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
ROLLOUT OF CANADA’S REAL-TIME RAIL PAYMENT SYSTEM DELAYED AGAIN AS PROJECT UNDERGOES SECOND REVIEW THIS YEAR
Payments Canada has announced that the launch of the country’s forthcoming Real-Time Rail (RTR) payment system has been delayed once more.
The organization cited “current delivery delays, unrelated to the exchange technology components,” adding that it is also conducting another review.
Canada's open banking delays continue to have an impact on local innovation. This week, Shopify announced a partnership with UK-based FinTech startup Volt to offer open banking solutions to merchants—but not in Canada.
When reached for comment on the RTR delays, Koho CEO Daniel Eberhard noted that Shopify and Volt are unlikely to attempt offering a similar solution in Canada because the framework still isn’t in place.
“The most pernicious payments myth in Ottawa is that competition is somehow opposing systemic stability,” Eberhard told BetaKit. “There is not a single Canadian company that could have competitively bid for this work. Unless something dramatic changes, Canada can expect to be relegated to the sidelines within 10 years.”
At the end of last year, fermentation startup Ardra Bio found itself in trouble.
One of Ardra’s manufacturing partners had gone bust, taking a large cash deposit with them. Its second-choice manufacturer was slowed due to a COVID-19 wave in China. And the broader venture market looked to be brewing up a pronounced downturn.
Québec City-based automotive software provider LeddarTech has reached an agreement to merge with Prospector, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company led by former Qualcomm executives.
This SPAC deal, which is expected to close by the fourth quarter, gives LeddarTech a $348-million USD pro-forma equity valuation.
TRIBE NETWORK LAUNCHES $20-MILLION VC FUND TO INVEST IN EARLY-STAGE STAGE BUSINESSES LED BY PEOPLE OF COLOUR
Tribe Network is launching Tribe Ventures, a $20-million venture capital fund that will seek out racialized founders building high-growth technology companies.
While primarily focused on entrepreneurs based in Canada, some 15 percent of the fund will be reserved for international investment in Africa.
TORONTO-WATERLOO, VANCOUVER, AND MONTRÉAL HOLD THE FORT AS CALGARY AND OTTAWA RISE IN STARTUP GENOME’S LATEST GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM RANKINGS
According to Startup Genome, Canada’s biggest tech startup ecosystems have maintained their positions from 2022, while two emerging cities have improved their standing.
Fresh off its $270 million Series C, Cohere has been ranked the highest of four Canadian companies on Bessemer's new top 100 "deeptech" companies list.
The list is meant to highlight companies developing "technology that was science fiction in the past but is reality today."
Canadian-founded Apollo, a third-party application for browsing the discussion-forum site Reddit, is shutting down on June 30 as it gets priced out by Reddit’s changes to its application programming interface (API) policies.
BetaKit founder Sarah Prevette says learning how to prompt an AI engine is not just a tech skill—it’s a life skill.
CANADIAN TECH EVENT ROUNDUP
Vancouver Startup Week (VSW) finally returned to its in-person format, featuring whispers of other Canadian tech events and the advent of a Chief AI officer in Vancouver.
Startup Train returns! Startup fest, a celebration of startups in Montréal, has announced the return of its train service, Startup Train, as well as over $300,000 in prizes.
Collision party guide: Erdos Ventures founder Michael Liu, along with tech hubs AceDAO and TechTO, mapped out where all the Collision afterparties will be.
Latest Funding, Acquisitions, and Layoffs
VAN – Vanhack – $3M (read more)
VAN – GameOn – $1.7M (read more)
CGY – Kibbi – $1.1M (read more)
CGY – OneVest – $17M (read more)
TOR – Micharity – $7M (read more)
TOR – Ontario Genomics unveils eight startups receiving $150K (read more)
HFX – QuickFacts – $1.13M (read more)
Interested in joining an emerging healthcare innovation cluster?
The next generation of healthcare solutions is emerging in Vaughan.
Join our growing cluster of businesses and talent advancing cutting-edge healthcare innovation. Vaughan is home to Canada’s first smart hospital and the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct – a budding health innovation district and a world-class destination for health research, education, innovation and commercialization.
Multinational leaders in the health technology and life sciences sectors are leveraging Vaughan’s global market access, robust talent pool and rich ecosystem of collaborators.
The BetaKit Podcast
"They're trying to invent the next product category—that's what they want to do. They want to have some sort of hardware to push into the future. They just haven't convinced me that this really is the future yet."
Apple just announced the most impressive—and expensive—AR/VR/MR device ever made. But who is the device for and how will they use it? MobileSyrup editor-in-chief Patrick O'Rourke joins to answer these questions fresh off of strapping Apple's spacial computer to his face.
Is Collision staying in Toronto (and for how much)? Is Collision coming to Vancouver? Why are Canada’s governments paying foreign companies to compete against local events? Are we a branch plant innovation ecosystem? Do we secretly believe we can’t do it ourselves?
People across Canada are asking questions about Collision. The answers say a lot about Canadian tech.
Subscribe to B|K: The BetaKit Newsletter
Subscribe to B|K using the form below to ensure the best from BetaKit hits your inbox every week.