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With just 16,000 applicants, small business groups say early uptake of the commercial rent relief program has been disappointing

The federal government says landlords for only 16,000 of Canada’s nearly 1.2 million small businesses applied for its rent-relief program in the first week, adding fuel to weeks of criticism that the program’s structure is unfair to commercial tenants. Story

Venture capital funding set to drop sharply for rest of 2020, industry association says

Canadian venture capital activity is set to pull back sharply in 2020 after record levels last year, according to an industry association. Story

Ritual offers lower-cost service model to hard-hit restaurant sector

Three weeks into the pandemic shutdown, Ray Reddy wasn’t sure if his food takeout app provider, Ritual Technologies Inc., would survive Now, the CEO of what was one of Canada’s fastest growing startups is pitching Ritual as a way to help restaurants and cafés survive. Story

Otto Motors, Ontario-based maker of autonomous vehicles for factories, raises US$29-million

A Waterloo, Ont., robot company whose autonomous vehicles carry materials around factory floors has raised US$29-million in a financing led by Canada’s Kensington Private Equity Fund. Story

Vancouver kidney drug developer Chinook Therapeutics seeks Nasdaq listing through merger with U.S. biotech company Aduro

For the second time in a week a Canadian drug developer has unveiled plans to list publicly on Nasdaq, the bellwether exchange for biotech companies. Story

Montreal’s Vention raises $38-million, joining slew of Canadian startups helping factories automate faster

Vention Inc., a rapidly growing Montreal startup that is helping industrial manufacturers speed up the pace of factory automation, has raised $38-million in venture capital led by Georgian Partners. Story