Briefing

Smart-glasses maker North in final stages of selling itself to Alphabet for about US$180 million

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The sale will come as the eight-year-old firm is reportedly close to running out of money after selling few glasses and failing to attract new investment. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Alphabet will reportedly acquire the Kitchener, Ont.-based firm at a price below the roughly US$200 million North raised throughout its history. The firm was one of Canada’s highest-profile startups, raising funds from Amazon, Intel and Fidelity and regularly touted by institutions like the Creative Destruction Lab. In December 2019, The Logic reported that North staff had warned CEO Stephen Lake that its glasses didn’t work well for women and were being rushed to market despite bugs. According to The Globe, the firm is unlikely to have sold more than 1,000 pairs. North published over 100 patents in 2019, including ones claiming its products were superior to Alphabet subsidiary Google’s smart glasses.