Archives: Briefings

Ethereum gets a network upgrade, making it faster and more secure

The digital currency began operating on an upgraded network known as Ethereum 2.0, a long-awaited innovation that crypto experts say will help the Ethereum network operate at scale and process many more transactions at a faster rate, similar to how Visa and Mastercard function. The technological transition taking place is also known as “proof of stake.” (CNBC, Bloomberg)

Fintech firm Wave leaving international markets

The Toronto-based small-business accounting platform stopped accepting new users and providing email support for existing ones outside the U.S. and Canada on Monday. An integration with Stripe will stop working internationally on June 30, 2021. “Wave has no current plans to close or restrict access to existing accounts for customers outside the U.S. and Canada,” spokesperson Marsh Abraham told The Logic, adding that it won’t affect the firm’s 300-person workforce. (The Logic)

Hootsuite hiring corporate social responsibility director

The Vancouver-based company created the position, which will, among other things, “lead, shape, manage and drive our CSR and BCorp strategies,” according to the job posting. That includes maintaining and reporting on the company’s B Corporation certification and relationship. (The Logic)

ServiceNow acquires Montreal tech flagship Element AI

The deal, the terms of which weren’t announced, means an end of a tumultuous chapter for Element AI, a research-first company founded in 2016 which raised more than US$250 million from the likes of Intel, Microsoft and Tencent. The transaction is expected to close in early 2021, and could see a reduction of about half of Element AI’s current staffing levels in Montreal. According to The Globe and Mail, a number of employees received termination notices within hours of the deal’s announcement, with Element AI telling employees their stock options were “void and cancelled… with no value in lieu provided” in the deal. (The Logic, TechCrunch, The Globe and Mail)

The Lion Electric Company to go public via SPAC

The Saint-Jérôme, Que.-based electric-vehicle maker announced it would combine with Northern Genesis Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company that is publicly traded on the Nasdaq. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEV. (The Logic)

GM gives up equity stake in revised deal with electric-car firm Nikola

The scaled-back agreement will see General Motors supply fuel cells to Nikola for its consumer pickup trucks. GM had previously agreed to manufacture the trucks and take an 11 per cent ownership stake in the startup; those plans have been scrapped. Nikola’s stock dropped 26.92 per cent on the news. (The Wall Street Journal)

MindBeacon is reportedly planning to go public on the TSX

The Toronto-based telemedicine startup, which provides online mental health therapy services, is targeting a $50-million raise in its upcoming public debut on the TSX, according to The Globe and Mail. TD Securities and Credit Suisse Securities are lead underwriters of the IPO, with Bloom Burton & Company as well as Canaccord Genuity also part of the underwriting syndicate. (The Globe and Mail)

Complaints to telecom ombudsman drop 19 per cent in 12 months

While Canadians overall filed fewer telecommunications-related grievances in the 12 months ended July 31 compared to the year before, complaints of internet and wireless service delivery surged more than 11 per cent, according to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services. A disproportionate number of those complaints came from rural customers. Bell received the most overall complaints (3,815), followed by Rogers (1,781) and Telus (1,166). (The Logic)

Ontario government sets timeline for performance-based funding for colleges and universities

Post-secondary institutions in the province will soon start seeing the bulk of their funding tied to indicators such as graduation rates, graduate salaries and employment rates. The funding changes will be phased in gradually—it is expected that by 2025, 60 per cent of government funding will be dependent on 10 performance criteria. (The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star)