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The company’s Series A financing was led by BDC Capital and Yaletown Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors First Ascent Ventures and Extreme Venture Partners. (The Logic)

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Talking point: ThinkData’s end-to-end management platform collates data from sources across the world. It’s used by banks like RBC and TD Bank, as well as the federal government and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Since the pandemic started, it has offered researchers free access to its COVID-19 data. The company’s CEO and co-founder Bryan Smith is presently vice-chair of Ontario’s Digital andData Task Force, which is developing a provincial data strategy. With the new funds, ThinkData plans to expand its sales and marketing team and expand globally.

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The cuts mostly affect the Google sister firm’s Toronto workforce, which is now down to about 12 staff. All in, about 13 per cent of Sidewalk Labs’ global workforce were affected by the staff reductions. The cuts include the company’s director of policy and strategy John Brodhead, who was a senior aide in the federal Liberal government prior to joining Sidewalk. (Bloomberg, The Logic)

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Talking point: The cuts come after Sidewalk Labs abandoned its proposal for a smart-city development on Toronto’s waterfront. In an email to The Logic, a company spokesperson said the firm’s Toronto office will not reopen; the three-year lease on the space is set to expire on March 14, 2021. A spokesperson for Plazacorp—which owns the land—confirmed that the lease has not been terminated. The company’s statement said Sidewalk’s new priorities include “factory-made mass timber buildings … a digital master-planning tool designed to help developers and communities achieve shared objectives [and] a really ambitious approach to affordable all-electric neighborhoods.”

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The biotech startup secured its Series B round, which was led by Drive Capital with participation from Chiesi Farmaceutici, GreenSky Capital and members of Cyclica’s management team. (VentureBeat)

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Talking point: Cyclica’s drug-discovery platform leverages artificial intelligence in the biophysics space. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a new drug takes an average of 12 to 15 years and over US$2.6 billion dollars to develop—a process Cyclica hopes to decentralize by partnering with other companies and research institutions. With the support of the Ontario Centres of Excellence and IBM, the company has recently harnessed the power of supercomputers to map out a database that will help researchers identify genetic variants. The new funds will be used to forge new partnerships as well as expand its application within the pharma industry and adjacent sectors, such as agro-chemicals.

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The networks offer faster data speeds for users. Bell also created a research lab at Western University as well as a campus-wide 5G network. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Earlier this month, Bell announced it would work with Ericsson to build its 5G network but left the door open to using the lower-cost Huawei if the federal government permits it. The federal government has been considering whether to permit Huawei in its networks since September 2018. Rogers launched its own 5G network in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto earlier this year. The major telecoms had been trying to get suppliers in place ahead of the 3,500 Mhz spectrum auction, a key band for rural 5G deployments. Earlier this month Ottawa delayed that auction by six months to July 2021.

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Lilia, which began providing fertility services in January with partner clinics in the U.S. and Canada, harvested the funding from Y Combinator, Panache Ventures, Garage Capital and Hustle Fund. (Forbes)

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Talking point: Like many startups, Lilia was born from need. Fresh out of a long-term relationship, founder Alyssa Atkins realized there was no easy way to freeze her eggs and thus keep her “fertility window” open. Her company raised $800,000 in five weeks, and doesn’t bow to what Atkins calls the “fertility inquisition”; rather, it celebrates the “freedom” egg fertilization affords.

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In a Thursday board decision, the agency postponed the date by which it must approve Sidewalk Labs’ controversial plan for Toronto’s Quayside neighbourhood from May 20 to June 25. The agency is also extending the deadline for its online public consultation survey from March 31 to April 9 and said Element AI’s human rights review, expected in March, will instead be delivered by April 30. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Waterfront Toronto has been evaluating the plan since the two companies came to an agreement on some sticking points in October 2019. In February, Waterfront indicated support for the majority of the plan, identifying some 16 items it opposed. Keerthana Rang, a spokesperson for Sidewalk Labs, told The Logic that the Alphabet subsidiary was in agreement with the board’s decision to delay the deadline: “We look forward to continuing discussions with Waterfront Toronto on the Quayside project.”