Plus: 1Password expands into crypto.
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Michele Romanow becomes Clearco CEO as Andrew D’Souza moves to Executive Chair (BETAKIT)
Clearco is facing its second executive shakeup of the new year, with company co-founder and CEO Andrew D’Souza transitioning to executive chair and co-founder and former president Michele Romanow taking over as CEO.
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Italy gets its first unicorn as Scalapay raises $497m from Tencent (SIFTED)
Scalapay lured in an all-star group of foreign investors, with China’s Tencent and New York’s Willoughby Capital leading the round.
Former Bench CEO Ian Crosby joins Shopify Balance as product director (BETAKIT)
The move comes just over a month after Crosby left Vancouver accounting software startup Bench, which he co-founded and led as CEO for over a decade.
SoFi to buy banking-infrastructure firm Technisys for about $1.1 billion (WALL STREET JOURNAL)
The all-stock deal is CEO Anthony Noto’s latest move to turn the onetime student lender into a full-service bank.
1Password expands into crypto, offering protection to crypto wallet users (BETAKIT)
The unicorn password protection company 1Password is expanding into the cryptocurrency realm to do what it does best: security. The Toronto company plans to make crypto wallets more secure for users, but might first have to deal with some blowback from its customer base.
Pine Labs raises $150 million from Alpha Wave (ECONOMIC TIMES)
The first tranche of $75 million from Alpha Wave has already been disbursed, regulatory filings by the company in Singapore show.
Canadian tech firms with Ukraine offices struggling to get employees out of country as Russian forces advance (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Canadian tech firms with offices and employees in Ukraine are trying to help staff flee the country amid the intensifying Russian invasion, but efforts to get them access to Canada have so far largely gone nowhere. The war has had wide-ranging impacts on Ukraine’s tech ecosystem. Many commonly used products and technologies have Ukrainian roots. The country also houses a booming tech outsourcing sector that has been put at risk by the ongoing conflict.
Klarna to open offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Québec as company expands service to Canada (BETAKIT)
Klarna plans to bolster the tech hub by hiring more than 500 engineers by 2025, and opening offices in Vancouver and Québec.
Crypto platform Amber Group hits $3 billion valuation in latest raise (THE BLOCK CRYPTO)
The investment values Amber, which is also based in Singapore, at $3 billion — and brings the total amount of capital it has raised to date to $328 million.
PrimaryBid raises $190M to double down on making it easier for ordinary people to invest in IPOs and follow-on fundraises (TECHCRUNCH)
PrimaryBid today interoperates with some 60 channels to enable investments, which include brokerages and apps that people use to make investments today, and that list also is likely to continue growing.
Village Wellth raises $400,000 CAD seed round for its business acquisition platform (BETAKIT)
The startup said that a cross-section of industry supporters, advisors and business buyers participated in the raise, which closed at the end of November, 2021. One of the undisclosed investors is joining the startup’s board.
How Square grew from a scrappy hardware startup to payments powerhouse in a just over decade (CNBC)
Now called Block, the company operates an FDIC-insured bank, consumer payments platform, offers stock and cryptocurrency trading and has made a number of high-profile acquisitions.
Blockchain startup Bitfarms tops the TSXV’s annual technology ranking (BETAKIT)
The 2022 winners were selected based on year-over-year performance across three equally-weighted criteria: growth in market capitalization, share price appreciation, and value traded for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Indian neobank Niyo raises $100 million, tops 4 million customers (TECHCRUNCH)
Niyo provides digital savings accounts and other banking services to largely salaried individuals in India. It works with banks to help them deliver a more modern and expansive user experience and features.