An $80B business in BC's backyard

With 100 employees and hiring more. Welcome, to the Sunday Briefing.

Good morning everyone. Welcome to the hundreds of new readers reading this week. If you’re in the Lower Mainland, I invite you to join the tech community for coffee on Tuesday at The Coffee Bar (10 Water St.). We’ll be meeting from 8am-10am, like we do every week. Sign-up for reminders through this form.

In today’s newsletter, I’m excited to spotlight the $80B EV maker hiring in Yaletown, a milestone for Canada’s hydrogen tech sector, a new category of agtech and 41 more stories.

Today’s Sunday Briefing is 1,636 words, a 4 + 1/2-minute read. Enjoy!

-William (@notionport)

🛻 Meet Rivian, the $80B Tesla competitor building in BC.

What do Amazon, Ford and Yaletown, BC have in common? All three are being leveraged by Rivian, the electric vehicle maker set to IPO in the next month. The company is best known for its just-launched R1T, an all-electric pickup truck. It has a major partnership with Ford and Amazon was a lead investor in its most recent USD$2.5B funding round.

Media has characterized the automaker as consumers’ first real alternative to Tesla. Plus, its impending IPO could value the company at an astonishing $80 billion.

Rivian is based in California with a manufacturing plant in Illinois and additional locations in Michigan, Arizona, and England — and a fast-growing presence in Vancouver, right here in our own backyard. Its Vancouver team is led by general manager Erhun Arkan, the former vice president of engineering at Vancouver-founded Grow Technologies. We recently caught up with him to discuss Rivian’s Vancouver presence, what his team is working on, and the deep bench of talent he’s been able to recruit to the automaker. » Here’s what we learned.

Hydra Energy unveils first hydrogen-converted, heavy-duty vehicle.

Prince George’s Lodgewood Enterprises has received the initial truck marking the first of 12 semi-trucks to be converted with Hydra’s hydrogen-diesel conversion kit. It’s a milestone for Hydra but also for clean trucking overall and for Canada’s push for net-zero emissions by 2050. “Although heavy-duty trucking accounts for only 1.37% of vehicles on the road, it accounts for 30% of road-related emissions,” noted Hydra Energy CEO, Jessica Verhagen. » Learn more.

Agtech AMPLIFIED: CubicFarms launches 'local chain ag-tech.'

The new category of agtech signals an exciting time for both a local company and the agricultural innovation field overall. » Read about a new way to feed the world.

⏩ Quick takes.

🤝 Funding and deals.

  • Pocketed, a startup that helps other startups and small businesses access billions of dollars in grants, tax credits, and business incentives through a marketplace, raised $1 million in seed funds. The round was led by WUTIF Capital with participation from more than a dozen investors including Hustle Fund, Women’s Equity Lab and New Avenue Capital. » Get the full story.

  • Vancouver’s SkyHive has raised $40 million led by Eldridge. The round, which had participation from investors Allegis Cyber, Accenture Ventures, Workday Ventures, and the Partnership Fund For New York City, brings SkyHive’s total funding to more than $60 million. » Get more details.

  • The BC Government has invested $10M into 43 projects to drive innovation in BC’s manufacturing and supply chain sectors as part of the Accelerating Manufacturing Grants program. » See who got money.

  • Fraction Technologies, which announced $289 million in equity and debt financing earlier this year, revealed another $20 million in funding led by QED Investors. » More here.

  • Vancouver’s FLIK, a social enterprise that connects female founders and aspiring talent for mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities, was acquired Vancouver digital studio, Rumor Avenue, reports BetaKit.

  • BBTV has partnered with Spotter, a platform providing upfront cash to creators by acquiring rights to their content, to dedicate up to $155 million (USD$125M) to BBTV creators to scale creator growth and monetization opportunities for the Company's existing library of creator content. » Get the details.

  • Province of BC is investing $4.28 million to expand the Vancouver landfill’s gas-capture system through the CleanBC Industry Fund, with matching funds from the City of Vancouver. » Learn more.

  • aDolus, a Victoria company that builds software intelligence for critical infrastructure, raised $3.09 million. » Read more.

  • UBC clean hydrogen technology will be deployed in Alberta, thanks to a $7 million collaboration between UBC, the government of Alberta and Alberta utility company ATCO. » The story.

  • Innovate BC announced a contribution of $300,000 to Palette Skills, whose program is designed to help Canadians land a job in B2B or tech sales quickly. Their SalesCamp program will be available in BC for the first time, with the first cohort of the pilot beginning this week in the province. » Learn more.

  • SoleSavy, a Vancouver sneaker marketplace, which raised $15 million earlier this year, announced a partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. » Details here.

  • WonderFi announced a $20 million bought deal private placement offering being handled by Canaccord Genuity Corp. » More here.

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🗞️ In other news…

  • General Fusion announced that it would relocate and expand its headquarters in Richmond, BC in order to expedite the commercialization of its fusion technology and quadruple its workforce. » Get the full story.

  • AVA Technologies Inc. launched AVA MicroByte, a mini garden that enables users to grow microgreens at home in as little as 7 days. » Learn more.

  • ImagineAR, an AR company that enables brands to create their own mobile phone immersive AR campaigns, has hired NFL veteran Rod Nenner as a strategic advisor.

  • Life Sciences British Columbia (LSBC) announced the 31 companies presenting to the 6th annual Invest in BC showcase. » Get the list.

  • announced that CEO Dan Park would step down as CEO and transition to chair of the board, effective December 31, 2021. » Details.

  • CubicFarms promoted Sandy Gerber to chief marketing officer. » More on this.

  • BBTV has promoted its vice president of finance Ben Groot to the role of chief financial officer.

  • Cameron Uganec, formerly Later’s head of marketing, joined Thinkific as general manager of media.

  • Alpha Esports Tech appointed Adam Morrison to the role of president.

  • Mik Naayem, Dapper Labs’ co-founder and chief business officer, joined the board of Concept Art House, which raised $25 million for its NFT publishing business.

💡 Ideas and insights.

🌐 More BC tech headlines from around the web.

Watch and listen.

📅 See you soon.

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