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Report on Small Business Newsletter: Buoyed by surge in ‘megadeals,’ Canadian venture-capital activity up sharply across the board

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Stuart Lombard, founder and CEO of ecobee, maker of smart wifi thermostats, is seen in Toronto in 2016.

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

Buoyed by surge in ‘megadeals,’ Canadian venture-capital activity up sharply across the board

Canadian venture-capital financing is off to a strong start in 2018, buoyed by strength at all stages of the funding cycle, as VC veterans point to continued signs of maturation in the domestic market. Over the first half of the year, Canada saw five “megadeals” in excess of $50-million, the most since at least 2013, including a $90-million raise for the meal-ordering app Ritual Technologies Inc. and a pair of investments in the smart-thermostat maker ecobee Inc. totalling $127-million. Full story

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Andreesen Horowitz picks Canadian woman as General Partner

The prominent Silicon Valley venture-capital fund Andreesen Horowitz has promoted Ottawa native Angela Strange to general partner, making her one of few Canadian women to reach the upper echelons of the U.S. venture-capital industry. Full story

Canadian cybersecurity firms hope federal procurement review speeds up process

Canadian cybersecurity companies are paying keen attention to an ongoing review of Ottawa’s procurement process, anxious to see whether the review will help hasten the protracted system and make military contracts more accessible for small domestic cyberbusinesses. Full story

Emergence of Canadian unicorns sparks momentum in angel investing

Jason Nagy began investing in Enthusiast Gaming Inc. in 2016 after hearing its pitch to an angel-investor group. But he didn’t expect an opportunity for a return so soon. The Toronto-based digital media company, which is devoted to video-gaming and runs Canada’s largest gaming expo, plans to go public this year. Full story

Mount Pleasant businesses fearful as SkyTrain expansion brings rising property taxes

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The junction where Kingsway and Main Street converge is the historic and cultural heart of Mount Pleasant, just north of Broadway. It’s also one of the most walkable areas in Vancouver, filled with independent boutique shops and cafés, but without Yaletown’s high prices and lapdog-carrying clientele. Full story (Globe subscribers)

Montreal-founded hotel business disruptor Sonder Canada raises $85-million

Sonder Canada Inc., a Montreal-based startup aiming to disrupt the travel accommodation business by renting out hotel-quality apartments through Airbnb and other websites, said Thursday it has raised US$85-million in a financing led by San Francisco venture capital firm Greenoaks Capital. Full story

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

New program aims to help Alberta’s immigrant small business owners

The province has launched a new program designed to assist immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta. The Immigrant Entrepreneur Program — developed by Business Link — will include training and resources that address the needs of immigrants who are starting a small business in Alberta. Full story

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How I almost died building my tech company

Let me tell you how I almost died—actually, how I almost killed myself. It’s a really long story, but I’ll make it as short as possible. I almost worked myself to death. Full story

Siri Agrell named OneEleven Toronto Managing Director

Siri Agrell, the former director of strategic initiatives for Toronto Mayor John Tory’s office, has joined OneEleven Toronto as its Toronto managing director. Full story

Owners who slap their name on a business choose glory over growth

Naming your business after yourself demonstrates that you prioritize glory and profit over growing and attracting investment, according to a new analysis of records from more than a million firms. Their research helps us understand why the founders of Google/Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft made very different naming decisions than old-school tycoons such as Henry Ford, James C. Penney and Walt Disney. Full story

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