Coffee Briefing, May 18, 2021 – KPMG seeks Canada’s next unicorn, AWS and Azure top cloud rankings, and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. These briefings drop on Tuesday mornings. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from editorial director Alex Coop. Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We got you covered.

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

South Korea works with the private sector to invest in a domestic chip supply chain, lossless music streaming comes to Apple music at no extra cost, and Sharp announces a new smartphone with a super camera.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Is the Darkside ransomware gang dead or temporarily going quiet? Has ransomware suddenly got a bad name among crooks? This is what many cybersecurity experts are wondering after Darkside said it had lost access to the public part of its blog, payment server and content delivery server. 

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

In case you missed it

The recent tech news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing.

KPMG is looking for Canada’s next tech unicorn 

Last week, KPMG announced the launch of the KPMG Private Enterprise Tech Innovator competition to find Canada’s next tech unicorn. The competition is open to Canadian entrepreneurs who can demonstrate to a panel of industry professionals that they have developed innovative technologies, established business models, and have the potential to scale-up globally. The winner will represent Canada in the global finals later this year, competing against the world’s best. [Complete details and link to apply here]

Microsoft now shares the top position with Amazon Web Services in the worldwide public cloud services market

Microsoft now shares the top position with Amazon Web Services in the whole public cloud services market with both companies holding approximately 13 per cent revenue share for the year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker.

The worldwide public cloud services market, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), System Infrastructure Software as a Service (SISaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), grew over 24 per cent year over year in 2020 with revenues totaling $312 billion.

The combined revenue of the top five public cloud service providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft,, Google, and Oracle) captured 38 per cent of the worldwide total and grew 32 per cent year over year. [Full report here]

Increasing venture capital funding solidifies Montreal tech ecosystem – report

In 2020, the Greater Montreal tech ecosystem has 110 investments totaling CA$1.15 billion led by deals in the healthtech, biotech and analytics verticals, respectively, according to BDO Montreal Technology Report in collaboration with Hockeystick, an AI-powered matchmaking platform that uses AI to match startups with funders, like VCs and lenders. 

The top three company investments were in e-commerce, traveltech and healthtech verticals, while e-commerce led in overall investment with CA$281 million in funding. 

Appdirect, the commerce platform for subscription-based services, received the biggest investment – CA$250.7 million – led by new investor the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, with participation from previous investors Inovia Capital, JP Morgan Chase, and Mithril Capital. AppDirect says the funds will go towards expansion, acquisitions, and new hires. [Full report here]

ICYMI – IT World Canada

IBM looks to address business AI adoption challenges with AutoSQL and partner program changes [Full story]

When it comes to global AI adoption, it’s a case of good news and bad news, according to IBM, which hosted its annual THINK conference last week.

Recap: MapleSEC Satellite Session – Learning through Training [Full story]

IT World Canada’s latest MapleSEC Satellite session was about training and awareness and understanding what techniques work best.

Google Canada commits $2 million to reskill job seekers [Full story] 

Yesterday, Google Canada announced a $2 million commitment to help train Canadian job seekers for new careers in technology.

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

Google Cloud to use Starlink satellite internet for its data centres [Full story] 

Google Cloud and space tech company SpaceX have partnered to deliver data, cloud services, and applications to customers at the network edge using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network.

2021 Digital Transformation and CIO of the Year nomination deadline extended [Full article]

As the result of some sincere requests from people who are short of time, ITWC is extending the deadline for nominations for the 2021 Digital Transformation Awards and the 2021 CIO of the Year Awards to Friday, May 21.

DoorDash announces first international engineering hub in Toronto, will hire 50 engineers [Full story]

Today, U.S. headquartered last-mile logistics platform DoorDash announced that it’s expanding its Canadian presence with a new engineering hub in Toronto.

ICYMI – Channel Daily News

Canadian hosting provider Carbon60 acquires OpsGuru [Full story]

The acquisition marks the third purchase for Carbon60 since 2019 when it announced a major investment from private equity firm M/C Partners. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Amazon Web Services announces 2021 Canada AWS Partner Award winners [Full story]

At its annual Partner Summit event this week, Amazon Web Services recognized a wide range of channel partners through its 2021 Canada AWS Partner Awards.

Canada’s Munvo Solutions wins big at SAS Global Forum next to Microsoft and Accenture [Full story]

MarTech solutions provider Munvo Solutions won big at the virtual SAS Global Forum.

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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the river Yamuna on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing fanatic who also loves to prepare delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not. Can be contacted at [email protected] or 647.695.3494.

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