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Streetwise newsletter: Smart thermostat powerhouse raises $80-million; Blackstone CEO’s pitch; X2 Resources’ war chest

A Bay Street sign is seen in Toronto’s financial district.

© Mark Blinch / Reuters

Here are the top reads,

Financing: One of Canada's emerging technology stars, ecobee Inc., has raised $80-million in a venture financing to continue growing its smart thermostat business – and expects to raise roughly $50-million more within the next two months to fund its goal of reaching $1-billion in sales by 2020. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Future fortunes: The ink is not yet dry on Blackstone Group LP's US$17-billion deal to buy a majority share of Thomson Reuters Corp.'s financial-data business and already, chief executive officer Stephen Schwarzman is angling for "frank, friendly conversations" with Blackstone's vast web of contacts, pitching the merits of his firm's plan to revamp the unit's fortunes. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

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Mining fund: When former Xstrata PLC chief executive Mick Davis launched his billion-dollar private equity firm during the commodities downturn in 2013, there was excitement that X2 would make big acquisitions and give cash-strapped miners a lifeline. But those expectations were never quite realized. Story (Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

Private equity: Facing a funding shortfall and apathy from public investors, mining companies are increasingly turning to private equity for much-needed capital. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

New fund: The team behind 500 Startups' short-lived Canadian foray has resurfaced with a new fund after severing ties to the disgraced Silicon Valley seed-stage venture capital firm last year. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Private equity: Mounting trade tension and corporate tax-rate disparity with the United States threaten to crimp a boom in private-equity deal-making in Canada, the head of the industry's umbrella group says. Story (Jeff Jones, for subscribers)

Share issue: Bombardier Inc. is raising $638-million in its first share issue in more than three years, taking advantage of recent sharp gains in the plane and train maker's stock to beef up its balance sheet. Story (Jeff Jones and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)


Mortgages: Foreign inflows are distorting Canada's already constrained housing market and aren't the kind of investment the country needs, the chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Canada said. Story

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U.S. distribution: Toronto restaurant point-of-sale software provider TouchBistro Inc. has scored a key deal to market its services to restaurants through U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. Story

Fraud: Police in Toronto say four people are facing charges after a mortgage fraud investigation lasting nearly five years. Story (for subscribers)


Bids: Canopy Growth Corp., the world's largest cannabis producer by market value, is among bidders for closely held Spanish firm Alcaliber SA, according to people familiar with the matter. Story

U.S. venture financing: While human-looking robots are being developed, most "robots" don't have a body at all. These software bots can initiate a chat on a company's website or process invoices for human resources. UiPath works on this type of robotic process automation and announced today that it has raised a whopping US$153-million to further its growth. VentureBeat

U.S. venture financing: Whoop, a sports performance company whose platform helps athletes and coaches understand the impact of physical strain in order to optimize training and reduce injury, has raised US$25-million in a series C round of funding. VentureBeat

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U.S. venture financing: Human resources (HR) technology platform Justworks has raised US$40-million in a series D round of funding led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from Index Ventures, Thrive Capital, Bain Capital, and Redpoint Ventures. VentureBeat

Tech sector: Shared work space giant WeWork has acquired Conductor, a marketing services company that analyzes online search data and helps companies create content based on what people are looking for. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. VentureBeat

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