Crypto, politics and gangsta rap
Dapper Labs' co-founder comes out of the shadows. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Good morning everyone. It’s NFL Conference Championships Day. The games: Bengals vs. Chiefs. 49ers vs. Rams. Nathan, our new senior editor, predicted Chiefs and Rams wins, and in response, staff writer James said, “Ooooooooh I dunno man. Big [Bengals QB] Joe Burrow guy over here.” And me? I was too busy writing this newsletter to put serious thought into the matches. (*Not completely true.) Anyway, you came here for tech news, so let’s get into that. This week I’ve got 1,188 words for you, a 3 + 3/4-minute read. Enjoy!
Exclusive: Sam Gharegozlou's unlikely and inevitable journey into politics starts now
We spoke with the Dapper Labs co-founder about his company, the BC Tech Association’s Technology Impact Awards, brotherhood, and a potential future in politics. » Start reading.
‘You can be a global company and be based on Vancouver Island’: With the acquisition of U.K.’s Credence, Victoria-based Certn is now a 270-person global operation
The fast-growing startup has employees in every province, the U.S., and now a foothold in Europe. » Get the full story.
Has Josh Blair found his calling with Impro.AI?
Telus’s former golden boy starts from scratch. » Start reading.
What does the year hold for tech real estate in Vancouver? Two experts weigh in
After a couple of unpredictable years, Colliers and CBRE execs try to see the future. » Start reading.
How 3 Vancouver tech companies are supporting caregivers
#ShowUsYourLeave: These well-known firms are helping their employees’ households. » Continue.
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🤝 Funding and deals
Vancouver’s Ziva Dynamics, which develops sophisticated character simulation software, has been acquired by San Francisco-based Unity Technologies. » Get the full story.
MintList, which enables consumers and car dealerships to buy and sell used vehicles from one another, raised $2.6 million in seed funding from StandUp Ventures. » BetaKit.
ImagineAR, which helps brands create mobile AR campaigns, has linked up with newly-minted baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz for the company’s Fame Days application, a metaverse technology that delivers celebrity hologram e-greetings. » Continue.
BC startup investment grew over 300 percent in 2021. » BetaKit.
SoleSavy announced their first name, image and likeness (NIL) partnership with Shaedon Sharpe, a recruit of the renowned University of Kentucky basketball program and projected NBA draft pick. » Forbes.
PROPetual Real Estate Investment Trust, a Surrey-based real estate investment trust, entered into a partnership with World Housing Foundation to develop projects that build communities for families. » Continue.
Zafin, a product and pricing platform for banks and credit unions, acquired Surrey’s FINCAD, a pricing and risk analytics firm for USD $32.7M. » Globe and Mail.
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🗞️ In other news…
Sponsored: Boast unveils new brand and record growth one year after its CAD $123M round. Fintech platform company that helps Canadian and US startups automatically claim their R&D tax credit reveals new branding and announced record growth. » Continue.
Grandpa has entered the chat: Telus is getting more seniors online. The telecommunications giant is offering seniors high-speed, low-cost internet access. » Start reading.
Vancouver is 16th in Startup Genome’s global cleantech ecosystem ranking. Plus, B.C. is home to 36 percent of Canada’s most investable cleantech startups, according to Foresight Canada. » Get the full story.
AI and immersive technology is being used to revitalize Indigenous languages. » CBC.
University Canada West’s new report Fuelling B.C.’s Tech Talent Pipeline calls for a more coordinated approach by universities and industry to prepare the tech workforce of the future. » Start reading.
NZ Technologies has developed a touchless screen called HoverTap Lift that’s being tested in elevators. » Richmond News.
Uber Technologies Inc. has signed an agreement with a private-sector union that will provide representation to 100,000 Canadian drivers and couriers. » CTV News.
entrepreneurship@UBC announced the 14 new companies joining its HATCH Venture Builder Winter 2022 program. » Continue.
Bench announced a new president, Jean-Philippe (JP) Durrios, and CEO Ian Crosby confirmed he’s no longer with the company he founded. » Continue.
David Reevely reports on how a global ghost-kitchen experiment is growing out of a Vancouver parking empire. » The Logic.
BBTV launched Jackass Human Slingshot, a mobile game in conjunction with Viacom International Inc and Johnny Knoxville. » Continue.
Rogers is constructing six new towers to bring 85 kms of new wireless coverage along BC’s Highway 4, improving connectivity along the route. » Continue.
Deloitte Canada launched a $150M fund, Deloitte Ventures, to invest in and grow emerging technology companies across Canada. » Continue.
Farhan Mohamed and Andrew Wilkinson of Overstory Media Group were named to Vanmag’s 2022 Power 50 List at No. 39 under the header “New Media Czars.” » Continue.
Canada Drives, an online car shopping platform (and Deloitte Enterprise Fast 15 awardee), announced that Darcy Reno has joined its executive team as chief technology officer. » Continue.
Launch Academy was named one of the 11 Best Startup Incubators by Startup Savant. » Continue.
💡 Ideas and insights
Jill Tipping, CEO of BC Tech Association, argues in BCBusiness that “High-paying jobs in growing, profitable industries are the key to stable government revenue and a less volatile economy”
Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO of Innovate BC, dusted off his monthly column: January 2022: Local Tech Stories That Caught My Eye
Greg Smith, CEO of Thinkific, writing in Entrepreneur: Regaining Control of Your Sleep Life...From a (Recovering) Insomniac Entrepreneur
Adrian Battiston, a robotic systems integration manager at Terramera, writing on his company’s blog: Why we need robots in agriculture (and why they need us)
Christopher Naismith, CEO of Victoria’s Audette, joined the Nexus podcast to discuss how unscalable the traditional way to remove carbon from buildings is and what Audette is doing to make it more scalable. » Listen.
Matt Toner, a partner at Vancouver’s Shred Capital, writing at Startup Genome: In Search of the Elusive Political Entrepreneur
Jordan Kallman, writing in the State of Awe: The event ticket is dead, long live the event ticket