Plus: Five months in, details on Canada’s new Innovation and Investment Agency remain sparse.
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Thoughtwire, Finaeo make staff cuts as Canadian tech continues to face economic headwinds (BETAKIT)
Thoughtwire and Finaeo are among the latest Canadian startups to make layoffs in recent weeks as companies adjust to a tighter investment landscape and economy. Both companies are staying mum on the number of employees cut.
Instacart acquires AI pricing platform Eversight (FAST COMPANY)
Americans are currently grappling with decades-high inflation that’s led some shoppers to cut items from their grocery baskets. Instacart is hoping the deal will create a flywheel effect, where goods are priced at the “sweet spot” that drives sales and growth for CPG brands and retailers, while also leading to better promotions and pricing for customers.
Supply chain analytics SaaS startup Lytica secures over $13 million in Series A round (BETAKIT)
Founded in 2005, Lytica uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze pricing data, offering market insights to reduce costs and mitigate supply chain risk. Lytica claims that Fortune 500 and blue chip companies rely on its platform to find better prices, manufacturers, and suppliers.
An AI-Generated Artwork Won First Place at a State Fair Fine Arts Competition, and Artists Are Pissed (VICE)
A man came in first at the Colorado State Fair’s fine art competition using an AI generated artwork on Monday. “I won first place,” a user going by Sincarnate said in a Discord post above photos of the AI-generated canvases hanging at the fair.
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Reddit acquires contextualization company Spiketrap to boost its ads business (TECHCRUNCH)
The deal signals Reddit’s growing investment in its advertising business as it aims to make it easier for advertisers to target relevant audiences based on interests. This deal also arrives at a time when Apple’s consumer privacy tools, App Tracking Transparency or ATT, have been impacting the effectiveness of online ads across major tech platforms, like Facebook and Snap, as consumers opt out of ads personalization.
Five months in, details on Canada’s new Innovation and Investment Agency remain sparse (BETAKIT)
Since the budget announcement, the federal government has little to offer about what the agency will look like, its role, how it will work and, most importantly, whether it will work at all. Queries to the federal government only elicit vague statements about why the new agency is needed, but yield nothing concrete about its potential workings.
Musk approaches brain chip startup Synchron about deal amid Neuralink delays, sources say (CNBC)
Musk reached out to Synchron’s founder and chief executive, Thomas Oxley, in recent weeks to discuss a potential deal, the sources said. It is not clear if any transaction would involve a tie-up or collaboration between Synchron and Neuralink.
How startups can avoid the “Frankenstein data stack” trap (BETAKIT)
In the quest for speed, many startup founders cobble together multiple low-quality data sources, hoping it offers practical insight. This is a problem Peter Fishman, co-founder and CEO of Mozart Data, frequently saw at fast-growing startups in the Bay Area.
Fairmarkit’s AI-fueled platform delivers autonomous procurement sourcing (TECHCRUNCH)
Fairmarkit co-founder and CEO Kevin Frechette says that legacy players like Oracle and SAP have tended to dominate the industry up until now, concentrating on the largest purchases with what he calls “clunky and manual” systems. He and his co-founders saw an opportunity to innovate around the tail spend space when they launched the company in 2017.
Canadian tech companies continue to hire despite downturn – here’s an (incomplete) list (BETAKIT)
350 companies have now added their job listings, indicating a strong and continued desire to hire #CDNtech talent.
D-Wave, Coveo, Canada Drives among tech companies receiving collective $50 million for Scale AI projects (BETAKIT)
D-Wave is working with Save-On-Foods, ThoughtsWin Systems, White Box Analytics, OpsGuru, and Deloitte (with $2.8 million from Scale AI) to develop a demand forecasting model for product placements and pricing. An optimization algorithm will also automate scheduling of ecommerce deliveries.
French tax officials use AI to spot 20,000 undeclared pools (THE GUARDIAN)
The system, developed by Google and Capgemini, can identify pools on aerial images and cross-checks them with land registry databases. Launched as an experiment a year ago in nine French departments, it has uncovered 20,356 pools, the tax office said on Monday, and will be extended across the country.