs are expected to start May 1. The layoffs will also take 64 jobs in Austin, Texas, which means some of these likely are coming from Expedia’s Vrbo unit.


Angel Investors Ontario’s long-term future is unclear as FedDev funding dries up

With its current government funding set to expire at the end of March and no new commitments yet, Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) is in the midst of a leadership transition.

FedDev Ontario currently provides over 90 percent of AIO’s funding, with the remainder coming from sponsors. But according to newly appointed executive chair Mark Lawrence, the feds’ current commitment to AIO concludes at the end of March, and no new financing has been promised yet.


Sheertex maker looks to get a leg up on pantyhose rivals with new plant – and maybe even displace Gore-Tex

Katherine Homuth wants to dominate the pantyhose business with an unbreakable product whose raw material is also suitable for swimwear and waterproof membranes. Her Montreal-based SRTX sold $47-million of its Sheertex and Watertex-branded products last year and made headlines in People and Cosmopolitan magazines as Taylor Swift’s leggings-maker of choice.

But Ms. Homuth, SRTX’s chief executive, knows that to build a Canadian textile giant, the company must drive down the cost to make its products – which use the same material found in bulletproof vests – price-competitive with Big Nylon.

(The Globe and Mail)

OMERS Ventures’ Laura Lenz explains how startups can stand out when fundraising

VCs are paying more attention to company quality and pushing past what Laura Lenz, a partner at OMERS Ventures, called “ego-raising.” An investor for over 20 years, Lenz has prioritized in-depth diligence for companies regardless of economic cycle. And in her experience, one of the best ways a startup can stand out in the fundraising process is with a high-quality data room.

Speaking with BetaKit, Lenz explained the significance of a well-crafted data room and offered her three-step process for building one.


Alibaba Discloses State Ownership in More Than 12 Business Units

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. disclosed a wider web of Chinese government stakes in its business units than previously known, following an inquiry from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filings come as China’s ruling Communist Party said this month that it will play a bigger role in steering the country’s technology and science development. Beijing’s tightening grip over its tech companies in recent years has intensified investor concern and the potential for greater scrutiny in the US.

(BNN Bloomberg)

How money actually flows from VCs to startups

Speaking with BetaKit, Robert Rosen, Managing Director of Innovation Banking at CIBC, explained what capital call lines are, how they operate, and how liquidity instruments like these help keep Canada’s innovation economy moving.


Shadowfax confirms $100M round to fuel instant delivery push

Shadowfax, one of the largest logistics service providers to hyper-local and on-demand delivery businesses in India, has raised $100 million in a new funding round as it clocks a yearly growth of 35 percent.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup is attempting to streamline logistics operations by unifying disparate elements in India’s last-mile ecosystem.


Feature image courtesy Wynand van Poortvliet via Unsplash.

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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