With US$150 million in fresh funding, Montréal’s Talent.com is ready to take on Indeed worldwide. Calgary based, Oil and gas tech startup, Validere closes $55 million funding with BlackRock backing. Sophic Client, Edge Total Intelligence’s (CTRL-TSXV) CEO Jim Barrett, recently presented at the Investor Summit Q1 2022. Indonesian startup GoTo will raise up to US$1.1 billion in its IPO. SoftBank-backed Indian hotel startup Oyo is mulling a smaller IPO. GM is buying out Softbank’s stake in autonomous vehicle unit Cruise. SoftBank’s Arm will lay off up to 15% as it prepares for an IPO after Nvidia deal collapse. ConsenSys, the New York company operating a suite of blockchain products including popular crypto wallet MetaMask, raised US$450 million in a Series D funding round, that valued the company at more than US$7 billion, which included the new investment. Shenzhen iPhone production was forced to shutdown at two Foxconn facilities due to a new COVID-19 outbreak – but has now partially restarted. China is forcing Alibaba and Tencent to cut over 50,000 jobs. Tencent could be fined for anti-money laundering violations. Mark Zuckerberg said NFTs are coming to Instagram soon. US Lawmakers introduce bill that would let Nvidia, Qualcomm share in U.S. chip subsidies. Intel is building a new €17 billion semiconductor manufacturing hub in Germany.

Canadian Technology Capital Markets & Company News

Patriot One (PAT-TSX) announces terms of public offering.

Patriot One Technologies Inc. has priced its previously announced public offering (the “Offering”). The Company has entered into an Agency Agreement with Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. (“Echelon”) pursuant to which Echelon has agreed to act as the agent to conduct the Offering on a commercially reasonable best efforts basis. Echelon may appoint other registered investment dealers to form a selling group. https://bit.ly/3CR0iRM

Sophic Client Edge Total Intelligence’s (CTRL-TSXV) CEO Jim Barrett, recently presented at the Investor Summit Q1 2022.

Investors can watch the recording here. https://bit.ly/3ilJSaK

With US$150 million in fresh funding, Montréal’s Talent.com is ready to take on Indeed worldwide.

Today, the startup claims to be the world’s fastest-growing job search platform, displaying more than 30 million jobs from almost 1.5 million companies in 79 different countries. Martinez and company have also set a new goal: to become Pepsi. “Our goal is to become Pepsi to Coke,” he said. “Indeed is number one and we want to be number two worldwide.” It’s not often that founders will tell you of their bold vision to achieve second place, but as Martinez noted, “this is not a ‘one-player-take-all’ market.” https://bit.ly/37J4RlN

Oil and gas tech startup Validere closes $55 million with BlackRock backing.

Calgary-based Validere has raised $55 million in its Series B financing round led by Swiss commodity trading group Mercuria Energy as well as select funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. https://bit.ly/3KVId85

Corl secures US$20 million for its revenue-based financing model.

Corl Financial Investments Inc. has secured $20 million in USD stablecoin from Naos Finance, a decentralized (DeFi) cryptocurrency investment company. Corl provides revenue-based financing for companies, using artificial intelligence (AI) to do due diligence on businesses, often in a matter of minutes. https://bit.ly/3qgyFfS

Virtual Gurus closes $8.4 million amid US-driven demand for diversity-focused virtual assistants.

Virtual Gurus has secured an $8.4 million round due to increased demand in the United States (US) for its virtual assistant marketplace. Led by CEO Bobbie Racette, who is a Cree-Métis and LGBTQ+ woman, Virtual Gurus is on a mission to disrupt the virtual assistant market through curated matches and a talent marketplace that focuses on employing historically underrepresented individuals. https://bit.ly/3qh6bCP

MinuteBox scores $5 million to accelerate growth of its legaltech solution.

Toronto-based MinuteBox has raised a $5 million seed round led by Michael and Richard Hyatt to fuel its expansion plans. Co-founded by a group of former lawyers, MinuteBox provides cloud-based legal entity management software. Like other legaltech startups, MinuteBox saw demand for its solution increase during the pandemic as COVID-19 led slow-moving, traditionally tech-conservative law firms switched to the cloud by necessity to stay in business. https://bit.ly/3wjiEJW

Microsoft leads MedMe’s $3.4 million seed round to help pharmacies expand beyond retail.

After establishing a presence in Canada, where it played an important role helping pharmacies administer COVID-19 vaccinations last year, MedMe Health has raised $3.4 million in seed funding to take its pharmacy operations software to new markets. https://bit.ly/3ijeycQ

Scribble Data closes US$2.2 million to help data science teams train machine learning models.

Indian machine learning operations (MLOps) startup Scribble Data has raised US$2.2 million in seed funding to fuel its North American expansion plans. The Bangalore, India-founded firm has already begun building a presence in Canada, where it says it has seen strong interest in the feature engineering for machine learning (ML) space. Feature engineering refers to the process of transforming raw data into trusted feature sets that can be used to train ML models. https://bit.ly/3KUS2TB

HonestDoor closes $2.2 million in aim to bring accuracy to real estate valuations.

Edmonton-based HonestDoor has secured $2.2 million  on its mission to improve the accuracy of property valuations in Canada. With a platform that aggregates data from a variety of sources, HonestDoor has created a space where individuals can review and update home valuations online. It’s a model that is widely available within British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba, with the startup looking to become the go-to site for home valuations across Canada. https://bit.ly/362yaPX

HubSpot opens first Canadian office in Toronto.

HubSpot has set its sights on expanding its presence in Canada, opening its first office in the country in Toronto. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform company first announced its intent to expand to Ontario last fall, outlining plans to hire over 50 people in the province and establish a footprint in Toronto. https://bit.ly/3N1i8pQ

Walmart launches global tech hub in Toronto, plans to hire hundreds.

A major American retailer is set to further expand its Canadian presence with the launch of a new tech hub. As part of its global tech plan, Walmart is launching a technology hub in Toronto. https://bit.ly/3KYw8ie

Global Markets: IPOs, Venture Capital, M&A

Indonesian startup GoTo to raise up to US$1.1 billion in IPO.

Indonesia’s tech firm GoTo Group, which was formed last year via a merger between ride-hailing giant Gojek and marketplace Tokopedia, plans to raise at least US$1.1 billion (15.2 trillion rupiah) from an Indonesia initial public offering (IPO) scheduled for 4 April. https://tcrn.ch/3IlyXbF

SoftBank-backed Indian hotel startup Oyo mulls smaller IPO.

Indian hotel startup Oyo, whose major backer is SoftBank, is considering scaling down the size of its initial public offering in India by 50% or even shelving the listing plan, Bloomberg reported. Oyo was previously aiming to raise nearly US$1 billion in the IPO at a target valuation of US$12 billion, according to Bloomberg. But as the recent global stock market turmoil has sourced investor interest in IPOs, the company is considering halving both the amount of fundraising and the valuation, the report said. Oyo denied to Bloomberg that it was shelving its IPO or changing its target valuation dramatically. Oyo’s listing plan faces a challenging market environment. Shares of Indian digital payment firm Paytm, which went public in November, have declined more than 60% since its debut. Indian food delivery app Zomato, which went public in July, has dropped nearly 40% over the past six months. https://bit.ly/3Ipbiab

GM is buying out Softbank’s stake in autonomous vehicle unit Cruise.

The automaker said late Friday that is is acquiring Softbank Vision Fund 1’s equity ownership in Cruise for US$2.1 billion. GM is also making an additional US$1.35 billion investment in Cruise, replacing a previous commitment made by the fund in 2018. The announcement comes about six weeks after Cruise launched a limited driverless robotaxi service to the public in San Francisco, a milestone that prompted Softbank to unlock its previously committed $1.35 billion investment. Why Softbank has decided to sell out now isn’t clear. A GM spokesperson said the company’s increased investment position not only simplifies Cruise’s shareholder structure, but also provides GM and Cruise maximum flexibility to pursue the most value-accretive path to commercializing and unlocking the full potential of AV technology. https://tcrn.ch/3Jsd4bX

SoftBank’s arm to lay off up to 15% as it prepares IPO after Nvidia deal collapse.

Arm Ltd. the SoftBank Group Corp. unit preparing for an initial public offering, will cut as much as 15% of its workforce, part of an effort to rein in spending and focus on fewer projects. The British company will shed 12% to 15% of staff in the U.K. and the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Rene Haas said in a memo to staff, according to a person familiar with the matter. The high end of that range would involve close to 1,000 jobs, but most of the cuts won’t affect engineers, the person said. https://bloom.bg/3JpQmkT

ConsenSys raises funding at US$7 billion, doubling valuation since November.

ConsenSys, the New York company operating a suite of blockchain products including popular crypto wallet MetaMask, raised US$450 million in a Series D funding round that valued the company at more than US$7 billion, which included the new investment. The round was led by ParaFi Capital, a blockchain-focused investment firm founded by Ben Forman, a former director at private equity company KKR. Among the other investors who participated: SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Dan Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point LLC, Microsoft, and Singaporean investment firm Temasek. The funding round was a traditional equity issuance, Simon Morris, Chief Strategy Officer told The Information in an interview. But the company will convert proceeds from the funds into Ethereum as part of the company’s plan to strategically hold specific amounts of certain tokens and fiat currencies on its balance sheet. ConsenSys was founded by Joseph Lubin, who co-founded the ethereum blockchain in 2014. ConsenSys’s popular crypto wallet, MetaMask, has 30 million monthly active users, the company said in a press release. That’s up more than 40% since November, when the company raised US$200 million at a US$3.2 billion valuation. ConsenSys also operates a developers platform called Infura which has 430,000 registered developers. The company said the new funds will help it hire 600 additional employees. At present, the company has 701. https://bit.ly/3wlzhEL

SentinelOne to buy identity firm Attivo Networks for US$616.5 million.

SentinelOne has agreed to purchase Attivo Networks to extend the company’s artificial intelligence-powered prevention, detection and response capabilities to identity-based threats. https://bit.ly/3tjXtWn

Consortium including Elliott in advanced talks to buy Nielsen Holdings.

A consortium of private-equity firms including Elliott Management Corp. is in advanced talks to buy TV-ratings company Nielsen Holdings PLC for about US$15 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. https://on.wsj.com/3CWQlCC

Jabil stock jumps after earnings, outlook top expectations.

Shares of Jabil Inc. were up nearly 9% in premarket trading Wednesday after the electronic-manufacturing company topped expectations with its latest results and outlook. The company recorded fiscal second-quarter net income of US$222 million, or US$1.51 a share, up from US$152 million, or US$0.99 a share, in the year-prior quarter. Jabil saw adjusted core earnings per share of US$1.68, up from US$1.27 a year prior and ahead of the FactSet consensus, which was for US$1.47. Revenue rose to US$7.55 billion from US$6.83 billion, while analysts had been expecting US$7.43 billion. For the current quarter, Jabil expects net revenue of US$7.9 billion to US$8.5 billion and adjusted core earnings per share of US$1.40 to US$1.80. https://on.mktw.net/3CQVmwq

Foxconn stops iPhone factory in Shenzhen lockdown.

Apple supplier Foxconn has shut down two facilities in Shenzhen, including one that assembles iPhones, as the city has gone into lockdown and relocated production to its factories in other parts of China. The lockdown is expected to last only a week but production could become impacted if it is extended or if the strict measures spread to more cities. China is currently battling its worst outbreak of Covid-19 since Wuhan as the highly contagious Omicron variant has quickly spread. The impact of the current lockdown may be dulled somewhat because this is a low demand season after the holiday peak and because many suppliers have built up inventory. https://bit.ly/3whcc6p

Shenzhen iPhone production partially restarts, using Wuhan-style ‘closed loop’ system.

Shenzhen iPhone production was forced to shutdown at two Foxconn facilities due to a new COVID-19 outbreak – but has now partially restarted. Although the Chinese government ordered the city into complete lockdown for at least a week, it has now granted an exemption to Foxconn to use the same ‘closed loop’ system used by other companies in Wuhan at the start of the pandemic. https://bit.ly/3N4pNnm

China is forcing Alibaba and Tencent to cut over 50,000 jobs.

Two of China’s biggest tech companies, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, are preparing to lay off tens of thousands of employees combined this year as the country continues its regulatory crackdown, sources told Reuters. This would amount to potentially 15% of Alibaba’s workforce, or 39,000 people in China’s biggest ecommerce company. For Tencent, which owns WeChat, the cuts could amount to 10% to 15% of its 94,000 workers, specifically within the video-streaming and search unit. In light of antitrust and cybersecurity concerns, Chinese regulators have started taking a more heavy-handed approach toward reining in the growth of the country’s tech giants in the world’s second-largest economy. Despite the crackdown, WeChat experienced stunning daily user growth in 2021. These cuts come as Alibaba was already in the process of laying off workers in its consumer services division, which includes food and grocery delivery and mapping. https://bit.ly/3ikNsSE

Robinhood readies feature that lets users lend out stocks.

Robinhood Markets Inc.’s plan to let users loan out their stocks to other financial institutions — a program known as fully paid securities lending — is taking shape within its app, part of a push to compete with more conventional brokerages. https://bloom.bg/3woSLIZ

Emerging Technologies

Microsoft researchers mark milestone in long road to quantum computing.

Researchers at Microsoft working to build a better quantum computer said they have new evidence that their unusual approach will work, a sign that their years-long effort may yet bear fruit. Companies from Microsoft to Google and a host of startups are all raciing to build their own versions of quantum computers because they promise to improve large-scale logistics and accelerate drug discovery. They are grappling with how to make stable qubits, which are the units of information in quantum computing that are difficult to control. Microsoft has tried for more than a decade to build a quantum computer using so-called topological qubits, which are more stable and are considered theoretically possible, but haven’t yet been developed in the real world. The company said Monday that for the first time it demonstrated that it can produce the physics behind a topological qubit, a breakthrough that “lays groundwork for the potential future of topological quantum computing.” Microsoft must now actually build a topological qubit. The milestone is a sign of the often slow and incremental progress on the path to building quantum computers that can solve real-world problems. https://bit.ly/3JpGSWR

Ford is now using robots to operate 3D printers without human help.

Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center has developed an interface that allows machines from different suppliers to speak to each other in the same language and operate parts of the production line autonomously. Automakers have been incorporating robotics into their manufacturing processes for decades to reduce costs and boost efficiency. But Ford’s patent-pending system solves a crucial bottleneck in the production line by using robots to operate the 3D printers through the night without human interaction. https://tcrn.ch/3Ihyze5

Media, Streaming, Gaming & Sports Betting

Netflix could soon make you pay up if you share your password with friends and family.

Netflix is ramping up its efforts to crack down on the age-old practice of password sharing. As first announced by the company in a blog post, Netflix is beginning to test a new add-on option for customers that lets people “easily and securely” share their password with people outside of their house, but at the cost of “paying a bit more.” https://bit.ly/3KSeaOw


Adtech, Privacy & Regulatory

Tencent could be fined for anti-money laundering violations.

China’s central bank found violations of anti-money laundering rules during an inspection of Tencent’s hugely popular WeChat mobile payments platform, The Wall Street Journal reported. The report said the company could face a record fine for breaches of China’s know-your-customer and know-your-business regulations, as well as for allowing the laundering of gambling proceeds. China has been cracking down on online finance, which had blown up in size to challenge the traditional state-owned banking system. But Beijing decided that many of those products were also adding a lot of unregulated risk. Beijing’s wide-sweeping crackdown has forced a restructuring of Jack Ma’s Ant Group. The government has also levied antitrust fines against tech platforms including Alibaba and Meituan. Until now, though, Tencent has been relatively unscathed. https://bit.ly/3tmTrwg

Australian watchdog sues Facebook-owner Meta over scam advertisements.

Australia’s competition watchdog filed a lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta Platforms on Friday, alleging the social media giant failed to prevent scammers using its platform to promote fake ads featuring well-known people. https://reut.rs/3L0epat

The FTC’s new enforcement weapon spells death for algorithms.

The Federal Trade Commission has struggled over the years to find ways to combat deceptive digital data practices using its limited set of enforcement options. Now, it’s landed on one that could have a big impact on tech companies: algorithmic destruction. And as the agency gets more aggressive on tech by slowly introducing this new type of penalty, applying it in a settlement for the third time in three years could be the charm. https://bit.ly/3igRdbo

Brazil’s Supreme Court suspends Telegram, a key Bolsonaro platform.

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes on Friday ordered the suspension of messaging app Telegram, saying it had repeatedly refused to adhere to judicial orders to freeze accounts spreading disinformation or comply with the country’s laws, according to a copy of the ruling seen by Reuters. In response, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov apologized for the company’s “negligence,” and asked the court to delay its ruling for a few days as it sought to improve compliance. https://reut.rs/3qfWRze

Fintech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger to invest in and join board of avatar tech company Genies.

Bob Iger, former chairman and chief executive of the Walt Disney Co. is investing in and joining the board of Genies, an avatar technology company. Iger will join Bond’s Mary Meeker, NEA’s Rick Yang, Genies CEO & co-founder Akash Nigam, and Genies co-founder Evan Rosenbaum on the board. “We believe that avatar ecosystems are going to be the mobile apps of web3,” Nigam said in a statement. Genies has a 99% share of the celebrity avatar market and has partnerships with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as their “official avatar and digital goods NFT provider,” according to the statement. https://on.mktw.net/3N1LfcN

Mark Zuckerberg said NFTs are coming to Instagram soon.

Mark Zuckerberg said during an appearance at SXSW that Instagram is bringing NFTs to its platform. Zuckerberg wasn’t specific, but said the move would happen in the next “several months.” He said users may be able to mint new NFTs on Instagram as well as bringing over existing ones. https://bit.ly/3u6yUv7

TIME releases first-ever full magazine issue as an NFT on the blockchain featuring a cover story on Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

On Wednesday, March 23, TIME will release the first-ever fully decentralized magazine issue available as an NFT on the blockchain. The NFT issue features TIME’s cover story, The Prince of Crypto Has Concerns, on Vitalik Buterin’s fight for the future of Ethereum by Andrew Chow, editor of TIME’s Into the Metaverse newsletter. https://bit.ly/3ikbixI


Lawmakers introduce bill that would let Nvidia, Qualcomm share in U.S. chip subsidies.

A bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced a bill that would provide subsidies to chip firms such as Nvidia and Qualcomm, which were largely left out of previous legislation that focused on factories from firms such Intel and Samsung. The bill – called the Facilitating American-Built Semiconductors Act, or the FABS Act – would provide a 25% investment tax credit for research and development of advanced semiconductors, which is a major expense for most American semiconductor firms. It is the largest subsidy proposed so far for chip companies that do not operate their own factories. Previous legislation had proposed direct government cash to help build factories, which would benefit firms like Intel Corp, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, all of which have announced plans for U.S. factories. The inclusion of a broader swath of the chip industry is likely to help ease some reservations among industry insiders that Intel – which competes directly with Nvidia, Qualcomm and AMD and many others – was poised to benefit disproportionately from U.S. subsidies. But both the FABS Act and earlier legislation face an increasingly narrow window over the next few months for congressional approval before most lawmakers shift their attention to campaigning for midterm elections this fall. https://bit.ly/36wDMkZ

Intel is building a new €17 billion semiconductor manufacturing hub in Germany.

Intel has announced a massive new investment in its European manufacturing sites, with a new €17 billion “leading-edge semiconductor fab mega-site” in Germany, and a €12 billion expansion of its existing Ireland fab. The company is also building a new R&D and design hub in France, and plans to invest in additional areas in Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain for manufacturing, foundry services, and research. All told, Intel is planning to invest over €33 billion in its initial wave of European R&D and manufacturing, as part of a total of €80 billion invested in the EU over the next decade. https://bit.ly/3u5zGIZ

Apple partner Foxconn pitches US$9 billion actory in Saudi Arabia for EV parts, chips, more.

Foxccon, one of Apple’s biggest supply chain partners, is reportedly considering a new $9 billion factory in Saudi Arabia. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the Saudi government is “reviewing an offer” from Foxconn for a “multipurpose facility that could make microchips, electric-vehicle components and other electronics like displays.” https://bit.ly/3wjFIIK


Volvo and ChargePoint will build EV charging stations at Starbucks in 5 states.

In the not too distant future, you’ll be able to sip coffee while your electric vehicle sips electrons. That’s because Volvo is teaming up with ChargePoint to build a network of EV chargers at Starbucks locations across five US states. The companies plan on installing 15 DC fast charging stations at Starbucks along a 1,350-mile route that stretches from Seattle to Denver. Each station will feature four plugs, making it a total of 60 chargers. And they will also bear Volvo’s branding, making it one of the few EV charging stations in the US to feature an automaker’s logo aside from Tesla’s Supercharger network. https://bit.ly/3Ine1AX

Porsche to build out its own network of EV charging stations.

Porsche said it will start building out its own proprietary global network of charging stations next year, a departure from its initial strategy to rely on partnerships with other companies. https://tcrn.ch/3CUfiOL

Tesla raises prices across entire range, with its cheapest car now starting at US$46,990.

Tesla has raised prices across its entire line-up of electric vehicles. Prices have increased by between 5 to 10 percent, with the cheapest car the company sells — the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive — now starting at US$46,990, while its top-end Model X Tri motor saw a price increase of US$12,500, from US$126,490 to $138,990. https://bit.ly/3Ihc5Kd


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