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Shopify co-founder and CEO Tobias Lütke.

Ben Courtice

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz.

The turning point rewarded

Ottawa-based Shopify has partnered with Singapore telecommunications company SingTel to expand its reach in Asia, The Next Web reports.

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Co-founder and CEO Tobias Lütke launched the e-commerce platform in 2006, enabling other companies to use it to create their own online stores. Shopify now has tens of thousands of customers in more than 80 countries. The deal with SingTel covers four countries: Singapore, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Services in the first two are already online, with the latter two expected to go live in July.

Shopify says transactions will be possible in local currencies by September, and the company has plans to negotiate more favourable shipping rates for small businesses. Singtel told TNW it will promote Shopify through marketing and sales efforts, and it will link to the site from its own website.

Report on Small Business featured Mr. Lütke in its Success Stories series in October, 2012.

New round of funding for Scribble

Scribble Technologies Inc. has raised $8-million in new financing from a group led by Georgian Partners that also includes Export Development Canada, Summerhill Venture Partners and Rogers Venture Partners, the Toronto-based company says in a press release. The online engagement provider adds it will use the money to boost growth in the enterprise market, to fast-track its global expansion, and to continue to develop its products, which include ScribbleLive and ScribbleMarket. ScribbleLive allows users to create, control and share digital content, while ScribbleMarket, a more recent entrant, helps create and distribute content from brands and media companies.

Bunch adds to its funding tally

Montreal-based Bunch, a social media network for people passionate about a particular topic, announced in a press release that it has raised $1-million in funding from Real Ventures, 500 Startups, BDC Venture Capital, Round 13 Capital, and several angel investors. The company has more than 20,000 beta users who can post opinions, thoughts, questions, or articles and engage in discussions in one of 50 topic-based communities. Bunch CEO Andrew Sider was previously a founder of BandPage, a social platform connecting bands and fans, "which he helped attract 12 million users and raise over $3 million in the company's first year of operations."

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Is your business prepared?

The 23rd World Conference on Disaster Management takes place in Toronto this year from June 23 to 26. It features an international roster of presenters, in addition to industry networking opportunities. Through more than 70 educational workshops, plenary and concurrent sessions, delegates will gain insight into innovative solutions on how to improve plans for disaster preparedness, response and recovery, including tips on how businesses, communities and government can adapt to global and local threats, and sustain operations and communities at home and abroad during times of crisis.

Consulting services for non-profits

The NeXus program at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management offers affordable, fee-based consulting services to support a broad range of business needs at all the different stages in the non-profit lifecycle, including planning and startup to increasing capacity and expansion. The consultants, who are entering the second year of the Rotman MBA program, each bring a deep understanding of management and business practices, as well as their own experiences in the private and public sectors in Canada, and internationally, to the challenges facing their clients. Visit the website for more information.


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A good problem to have?

Kitchener, Ont.-based Thalmic Labs Inc. has more than 30,000 orders for its Myo devices, which are priced at $149. More than $4-million in presales would be many a startup company's dream. But Thalmic Labs hasn't yet lined up a company to make the devices. That means the soonest it can start shipping products and get revenue flowing is the end of this year. In the meantime, the company has been fortunate to have venture capital investors ready to cover costs, including the payroll for the 20 software engineers who have joined the staff to develop apps for the device.


Three ways to get started

Are you ready to start selling your products or services online? In a four-part series from December, 2010, we examined where to sell your products or services online, how to set up a sales window, which e-money transfer services to use and how to build up your data history.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at

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