Startups prep for downturn: The Globe and Mail spoke with Canadian tech leaders to get their thoughts on preparing for a potential economic downturn. Some companies are announcing layoffs as sales slow due to rising inflation and continuing supply chain challenges. “We’ve seen momentous growth over the past couple of years, and while we’re still positioned to continue our growth, we’d be naive to think that it would be clear sailing,” said DMZ incubator executive director Abdullah Snobar.

Wealthsimple launches new app: Wealthsimple launched a new mobile app that combines its trading, investing and payment services. In a blog post, Wealthsimple said that this is the first step towards its goal of democratizing finance for everyone.

Jennifer Couldrey steps down from the Upside Foundation: After six years with the Upside Foundation, Jennifer Couldrey announced she is stepping down from her role as executive director. In that time, the foundation has raised $3 million for good causes by encouraging Canadian tech companies to equity to charity.


Money talk

Kruzee raises $500K in pre-seed: Online driver’s education platform Kruzee announced $500,000 in pre-seed funding, with backers including N49P, Wattpad founder Ivan Yuen and Juno founder Heather Payne. Founded by University of Toronto alumni Mikael Cataldo and Osama Siddique, Kruzee pairs student drivers with instructors and online courses.

Manzil announces $2.44-million seed funding: Halal financial services company Manzil has secured a $2.44-million seed round to expand its services across Canada. Manzil provides alternative mortgage and investment services that meet ethical and Islamic religious requirements, such as not charging interest on loans.

Digital mortgage startup launches: Proptech startup Pine has come out of stealth mode and launched in Ontario. The startup, which has raised $27 million to date, is now offering Ontarians a “fully digital mortgage experience” from filling out an application to securing a loan. CEO Justin Herlick told BetaKit that it plans to expand across Canada by the end of the year.


Making it

Entrepreneurs with disabilities are often overlooked: The Globe & Mail spoke with entrepreneurs with disabilities about their struggles in bringing products to market and getting funding. While 22 percent of Canadians live with a disability, a 2021 BDO study report showed that only .5 percent of small or medium-sized businesses in Canada are owned by a person with a disability.

Helping Ukrainians find a housing in Canada: Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Canada has welcomed over 28,000 Ukrainians — but finding housing for everyone continues to be a challenge. Proptech startup Soulroom has lined up 25 partners to build a platform to help Ukrainian refugees find housing in Canada, including Toronto-based RentSync. “If we all come together as an industry, we can make a positive impact during an unthinkable time,” RentSync CEO Max Steinman told BetaKit.

Five things every food entrepreneur should know: Bringing a new food product to market takes more than a home kitchen and a pretty logo. Foodpreneur Lab founder Janice Bartley shares five things every food entrepreneur needs to know to build a successful business.


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