R|T: The Retail Times – Union busted

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The Retail Times is a weekly newsletter covering retail tech news from Canada and around the globe.

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Inovia, Shopify back delivery startup Swyft in $22 million Series A round (BETAKIT)

The all-equity, primary capital Series A round follows less than a year after Swyft closed a $3 million CAD seed round.


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Alibaba fined $2.8 billion on competition charge in China (AP NEWS)

Party leaders worry about the dominance of China’s biggest internet companies, which are expanding into finance, health services and other sensitive areas.


Amazon workers in Alabama vote against forming a union (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Some who voted no said they didn’t see how a union would substantially improve their pay and benefits. The loss may bring a new phase of campaign against Amazon, while The National Labor Relations Board has ruled Amazon illegally retaliated against two of its most outspoken critics when it fired them last April.


Vendasta Technologies IPO struggles to sell, sources say, as Canada’s tech craze substantially cools (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Management must now consider pricing the company’s shares below their marketing range of $14 and $16 apiece or pull the transaction altogether. Meanwhile, Thinkific filed for TSX IPO, and has applied to trade under the symbol “THNC.”


SoftBank, BlackRock lead $640 million funding for startup Trax (BNN BLOOMBERG)

Trax, a Singapore-based startup serving the retail industry, raised $640 million from investors led by SoftBank Vision Fund II and BlackRock Inc. to bankroll its global expansion. SoftBank also invested in online grocery startup Kolonial and Indian social commerce app Meesho.


Lightspeed launches payments product in UK, Europe (BETAKIT)

Prior to launching its payment offering in 2018, Lightspeed customers had to rely on a third-party payments provider to integrate with their Lightspeed products.


Caisse-backed delivery company Intelcom expanding from Canada to Australia on strength of Amazon partnership (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Intelcom doesn’t have any trucks of its own but optimizes logistics for nearly 500 courier companies across the country.


Peekapak, Cisco, and the C100 share advice for Canadian tech leaders who “leave it all on the field” (BETAKIT)

Laura Buhler (C100), Ami Shah (Peekapak), and Erin Hipp (Cisco) provide founders with tangible examples of how to adapt and transform in the face of change.


Amazon is snapping up disused shopping malls and turning them into fulfillment centers (NBC NEWS)

“I see articles about Amazon building here and Amazon building there. I’m not sure any of us really fully understand the implications because it’s happening so so fast,” the resident of one such neighborhood said.


Instacart and DoorDash plan to launch their own credit cards (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Two of the biggest winners in the pandemic delivery boom are looking to launch their own credit cards.


UK Deliveroo riders strike over pay, gig work conditions (AP NEWS)

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which represents migrant and gig workers, expected hundreds of riders to take part.


Rise in alcohol e-commerce market fuels buzz for its future (CRUNCHBASE)

International Wine & Spirit Research now expects the total value of alcohol e-commerce across 10 global markets, including the U.S., to exceed $40 billion by 2024.


Uber, Lyft use rides to vaccines to get drivers, customers back on the platform (REUTERS)

Ride-hailing demand is ramping up throughout the United States from pandemic-induced lows, but drivers are still slow to return to the road, slowing the companies’ efforts to rebuild revenues.


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Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.