R|T: The Retail Times – Why women in retail are leaving CEO positions

Plus: Lightspeed CEO muses about privatization; Giant Tiger’s cyberattack.

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

Subscribe to R|T using this form to ensure you don’t miss out on the most important retail tech news every week!

Why women in retail are leaving CEO positions

Modern Retail spoke with half a dozen women retail executives on why women leave their roles, and what steps businesses can take to build a pipeline of diverse leadership talent. The conversations shine a light on the underlying — and often unspoken — realities that women executives face.

Jane Park, former CEO of Julep cosmetics and founder of the reusable gift bag company Tokki, said it’s troubling to see such little progress for women entrepreneurs.

“When the economy catches a cold, women in the economy catch pneumonia,” Park said.


Tofu nets $1.2 million to fast-track hiring for tech startups

Toronto-based Tofu aims to make it easier for technology firms to find qualified candidates that other companies have already vetted, but not hired.

Today, the startup’s platform allows over 170 firms to share talent with each other, and the company has helped dozens of tech workers find jobs and saved other firms weeks of time filling roles, Tofu co-founder and CEO Jason Zoltak told BetaKit.

Now, armed with $1.2 million CAD in pre-seed funding, Zoltak said Tofu plans to scale up its marketplace to serve more companies and grow its team with product and engineering hires.


Lightspeed Commerce stock jumps after CEO Dax Dasilva muses about privatization

After a slew of recent Canadian software company privatizations, Lightspeed Commerce founder Dax Dasilva is musing whether his enterprise should do the same.

“People have remarked to me since I’ve come back that going private would be a good option for Lightspeed,” he said. “As other companies weigh that decision, that’s one of the strategic options open to the company. We’re evaluating all options, our board has a fiduciary duty to evaluate all options.”

(The Globe and Mail)

Waabi to use Nvidia chip to power autonomous trucking solution

Toronto-based autonomous vehicle startup Waabi has partnered with semiconductor giant Nvidia on a new artificial intelligence-powered solution for the trucking sector.

Waabi plans to integrate Nvidia’s DRIVE Thor chip into its AI-driven trucking system, Waabi Driver, beginning in 2025. Waabi Driver is a trainable system that uses AI, sensors, and cameras to navigate roads safely and efficiently without human intervention.


African B2B e-commerce giant Wasoko marked down to $260M after VC halves stake

VNV Global, a Swedish investment firm that backs startups in mobility, health and marketplaces, slashed the value of its holding in Wasoko, an African B2B e-commerce startup, by 48%, according to its annual report for 2023.

This is not VNV’s first markdown for Wasoko. In Q4 2022, it valued Wasoko at $501 million, just months after the eight-year-old startup closed a $125 million Series B investment co-led by Tiger Global and Avenir at a $625 million valuation.


General Assembly and CanPR enter into Definitive Merger Agreement for Reverse Takeover

Following a letter of intent signed last November, the once-lauded General Assembly Pizza has officially entered into a definitive reverse takeover agreement with CanPR Technology, according to a release shared with BetaKit.

CanPR provides technology-based solutions relating to web applications, mobile development, e-commerce, and data and analytics for the immigration sector.

Following the deal’s closing, General Assembly will officially become “CanPR Technology Inc” and continue the business of CanPR as a company listed on the TSXV.

Ali Khan Lalani, founder and CEO of what was General Assembly Pizza, joined the BetaKit Podcast in 2021 to discuss pivoting from a well-known pizza spot in the heart of Toronto’s tech district to frozen pizza delivery subscriptions (PaaS, pizza as a service) during COVID.

Adam Neumann submits over $500-million bid to buy back WeWork, source says

Adam Neumann has submitted a bid of more than $500 million to buy back WeWork, the office-sharing company he co-founded and propelled to a $47 billion valuation before it fell into bankruptcy, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Neumann raised WeWork to be the most valuable U.S. startup, worth $47 billion, before his pursuit of expansion at the expense of profit and revelations about his eccentric behavior led to his ouster in 2019 and derailed what would have been a major initial public offering.


Notman House is for sale. A startup-led effort wants to buy it back

Montréal startup space Notman House is officially on the market, and local real estate investment and rental startup Guiker wants to buy it with the help of community investors.

The proposal comes after the OSMO Foundation defaulted on its debts to the Business Development Bank of Canada and Investissement Québec, who provided initial grants to finance Notman House.

“We’re really kind of on the brink of losing Notman House,” Gabriel Sundaram, co-founder of Mission.dev, told BetaKit. “What we believe is that our initiative is the only one that gives an opportunity for Notman’s mission to continue to exist.”


Stripe and Amazon Elevate Retail in Canada with Checkout-Free Just Walk Out Technology

Stripe is expanded its partnership with Amazon to power payments for retailers using Just Walk Out technology in Canada.

Merchants in Canada use Stripe Terminal’s WisePad3S reader attached to physical entry gates, and Stripe automatically processes the payment after the guest leaves. Stripe Connect will programmatically route payments from shoppers directly to businesses using Just Walk Out technology.


C100 launches new Growth Program to support later-stage companies

C100 has launched a new program aimed at supporting the growth of later-stage Canadian technology companies.

The new Growth Program is designed to address challenges faced by fast-growing tech companies in Canada, such as the scarcity of risk-tolerant capital, a lack of senior talent capable of assisting with global expansion, and insufficient personalized mentoring for the founders of scaling firms.


Discount retailer Giant Tiger says customer data was compromised in third-party breach

Discount retailer Giant Tiger says contact information for some of its customers was compromised in an “incident” linked to a third-party vendor it uses.

Alison Scarlett, a spokesperson for the Ottawa-based discount retailer, said it would not name the vendor on Monday but said Giant Tiger uses the company to manage its customer communications and engagement.

The email indicated that the compromised information varied between customers. It included the names and email addresses of those who subscribe to Giant Tiger emails.


Feature image courtesy Marissa Grootes 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.

0 replies on “R|T: The Retail Times – Why women in retail are leaving CEO positions”