Canadian startup news of the week (7/3/22)

With political turnover on the horizon, is the party boat over for Alberta tech?

Plus: Canadian tech companies expand support for US employees in wake of Roe v. Wade ruling.

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. If you prefer this update hit your inbox every week, make sure to subscribe to the BetaKit Newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page.

Top Stories of the Week

With political turnover on the horizon, is the party over for Alberta tech?

Alberta tech clearly has some steam. But with the resignation of Premier Jason Kenney, and Minister Schweitzer announcing he does not plan to run for re-election, the future of the province’s tech spending may be up in the air.

Canadian tech companies expand support for US employees in wake of Roe v. Wade ruling

Canadian companies have been slower than their US counterparts to offer abortion support for their American employees as within hours of the ruling, more than a dozen large US companies announced plans. In the week since the ruling, more Canadian companies have come out with similar measures.

Clutch cuts staff to extend runway, citing market conditions

Online car retailer Clutch has laid off a significant portion of its employee base in an effort to slow down growth and extend its runway. Clutch CEO Dan Park said the decision was in response to current market conditions. With the move, Clutch joins a growing list of Canadian tech companies to lay off staff in recent weeks, including Bonsai and Ritual.

Isaac Souweine leaves Real Ventures, joins Pender Ventures to support Vancouver firm’s expansion across Canada

Isaac Souweine has left Real Ventures and joined Pender Ventures as a partner to aid the Vancouver-based VC group’s expansion into Eastern Canada, and help it raise $100 million USD for Fund II. Souweine’s departure from Real Ventures is the latest in a series of personnel changes to the Montréal-based VC firm’s investment team that have taken place since 2020.

NACO reports angel investment in Canada hit record $262 million in 2021

The number of angel investments made in Canada during 2021 increased 53 percent year-over-year, according to NACO. In total, more than $262 million was invested across the Canadian startup ecosystem. These figures represent a rebound compared to 2020—when COVID-19 first hit.

Three trends defining the future of cybersecurity

Larger organizations with fortress-strength cyber security protocols and hundreds of cyber security employees can still be impacted by attacks on one of the thousands of vendors and partners in their supply chains.

Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs

VAN – Finn AI acquired by Glia (read more)

VAN – Canada Drives secures $40M from goeasy (read more)

CAL – IBM Canada secures $5M for new innovation centre (read more)

CAL – Mercator AI – $1M (read more)

SSK – Cadence – $1.2M (read more)

OTT – XtremeEDA to be acquired by Accenture (read more)

OTT – Tablz – $3.2M (read more)

MTL – Triptyq Capital launches $40M fund for creative economy (read more)

MTL – Maxa – $2.9M (read more)

INSIDE ANTHONY LACAVERA’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM MOBILE

“The worst outcome for Rogers is an actual real competitor, which is what we are. They know we’re going to bring prices down and they don’t want prices to come down.”

Globalive co-founder and chairman Anthony Lacavera shares why he was forced to sell Wind Mobile, and explains why it’s so hard to repurchase it now as Freedom Mobile as part of the (contested) Rogers / Shaw merger. Welcome to Competitiontown.

#COLLISIONCONF AMA: A TECH DOWNTURN VIBE CHECK

“So are you saying that Canadian tech is under-appreciated?”

A special Collision edition of our monthly AMA episode, answering listener questions about: the current downturn mood, cool tech we saw at the conference, and the ROI of events on the ecosystem.

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Author: George Holt