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On Wednesday evening, Faire, which runs a marketplace where independent retailers can order artisanal goods wholesale, will open a new office in Kitchener, Ont., where it currently has about 75 employees. The firm has more than 200 employees in total, with most of the rest based in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Faire’s speedy workforce growth—in October 2018, it had a 16-programmer team in Kitchener—has been fuelled by rapid market adoption and several successive fundraising rounds. The firm currently serves over 70,000 retailers and 9,000 makers, and it’s raised US$266 million since its 2017 founding, reaching a US$1-billion valuation last year. While it only opened up to Canadian stores in October 2019, Kitchener-based CTO Marcelo Cortes told The Logic that the majority of the engineering team is based in Canada; product and development staff fly back and forth from San Francisco to work on projects. “This is something we intentionally set up [from] the very first days at Faire,” he said, citing the depth of the Kitchener-Waterloo talent pool.

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The marketplace platform for independent stores to buy handicrafts announced its US$40-million Series B and US$60-million Series C rounds on the same day. The company has its commercial headquarters in San Francisco, but its engineering office is in Kitchener, Ont. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Faire was only founded in 2017, but it said it’s expecting US$100 million in transactions on its platform this year. Etsy, the consumer-facing website for buying handmade goods, shut down a similar division this year. The two-sided marketplace is a notoriously difficult business model—success depends on building up a large number of buyers and sellers. Toronto-based Hubba, a platform that links product companies and independent retailers, reportedly laid off half its staff last month as it refocused from big consumer packaged goods makers to smaller brands. So, Faire’s rapid growth is a good sign, as it moves into a bigger office in Kitchener and looks to double its employee count there to 50.

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The developer behind the viral game Fortnite is launching an online shop for third-party games. The company will take 12 per cent of revenues generated in-store, compared to the base cut of 30 per cent that competitor Valve takes from its Steam shop.(The Verge)

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Talking point: Epic is using its moment of peak popular attention—Fortnite hit 200 million registered users last month—to diversify beyond its own titles and those built on its Unreal game engine. Steam reportedly had US$4.3 billion in sales last year, and Valve is now primarily a company that owns a game store, rather than a developer. Epic’s more favourable division of revenue could help bring over some third-party game makers. That said, more developers could start putting up their own stores, doing with games what big television companies have done with streaming by launching HBO Go, ESPN+ and Disney’s forthcoming service.

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A report from the Coalition Sortons la Caisse du carbon and the David Suzuki Foundation says the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s “very significant” selloff of shares in high-emissions sectors between 2018 and 2019 has resulted in an overall decrease in the value of its fossil-fuel portfolio. Should it continue shedding its oil and gas interests at that rate, the public pension manager, which oversees more than $340 billion, will have divested itself of all fossil-fuel investments in five years, according to the report. (The Logic)

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Talking point: There was a “spectacular” 42.5 per cent reduction in the value of the Caisse’s oilsands portfolio, due in large part to the manager’s selloff of its interests in the sector, the report reads. It is indicative of the Caisse’s accelerated exit from oil and gas investment; its previous administration had pledged only to reduce its fossil-fuel investments by 25 per cent by 2025.

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Éric Martel, who has been at the helm of the province’s public utility since 2015, replaces Alain Bellemare, who arrived at Bombardier that same year. (La Presse)

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Talking point: Over the last five years, Martel instituted an overhaul of Hydro-Québec, bringing sunshine to its opaque bureaucracy, boosting net export sales by over 15 per cent and increasing customer satisfaction levels. Prior to Hydro-Québec, Martel oversaw Bombardier’s business aircraft—the very division on which the suddenly-smaller company will focus in its rebuild effort. Bellemare’s attempts to salvage the storied Quebec company saw the selloff of several of its most iconic properties, including its turboprop, rail and regional-jet divisions. Despite this, Bombardier remains saddled with US$9.3 billion in long-term debt, and paid a whopping US$732 million in interest in 2018.