Welcome to BetaKit’s startup stories of the week! Here, you will find the week’s most important news, features, and editorials published on BetaKit.
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Top Stories of the Week
VENTURELAB’S LATEST HARDTECH SUMMIT EXPLORES BARRIERS, OPPORTUNITIES FACING CANADIAN DEEP TECH STARTUPS
HardTech 2023 featured panels on topics ranging from the hardware that powers artificial intelligence (AI) to the state of medtech and what investors consider when weighing whether to back deep tech startups, which face a slightly different path compared to their software counterparts.
GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA PROPOSES CHANGES TO CLEAR PATH FOR TECH FIRMS TO USE ‘SOFTWARE ENGINEER’ TITLE
The Government of Alberta has tabled changes designed to enable technology companies in the province to use the ‘software engineer’ title to attract and retain skilled talent.
Engineers Canada and the country's provincial and territorial engineering regulators sent a letter to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith expressing strong opposition to the government's decision to change the province's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act.
TAX COURT DISQUALIFIES GOVERNMENT LOAN SPENDING FROM SR&ED, WITH POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING IMPLICATIONS FOR CANADIAN TECH
Canadian organizations may see some of what previously qualified for SR&ED benefits no longer eligible for the widely used tax incentive program if those expenses were paid for via a low or no-interest loan from a federal institution. According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), SR&ED provides more than $3 billion in tax incentives to 16,000 businesses annually.
Toronto-based digital pharmacy startup Mednow has been placed into receivership to restructure and identify parties interested in purchasing the company or its assets.
The announcement comes a little over two years after the company raised approximately $37 million CAD for its initial public offering on the TSX Venture Exchange in March 2021.
Deloitte has announced the 2023 winners of its Technology Fast 50, a list meant to highlight Canadian companies demonstrating rapid revenue growth.
There was a considerable presence of FinTech companies on the Fast 50 this year, with Dapper Labs topping the list at a whopping 16,910 percent.
Calgary-based Neo Financial took first place in the Companies-to-watch category with a 81,732 three-year growth rate.
Lidiane Jones, CEO of Salesforce-owned, Vancouver-founded workplace communication platform Slack, is set to leave the company and take over for Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in the coming months.
Despite year-over-year gains in the representation of women and visible minorities at Canadian venture firms, senior-level diversity in the industry is still lagging, according to a new report from BDC Capital.
BDC Capital’s report found that overall, diversity at the senior levels of the private asset industry remains low—almost half of venture firms are entirely male owned, while eight percent are entirely visible minority owned and two percent are entirely woman or Indigenous owned. Only 31 percent of venture firms reported having gender parity.
To date, Acton has backed nine Canadian tech firms. Acton partner Hannes Blum, based in Vancouver, has led the firm’s investments in Canada for the past seven years. According to Blum, Acton intends to back 15 to 20 startups in total through Fund VI, including another two to four Canadian startups.
Amid a prolonged period of high inflation, rising interest rates, and economic uncertainty, tech stocks have fallen and capital has become scarce.
This week, at least four Toronto Stock Exchange-listed firms announced their financial results: Vancouver software company Thinkific Labs, Québec City-based artificial intelligence platform Coveo, Vancouver FinTech firm Mogo, and Montréal-based payments company Nuvei. Their earnings reports offer insight into how some Canadian tech companies are working to meet investor expectations.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – Certn acquires Trustmatic (read more)
VAN – ActiveState acquired by Vertu Capital (read more)
VAN – Acton Capital closes $240M Fund VI (read more)
VAN – Photonic – $137M (read more)
AB – CRIN pledges $16.1M to 19 cleantech projects (read more)
KW – Cavelo – $5M (read more)
HAM – NGen commits $19M to 12 AI manufacturing projects (read more)
TOR – Tokens.com lays off 40 percent of staff (read more)
LVL – Recharge Véhicule Électrique – $7.8M (read more)
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The BetaKit Podcast
“We all have to thank Elon Musk for all that amazing innovation and disruption that's happening. Many changes that he has brought to X are now driving that interesting innovation."
Buffer Chief Product Officer Maria Thomas discusses how social media has changed over the company's 13-year history and how the company is building a headless ecommerce equivalent for posting 'content' on a fractured internet.
“What happens when the technologists decide what they do is more important than the government and they don’t want to play by those rules?”
Rob and Douglas hold a post-mortem on the fever dream that was financial innovation and competition in Canada before discussing what Minister Freeland’s recent announcements signal about the government’s intentions. Your interlocutors then unpack Marc Andreessen’s Techno-Optimist Manifesto, its approach and intentions, and how it stands in direct contrast with US President Biden’s recent AI executive order.