Newsmakers

Snowflake plans Toronto office: Cloud computing firm Snowflake announced that it will open a new Canadian headquarters in Toronto later this year. The 50,000-square-foot space in the Bay Adelaide Centre (pictured) will eventually house hundreds of software engineers working on the company’s app marketplace.

Wave CEO steps down: Wave Financial’s co-founder, Kirk Simpson, is stepping down as CEO. Simpson led the fintech startup through its 2019 acquisition by H&R Block for $537 million. Former Mastercard executive Zahir Khoja will take over the position on July 1.

Communitech unveils Team True North: Kitchener-Waterloo innovation hub Communitech announced its inaugural Team True North roster at the Toronto Stock Exchange. The 35 Canadian companies on the list, including Toronto startups Ada, Clearco, Ecopia AI, and League, are each predicted to reach $1 billion in annual revenue by 2030.

 

Money talk

Inovia raises new venture fund: Inovia Capital has raised $420 million for its fifth fund supporting early-stage startups. The new fund will invest in seed through Series A rounds. Despite numerous reports that venture capital funds are reining in activity as interest rates rise, Inovia co-founder and partner Shawn Abbott told BetaKit that it is a good time to make investments because valuations aren’t as high.

Augmenta closes seed round: Augmenta has raised in $5.3-million seed funding. The startup was founded by a group of former Autodesk employees who are developing an AI-powered building design software for the construction industry. Toronto-based Hazelview Ventures led the round.

Babbly raises $3.2 million: Babbly announced a $3.2-million seed round to help expand its speech and language development platform. Founded in 2018 by founders Maryam Nabavi and Carla Margalef Bentabos, the platform uses AI to analyze a child’s speech and gives parents activities and tips to help their children develop language and social skills.

Block invests in Indigenous Growth Fund: The Indigenous Growth Fund has received a $3-million investment from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc. The investment adds to $150 million in funding from the federal government, the Business Development Bank of Canada and Farm Credit Canada.

 

Making it

Syzl helps food entrepreneurs find kitchens: Syzl is a new platform connecting chefs and food entrepreneurs with restaurants looking to earn extra revenue by renting their kitchen space. Syzl is backed by ​​Restaurants Canada and is launching with 35 kitchens across the GTA available for rent. “Syzl helps open the doors for so many chefs and food creators who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity … while benefiting restaurants who aren’t open 24-7,” said Romain Avril, a chef and advisor to Syzl.

Celebrating Pride at Glad Day Bookshop: Located on Church Street in Toronto, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest queer bookstore. The shop originally opened in 1970 in a Cabbagetown basement before moving to its current location. “People see Glad Day as a safe and comfortable space. This sense of safety also extends to our staff. Once you’re a Glad Day person, you’re always a Glad Day person,” co-owner Jill Andrew said.

 

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