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.
Top Stories of the Week
Toronto tech hub OneEleven has seen high executive turnover, an ill-fated national expansion, and in 2020, an abrupt shutdown that sent shockwaves through the local tech sector.
While questions remain as to why it went away in the first place, OneEleven is now firmly back. How did that happen and what does the innovation hub look like in 2023?
As Canada’s Fintech sector struggles, with startups like Billi and Pillar shutting down, Neo Financial has begun flexing business and financial partnerships to provide new consumer products to stay afloat.
If you ask Neo co-founder and CEO Andrew Chau, embedded finance has been a part of Neo’s strategy since the beginning.
Another round of layoffs has begun at Amazon in Canada, as it moves forward with the plan to lay off 9,000 workers that it announced in March.
Amazon declined to share the size of the layoffs’ impact in Canada, but most of the positions being eliminated are at Amazon Web Services (AWS), People Experience and Technology (PXT), advertising, and Twitch.
Tentree created a platform internally to track its tree-planting projects, which CEO Derrick Emsley and fellow Tentree co-founders have now spun out as its own company, Veritree. The spin-out is a B2B product to help businesses globally verify their own tree-planting projects.
RenoRun has filed for and been granted an extension as part of its insolvency process as the startup says it’s seeing a high level of interest from potential buyers.
While reaction from big tech remains tepid, one popular Canadian creator called C-11 “an ignorant, pointless piece of legislation that has thrown the futures of Canadian YouTubers — and many other professional Canadian online content creators — into doubt.”
Mark Paulsen, the Global Director of Enterprise Advocacy at GitHub, shared with BetaKit the major trends he’s seeing globally, where Canada fits in, and why companies need to change their approach to skills training for developers.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VIC – Billi shuts down (read more)
VAN – Well Health plans to invest at least $2.5M in AI companies (read more)
CAL – The51 closes $30M for Food and AgTech Fund (read more)
TOR – University of Toronto nabs $199M from feds for AI research (read more)
TOR – Super (formerly Snapcommerce) – $85M (read more)
TOR – Practice Better – $27M (read more)
OTT – Feds name six funds for $50M VCCI life sciences stream (read more)
MTL – University of Montréal nabs $124M from feds for AI research (read more)
MTL – E2ip Technologies – $120M (read more)
MTL – Pillar shuts down (read more)
FRE – FRE – Thales nabs govt funding to open cybersecurity hub (read more)
The BetaKit Podcast
“Once Apple showed up, BlackBerry had to do everything right and get on it on the double. And they did everything wrong.”
“And for whatever reason we thought, oh, there’s something to this story that feels funny to us.”
Losing the Signal co-author Sean Silcoff and BlackBerry producer and co-writer Matthew Miller join to discuss Canada’s former tech darling ahead of the forthcoming major motion picture release.
“The goal here is not that Canada is the largest market for AI in the world—it’s never going to be that. But if we make it the most willing to try new solutions, or to work with startups, that’s where we might have an opportunity.”
Clément Bourgogne, Chief Operating Officer at Scale AI, joins to discuss Canada’s limitations and opportunities when it comes to AI, and why his organization is more focused on supply chains than generative AI.
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