R|T: The Retail Times – TikTok to remove its Storefront integration, Instacart officially files for IPO

Shopify building
Plus: Hopper scores Air Canada partnership with embedded FinTech.

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TikTok to remove ‘Storefront’ integration with Shopify and others, pushing merchants to use TikTok Shop (BETAKIT)

Social media giant TikTok is sunsetting its Storefront feature, which enables merchants on Shopify and other platforms to sync their product catalogues to TikTok.

The move comes as TikTok looks to own the shopping experience on its popular video-sharing app and convince sellers to switch over to its in-house e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop.


Instacart files to go public on Nasdaq to try and unfreeze tech IPO market (CNBC)

Instacart, the grocery delivery company that slashed its valuation during last year’s market slide, filed its paperwork to go public on Friday in what’s poised to be the first significant venture-backed tech IPO since December 2021.


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Hopper continues embedded FinTech push with Air Canada partnership (BETAKIT)

Air Canada and Montréal-based startup Hopper have partnered on a new feature called Cancel for any Reason, allowing for immediate refunds up to 24 hours before a flight's scheduled departure.

The Air Canada partnership may be seen as part of Hopper’s ongoing push to create what it’s calling the first travel super app in North America. It’s also the first airline-focused instance of its successful Hopper Cloud B2B initiative, which lets travel businesses integrate FinTech products.


Zepto becomes India’s first 2023 unicorn with $200 million fresh funding (TECHCRUNCH)

Instant grocery delivery startup Zepto has raised $200 million in a new funding round at a valuation of $1.4 billion, it said Friday, at a time when most other firms in the category have either died or are struggling. The funding makes Zepto the first Indian startup to attain the unicorn status this year.


Four startup growth tips for founders, from founders (BETAKIT)

No two startup journeys are identical. However, trends can emerge across businesses and, as the saying goes, success leaves clues.

As part of a CIBC Innovation Banking video series, leaders from four different companies–Bridgit, 7Shifts, Jane App, and Bloomerang–shared the key lesson that helped them scale.


Indian food delivery firm Swiggy restarts IPO plans, aims for 2024 listing, sources say (REUTERS)

Swiggy, the Softbank-backed food delivery company, is eyeing a 2024 stock market listing and has initiated talks with bankers to assess its valuation, after halting the process for months due to weak markets, according to sources.

Swiggy, which delivers food from restaurants and also groceries, was valued at $10.7 billion in its last fundraising in 2022 but put its IPO plans on hold amid a funding crunch and investor concerns about stretched valuations.


Early-stage VC funding and mega-deals carry Canada to second-largest Q2 on record (BETAKIT)

As Canadian tech companies and investors continue to contend with tough economic conditions, the sector just posted its second-largest second quarter on record for venture capital funding, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

Per CVCA’s latest VC market report, in the second quarter, $2.8 billion CAD was put into Canadian tech startups across 170 deals. By dollars invested, this total represents a 140 percent jump quarter-over-quarter.


StubHub Hires New CFO With Eyes on 2024 IPO (THE INFORMATION)

Ticket-reselling company StubHub has hired Connie James to guide the company to IPO as its new finance chief, following the departure of its previous CFO in 2022, according to people familiar with the matter.

StubHub is one of many firms eyeing a 2024 debut after a year-plus freeze in the market for initial public offerings.


Walmart, Alphabet to Test Drone Deliveries of Up to Six Miles
(BNN BLOOMBERG)

Walmart Inc. is planning its longest drone deliveries yet by teaming up with Alphabet Inc.’s Wing unit at two Dallas-area stores.

While widespread deliveries around the US are likely years away as the FAA finalizes its rules and companies perfect their technology, the Dallas project shows how serious retailers are about using robotic aircraft to serve online shoppers.


Shein inks deal with Forever 21 as it looks to boost its reach (TECHCRUNCH)

Shein and Forever 21 have entered into a partnership that will give both brands new ways to reach customers.

The partnership will allow Shein to sell Forever 21 clothing and accessories on its site. Shein says the partnership gives it the opportunity to test customer-focused experiences at Forever 21 locations across the United States, including shop-in-shops and in-store returns.


Elevate, The Firehood reveal first cohort of 37 startups in new incubator for women entrepreneurs (BETAKIT)

The Firehood, an angel network that focuses on supporting women in the technology sector, and Toronto-based nonprofit Elevate have unveiled the 37 startups participating in the first cohort of its joint incubator for women entrepreneurs, the Women+ Entrepreneur Incubator.


B2B inventory marketplace Ghost reappears with $30M Series B to expand outside US (TECHCRUNCH)

Ghost, providing a B2B marketplace for surplus inventory, is back with fresh funds in the way of a $30 million Series B round.

Ghost’s members-only marketplace helps brands and retailers discreetly buy, sell, and ship their extra merchandise.


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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a freelancer with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in history, tech, and gaming. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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