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Marc-André Blanchard will oversee investments outside Canada, where the pension fund has 66 per cent, or about $225 billion, of its $340 billion in assets. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Blanchard, who spent the past four years as Canada’s UN ambassador, was replaced earlier this month by Bob Rae. Blanchard is taking over a growth area for the pension fund. The Caisse increased its international investments last year, with the U.S., India, Brazil and Colombia all areas of focus. The fund posted a 9.2 per cent annualized return over 10 years in its annual report for 2019, published in June. Prior to taking the UN role, Blanchard was the past CEO of McCarthy Tétrault. He’ll report directly to the Caisse’s new CEO, Charles Emond, who has held the job for six months.

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Sun Life is investing $32.7 million for a minority stake in Dialogue. A number of existing investors, including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Portag3 Ventures, participated in the round. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The investment comes as Canadians are increasingly turning to virtual health care due to the pandemic. Sun Life has the right to exercise additional options under the deal, but will remain a minority shareholder even if it does. In May, The Logic reported that Dialogue had quadrupled its workforce from 250 to 1,000 during the pandemic and was looking to add an additional 150 staff. The fresh financing will be used for acquisitions as well as an expansion into virtual treatments for chronic diseases and women’s health services. The Canadian telehealth market is growing increasingly competitive. Telus and Morneau Shepell have made deals with provincial governments during the pandemic to provide services. Other firms, like OnCall Health and Well Health, are also seeking to carve out more of the market.

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The company’s seed round was led by Disruption Ventures, with participation from Village Global in Silicon Valley and debt financing from the Business Development Bank of Canada. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Founded in 2018, Fable tests websites, apps and software to ensure that they’re accessible to all users, including people with visual and physical disabilities. Its clients include Walmart, Telus, Slack and Canada Post. With the new funding, the company hopes to provide more on-demand consultations on testing and development from people living with disabilities. Fable also wants to improve testing methodologies and collect data to shift technology toward more accessible practices.

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The U.K.-based fintech will use the funds to expand its U.S. and European operations as well as its rewards program. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: This latest fundraising comes at the same valuation as the US$500 million Revolut raised in February. Not all fintechs have been able to bring in new funding during the pandemic on such favourable terms. In June, Monzo raised funds at a 40 per cent discount to its prior valuation. In November 2019, Revolut started rolling out early access for Canadian customers.

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The Toronto- and Vancouver-based firm, which sells market research software, intends to use the new funds to expand. (The Logic)

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Talking point: This is the largest amount Vision Critical has raised, and its first financing since CEO Ross Wainwright took the helm seven months ago. Wainwright cut over five per cent of his firm’s staff and replaced most of the leadership team. The US$20 million is growth debt, a kind of financing that carries relatively high interest, but if the firm can expand the way it plans to, then servicing that debt may not matter. Vision Critical currently sells software used by 750 companies, including LinkedIn and Twitter. It plans to start acquiring competitors, if this latest funding can help it grow fast enough.

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Elon Musk’s rocket and satellite internet venture is reportedly in talks with investors about the new round, which is unlikely to be completed within the next couple months. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: In a July 20 research report, Morgan Stanley estimated the company could be worth around US$175 billion. SpaceX has raised about US$3.5 billion to date, with the most recent round announced in March. According to CNBC, the new funding will be used to deploy SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service, which aims to bring internet connection to any location on Earth. The company is currently preparing to bring back its first crewed mission on August 2. Meanwhile, Tesla, Musk’s electric-car company, reported a fourth consecutive quarterly profit Wednesday, despite disruptions from the pandemic. It’s also suing electric-car startup Rivian over alleged talent poaching and theft of trade secrets.

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“C.D.” claimed he suffered anxiety, nightmares and panic attacks after his name appeared on a list of alleged aggressors that circulated on Facebook pages “Dis son nom” (say his name) and “Victims voices,” as well as on Facebook-owned Instagram. The man, who said he has a common Quebec name and that there was no indication he was the target of the allegations, nonetheless said his friends and wife asked him about it. Though the list was eventually removed from the sites, it was still readily accessible. “Social media, notably those owned by Facebook, are not appropriate forums for [sexual misconduct] victims to obtain justice, given the inability to verify and validate the veracity of the anonymous allegations,” reads the class-action request, which was filed in the Superior Court of Quebec. (La Presse)

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Talking point: Similar allegations have hit Quebec’s cultural and political milieux over the last several weeks—with some of the alleged perpetrators also pushing back. Notably, Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet said he hasn’t ruled out legal action against a Facebook group that published allegations that he attempted to exchange cocaine for sex in the bathroom of a Montreal bar in 1999.

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In a complaint filed with the European Commission, the business-communications platform argued that Microsoft stifles competition by requiring companies that use Office to install Teams, a direct Slack competitor, while blocking its removal and interoperability with some non-Microsoft platforms. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: Slack is asking the EU’s top competition regulator to force Microsoft to offer Teams as a separate product rather than tether it to Office. In response to the complaint, Microsoft said it is committed to giving customers choice. Despite both companies being based in the U.S., Slack filed its complaint in the EU in part because of the regulator’s aggressive push to crack down on U.S. tech giants’ dominance. The commission opened two investigations into Apple last month over alleged abuse of its dominant position to win business through its App Store and Apple Pay while disadvantaging rivals. The regulator is preparing a probe into Google’s acquisition of Fitbit—the commission has already fined the Alphabet subsidiary more than US$9 billion since 2017. It’s too early to know if Slack’s complaint will lead to a formal investigation.

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Prosecutors accused Braun and two other unnamed executives of conspiring to obtain US$3.7 billion in loans. The firm, which has filed for bankruptcy, declined to comment. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The fallout from the Wirecard scandal is prompting serious questions about European financial regulations and the fintech industry. Opposition politicians have criticized the German regulator, BaFin, for not acting on complaints about Wirecard it received as early as 2008. Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. froze Wirecard-related accounts in recent weeks andthe head of a French bank mused: ““When will we wake up to what a fintech really is?” German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the latest to be caught up. Merkel lobbied for Wirecard to Beijing after her government was informed of potential problems with the company.