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    TSX, Canadian Startups, Ride Sharing Laws

    Let’s Talk TSX….

    Friday the 13th may traditionally be unlucky, but it will certainly go down in the books as one of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s best days in a LONG while.
    As you can see in our ticker above, the past week has seen Canada’s primary stock index, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) reach new heights, achieving 16,682 by close on Friday, surpassing the previous intraday record set on April 23rd at 16,682.71.
    The TSX is comprised of 1,500 of Canada’s biggest companies, so it’s a good indicator of how the Canadian private sector is doing.

    So, what’s caused this tremendous TSX spike?
    Well, for starters, the tension between the US vs China in their trade war is starting to simmer down, evoking increased optimism among investors. Increased stimulus from the European Central Bank has also played a role.
    AGF Investments associate portfolio manager Mike Archibald, said: “The bulls and the bears have had a bit of a wrestling match here for the last six weeks and it’s resolving itself to the upside so I think there’s potential for this to continue to the extent that you don’t get more negative headlines out of the China situation.”
    However, according to Bloomberg, Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify is the single-biggest contributor to the spike, increasing its numbers by nearly 60% and adding over 100 points to the composite index since the previously-mentioned April record was set. AKA, if you have Shopify stock, you’re doing great! If you don’t, analysts recommend that now’s a great time to buy too.
    It’s certainly been a fantastic week for Canada’s financial landscape – here’s hoping it only keeps getting better from here!


    Hot Startups….

    Linkedin just released their second annual Top Canadian Startups list and if you’re active in the Canadian tech scene, the names shouldn’t be a surprise (and if you’re not, well, that’s why we’re here!) The list featured 25 companies, many of which raised huge amounts of capital this year.

    FinTech (Financial Technology) companies such as Wealthsimple, Borrowell, and Clearbanc are a few standouts that collectively raised $513 million CAD, indicating growth in Canada’s FinTech industry.

    LinkedIn creates its annual list using data collected from users, and considers four main criteria: employee growth, jobseeker interest, member engagement with the company, and how well the startup pulled talent from the LinkedIn Top Companies list.

    To be eligible, startups have to be seven years old or younger, privately held, and headquartered in Canada, with at least 50 employees.

    Below, find a selection of companies featured on the list. Click here to view them all.

    1. Drop, Toronto – Mobile rewards startup Drop, recently closed a $58 million Series B funding round led by HOF Capital. Drop CEO Derrick Fung said afterwards that the startup was disrupting an archaic industry and hinted at plans to take Drop public.
    2. Ritual, Toronto – Earlier this year, the startup announced its international expansion into the UK and Australia. In June of 2018, Ritual raised $90 million CAD Series C, following its $53 million CAD Series B in September 2017.
    3. Certarus, Calgary – Founded in 2012, Certarus has developed a virtual natural gas pipeline system that compresses, transports, and integrates natural gas, which ultimately helps lower operating costs and reduces the environmental impact of oil and gas projects.

    Series A Funding: Series A round is typically the first round of capital financing. The name refers to the class of preferred stock sold.
    Series B Funding: Series B round refers to companies who have raised capital before and are now looking to optimize their existing product/service.
    Series C Funding: Series C round is for late-stage companies who have previously received capital financing and are looking to expand their products and services.



    …And Not-So-Hot Startups

    Ride-sharing companies took a hit this week, when California enacted legislation to ensure workers are treated like humans as employees rather than independent contractors.

    What’s the difference? When a driver is an employee, the company must grant them benefits like paid leave, breaks, a guaranteed minimum wage, and health insurance (depending on the jurisdiction’s labour laws). They could also unionize – not something the ‘progressive’ folks in Silicon Valley are too keen on.

    While the law only covers California, labour rights groups are advocating for similar legislation to be adopted in jurisdictions across North America.

    It has been a particularly bad year for Uber, which has laid off hundreds of marketing, engineering, and core function staff in the past six months. Uber’s stock hit an all-time low in early September when a report by investment firm Cowen underscored just how expensive the app’s operations are. The report found that UberEats, the food delivery portion of the business that Uber has poured millions into, loses the company $3.36 USD per delivery – and will continue to be unprofitable until 2024.

    Most of that money is spent helping UberEats compete (with mixed results) with the dozens more food delivery apps out there –from discounting meals to giving users bonuses for referring new customers. Now, Uber must reckon with the additional cost of California’s labour law, and the possibility that other states may follow suit.

    Uber and Lyft plan to fight the legislation, even once it’s passed. How the courts react is likely to shape the ‘gig economy’, and how freelance workers are employed for years to come.

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