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R|T: The Retail Times – South Korean retail unicorn to set roots in Toronto



Plus: Shopify’s Tobi Lütke headlines BetaKit Town Hall.

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South Korea’s neighbourhood buy-and-sell app Karrot hits one million Canadian users, builds Toronto tech hub

Two years after launching its trust-focused peer-to-peer marketplace in Canada, South Korean technology unicorn Karrot has surpassed one million registered Canadian users.

Karrot has chosen Toronto as its North American engineering hub to support its continental expansion, citing its diversity and mobile and artificial intelligence talent. Over the next year, the tech company plans to build a 15 to 20-person engineering team in the city.


Former Gildan CEO seeks payout, rejects probe into conduct, company says

Gildan Activewear says its former chief executive officer is rebuffing a probe into his conduct and claiming a severance payment worth US$38-million after being dismissed by the clothing maker, an amount far higher than what the company believes he’s owed.

The Canadian maker of T-shirts and fleece, which is locked in a proxy fight with activist investor Browning West over control of the company, says Glenn Chamandy is refusing to co-operate and provide information to an external investigator looking into his actions around the time he was let go this past December.

(The Globe and Mail)

Shopify’s Tobi Lütke headlines special BetaKit Town Hall on May 7

Canada currently faces many headwinds. The federal government’s response to these issues and our looming productivity crisis have left many in Canadian tech demanding better.

BetaKit has organized a special Town Hall bringing together Canadian founders and leaders from across the technology ecosystem for a pulse check on the state of innovation, productivity, optimism, and more.

The event will feature a discussion and AMA with Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke and conversations with Cohere co-founder Ivan Zhang, MedEssist co-founder Joella Almeida, and Tulip Retail founder Ali Asaria. We hope to see you there!


Amazon is hitting pause on a controversial new fee amid seller outrage

Amazon is once again delaying a controversial new seller fee as the e-commerce behemoth looks to appease its hundreds of thousands of merchants after the original announcement sparked widespread outrage.

On Wednesday evening, Amazon announced through its discussion forum for sellers that the company would be extending the grace period on its low-inventory fee for merchants. The fee went into effect as planned on April 1, but sellers will be credited back for any charges incurred through May 14, the company said. As the name implies, Amazon will charge merchants who sell and ship products through the Fulfillment by Amazon program, also known as FBA, if they don’t keep enough inventory in the company’s warehouses.

(Modern Retail)

Capital gains tax changes not included in feds’ Budget 2024 motion bill

Canada’s proposed capital gains tax changes were notably absent from the motion the Liberal government tabled Tuesday to introduce Budget 2024 in the House of Commons.

“We are very committed to the capital gains measures that we put forward in the budget,” said Freeland, who noted that “further details and implementing legislation will be forthcoming,” but did not offer a specific timeline or shed any further light on why they were excluded from this week’s motion.


Founder of Freshii suing company that bought his restaurant chain

Freshii founder Matthew Corrin is suing the company that bought his healthy-food chain, alleging the new owner failed to honour an agreement that allowed him to serve as executive chair, as well as cutting him out of meetings, drastically reducing his consulting fee and accusing him of being paid a lot of money “to do nothing.”

(The Globe and Mail)

Feds set hard cap on Start-up Visa program applications, pause self-employed persons program

This week, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada implemented changes to the Start-up Visa (SUV) program which will result in a drastic decrease in the number of foreign entrepreneurs applying to enter Canada.

The program will now accept applications for no more than 10 startups per each of the 84 designated organizations composed of venture capital firms, angel investor groups, and business incubators.

This effectively means the government has implemented a cap of 840 applications. Last year, the federal government announced plans to scale up SUV application intake from 1,000 spots in 2022 to 3,500 in 2023, 5,000 in 2024, and 6,000 by 2025, according to the Toronto Star.


Peloton CEO McCarthy stepping down; firm cutting 15% of jobs

Peloton Interactive said Chief Executive Officer Barry McCarthy is stepping down after two years in the role as the company plans to shed about 15 percent of its global workforce in an effort to revive sputtering growth.

The New York-based company was a highflier during the early days of the pandemic, when lockdowns sent consumers scrambling for its stationary bikes and fitness classes. But the shares tumbled over the past three years, erasing more than 90 per cent from its valuation.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Beyoncé’s former digital director thinks your culture is meaningless

Do ping pong tables, office dogs, and a casual dress code add up to a genuine “culture”?

Dr. Marcus Collins says no. The man who will deliver the keynote address at Inventures 2024 in Calgary this May lives at the intersection of marketing and culture. His career has seen him direct digital strategy for Beyoncé and award-winning campaigns for industry giants like Apple and Nike. Collins believes tech companies regularly tout “culture,” yet often fail to practice what they preach.


EBay forecasts Q2 revenue below estimates as consumer spending remains strained

Ecommerce firm eBay forecast second-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as demand cools for its key product categories like collector’s items and auto parts, sending shares down 5% in extended trading.

The San Jose, California-based company has been under pressure as inflation-hit shoppers are becoming increasingly choosy about their online purchases, as well as competition from larger platforms like


Five things you’ll want to do at the world’s most interesting crypto conference

Described as The Super Bowl of blockchain meets the Cannes Film Festival of Web3, Consensus 2024 is a three-day event in Austin, Texas from May 29-31 organized by CoinDesk.

The event is known for bringing together the most influential members of the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Web3 communities, from Wall Street titans and AI innovators to ecosystem builders, protocols, and startups.


Exclusive: Monocle raises $7.5M to shepherd tailored promotions

Monocle raised $7.5 million in seed funding to speed up its tailored promotions offering, CEO Noam Szpiro tells Axios exclusively.

With customer acquisition costs rising, retailers are looking to cut ad spend and optimize areas like promotions and pricing.

Monocle tries to understand how much a promotion changes a customer’s behaviors and then how much incremental revenue a retailer can gain by giving the incentive to the individual.


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