Canadian startup news of the week (06/23/09)

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

Shopify reveals Amazon-style fulfillment centres, 3D product display at Shopify Unite
The Shopify Fulfillment Network will provide US-based merchants with a network of various fulfillment centres.

OCE president and CEO Tom Corr steps down following layoffs, budget cuts
This week also saw departures at OMERS, SVB, and OneEleven.

Carrot shuts down rewards app, files for bankruptcy
“Even though we gave it our all, our funds eventually ran out and we could no longer be in business,” said Andreas Souvaliotis, founder and CEO.

As Futurpreneur grows its loan offering, Ontario cuts funding
The loan expansion follows news that the organization lost all its funding from the prov..

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F|T: The FinTech Times – Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

Welcome to the FinTech Times, a weekly newsletter covering the biggest FinTech news from around the globe. If you want to read F|T before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.

Creative Destruction Lab signs on as founding partner of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency
The Toronto-based startup accelerator is the first Canadian partner and only academic institution signed on to the project so far.

African FinTech dominates Catalyst Fund’s 2019 startup cohort
The organization announced its 2019 startup cohort and three out of the four finance ventures have an Africa focus.

QuadrigaCX CEO moved customer funds into his own accounts
“Significant volumes of cryptocurrency were transferred off platform outside Quadriga to competitor exchanges into personal accounts controlled by Mr. Cotten.”

Should you care about Facebook cryptocurrency?
After months of rumors and partial leaks, Facebook confirmed that it’s working on a cryptocurrency called “libra,” whi..

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2020 Kia UVO Infotainment System Review: Growing confidence

Kia’s UVO infotainment system has gone through a bit of a visual makeover, but there are additional features and controls that are helping the evolution along.
The latest iteration of the platform is relatively widespread in the automaker’s various models. That range includes the 2019-20 Rio and on up to the sedans, SUVs and minivans, like the Optima, Sorento and Sedona. The latest version seen in many of the 2020 model vehicles builds off of what came before.
I tested it out on the 2020 Kia Telluride, an 8-seat SUV that is on the higher end in the company’s portfolio. The 2020 Telluride comes in three trims: EX, SX and SX Limited. The SX trim I rode in comes in at $49,995. All of them offer UVO Intelligence, CarPlay, Android Auto and in-car navigation and the Harman/Kardon sound system only offered on the SX and SX Limited.
The basicsAs before, UVO functions on two pillars. First, there’s the system in the dash that handles all connectivity within the vehicle. Second, is UVO Intellige..

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Google reportedly won’t rename Google Home speakers to Nest Home

Back at Google I/O 2019, the search giant launched a new Nest Hub Max — which has yet to come to Canada — and rebranded its Home Hub to Nest Hub before officially bringing it to Canada.
With the rebrand, there was some confusion around, and speculation about, the future name of the Google Home speaker and its smaller friend, the Home Mini. Would Google rebrand those devices as well?
The Google Store even began referencing the Home as the Nest Home in some instances.
However, Google has reportedly confirmed the Google Home would remain the Google Home, according to Android Police.
Of course, that doesn’t mean a follow-up Google Home will maintain the Google branding. Arguably, a new Home speaker would adopt the Nest branding to better fit with the Nest Hub and Hub Max.
Regardless, there’s no evidence Google is working on a new Home speaker, so we likely won’t see a Nest Home for some time yet.
Source: Android Police
The post Google reportedly won’t rename Google Home speakers to Nest Ho..

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Xanadu raises $32 million Series A for quantum cloud computing platform

Toronto-based Xanadu has raised a $32 million Series A round, led by OMERS Ventures, with participation from Georgian Partners, Radical Ventures, Real Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, and Tim Draper.

“Our platform can be used throughout the larger quantum technology sector.”
– Christian Weedbrook

This latest round brings Xanadu’s total investment to $41 million to date. The company said the new raise will help it advance toward the upcoming release of its photonic-based quantum cloud computing platform, which it said will include next-generation consumer applications that are not available on other platforms. The new cloud computing platform will combine Xanadu’s two flagship software products, PennyLane and Strawberry Fields.

“Confidence in Xanadu’s photonic approach to building a quantum computer is reflected in the strong interest from the highly reputable VC firms we have in this Series A financing,” said CEO Christian Weedbrook. “Xanadu’s vision of the quantum cloud is truly un..

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Lightspeed named CIX 2019 Innovator of the Year

The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX), a Canada-wide startup investment conference, has named Montreal-based POS software firm Lightspeed the 2019 Innovator of the Year.

“Lightspeed has started a new chapter for Canadian technology and innovation.”

The CIX Innovator of the Year Award is given out annually to a Canadian firm that transforms and disrupts an industry in profound ways. Past recipients of the award have included Shopify, Wattpad, Real Matters, Ecobee, Vision Critical, and Desire2Learn.

“Celebrating Canada’s tech industry successes is hugely important, which we don’t do enough of as a country. We are proud to present this award to Lightspeed,” said Lauren Linton, executive director of CIX. “Dax is a role model leader on so many levels: his belief in the power of diversity, staying in Canada, giving back, and not selling out.”

Lightspeed, which develops cloud-based POS and e-commerce software, was founded in 2005. Its employee base has grown to over 800, and in addition..

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Wealthsimple snags former Netflix HR director Marina Harris

Wealthsimple has announced that Marina Harris will join as the new Chief People Officer to help manage and scale the Toronto-based FinTech’s workplace culture.

“I’ve been impressed with the culture at Wealthsimple and I’m looking forward to helping it flourish and scale.”
– Marina Harris

Harris is a tech human resources executive, who was most recently at Netflix, where she managed a team of human resources business partners that worked across the company’s product development operations. Prior to Netflix, Harris served as an HR Director at the Global Innovation Centre of Samsung, and was a senior manager and HR business partner at Cisco. Harris has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, a Master’s from the University of San Francisco, and a Strategic Program Management Certification from Stanford University.

“Wealthsimple’s mission to help everyone achieve financial freedom is one I’m passionate about, and I’m excited to be joining a company that has the opportunity t..

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Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques set to return after more than six months in space

LONGUEUIL, Que. — David Saint-Jacques is set to return to Earth on Monday after more than six months aboard the International Space Station.

The Canadian astronaut will join NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko aboard a Soyuz capsule that's expected to land just before 11 p.m. ET.

Saint-Jacques' mission began ahead of schedule on Dec. 3, when he was part of the first crewed Soyouz mission following a rocket mishap that forced a spacecraft carrying two astronauts to abort and make an emergency landing last October.

The Saint-Lambert, Que., native will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days.

Saint-Jacques, 49, took part in a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk in April and a “cosmic catch” of SpaceX Dragon cargo using Canadarm2 — the first time a Canadian astronaut has operated the robotic arm to perform the feat.

The engineer, astrophysicist and family doctor also oversaw numerous science experiments and had ..

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