Business Bulletins News

IW Business Bulletin – August 18, 2022

Golden Opportunities invests in Crysalis Software

On Aug. 18, Westcap Mgt. Ltd. announced that Golden Opportunities Fund has invested in Chrysalis Software (formerly iQmetrix Global Ltd.).

“We are pleased to be chosen to partner again with this strong and experienced management team that has a proven track record of success in the innovation sector. They continue to generate shareholder value in previous companies and are well-positioned with significant growth potential,” said Jamie Schwitzer, chief investment officer at Westcap. “This investment complements the strategic focus that Westcap has continuing to invest in innovation as a key pillar and high-growth economic sector.”

Chrysalis, a Saskatoon-based software firms operates three companies:

  • iQmetrix: North America’s leading provider of telecom industry software
  • Ready: a connected dining platform for restaurants, stadiums, and hotels which allows guests to order and pay remotely
  • Shiftlab: a retail scheduling platform using AI for workforce scheduling

“We continue to choose Westcap as our financial partner due to the strategic value they add as a capital partner,” said Christopher Krywulak, founder at Chrysalis. “With this funding, directed at two targeted acquisitions with additional strategic platforms, Chrysalis will be a worldwide technology company operating in over 25 countries.”

Vendasta named among Best Workplaces, conducts round of layoffs

On Aug. 16, Vendasta, the Saskatoon-based tech company, announced it had been included on the 2022 list of Best Workplaces in Technology.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Best Workplace in Technology. At Vendasta, we foster a culture of innovation, learning, and collaboration. Democratizing technology for local businesses is what motivates us to build our software and to use technology in innovative and creative ways. We couldn’t be more proud of the culture we’ve built, and our diverse team driving our growth and success,” said Brendan King, Vendasta CEO on Aug 16.

A day later, the company completed a round of layoffs among its almost 700 employees. There is no confirmed amount of jobs lost. The news comes after Vendasta celebrated the grand opening of its downtown Saskatoon office in late June. Vendasta also saw $119.5 million in financing in 2021.

Royal Helium updates on team and drilling

Royal Helium announced the appointment of Shayne Neigum as Royal’s chief operating officer and head of exploration on Aug. 17. Neigum has been with the company since 2017, replacing Stephen Halabura who is stepping down as Helium’s vice-president of exploration.

Neigum has a B.Sc. Honours in Geology from the University of Saskatchewan and has worked in Saskatchewan’s oil and gas industry throughout his career. “We are pleased to have Shayne leading the charge as we move from pure exploration to continued exploration, development, and production within our vast helium land packages that he helped secure. Beyond his management skills in bringing our drilling in on budget, his geological expertise, foresight, and tenacity at the drill bit was instrumental in making the Nazare discovery at Climax,” said Andrew Davidson, Royal’s CEO. “We all would like to extend our tremendous gratitude to Steve for the extensive study and work he has provided Royal since its inception. Without Steve, Royal would not have achieved what it has to date. Royal wishes Steve all the best in his next venture and are very pleased that Steve will remain available as a technical consultant going forward.”

The same day, the company announced its intention to seek a secondary listing of its common shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market alongside its current listing on the TSX Venture Exchange. Royal Helium has engaged Strand Hanson Limited of London, UK to act as the Company’s Nominated Advisor (NOMAD) on the proposed listing.

A day earlier, Royal also updated on drilling at its Val Marie-1 helium exploration well. The well has reached its total depth of 2,596 metres and readings found significant helium shows with multiple intervals ranging from 5 to 10 metres.

“Val Marie-1 was drilled into the northern extension of the Bowdoin Dome, a large structural feature straddling Saskatchewan and Montana,” said Davidson on Aug. 16. “The Bowdoin Dome has been successfully drilled for helium in Montana, so we are pleased to find multiple intervals of elevated helium readings aligned with the three main formations where we have helium bearing rocks at Climax and Ogema. While we work on putting the Climax and Steveville wells on production, we look forward to testing and advancing Val Marie and Ogema.”

Saskatchewan leads country in wholesale trade

The Government of Saskatchewan announced on Aug. 15 that the province saw a 64.8 per cent increase in wholesale trade growth from June 2021 to June 2022.

The province also saw its wholesale trade increase by 14.9 per cent from May 2022 to June 2022, the second highest among the provinces.The total value of Saskatchewan wholesale trade reached $4.2 billion in June 2022.

“Saskatchewan continues to be a national leader in economic growth with these extraordinarily strong wholesale trade numbers,” said Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison. “Our government’s focus on boosting trade, increasing exports and strengthening Saskatchewan’s international relationships is creating opportunities and jobs for the people of our province.”

Regina Airport confirms international designation

On Aug. 11, the Regina Airport Authority announced that YQR will maintain its international designation from Transport Canada until March 2023.

“As the 15th busiest airport in the country and the airport for the capital city of Saskatchewan, it’s critical that Regina have an International Airport Designation. This international designation increases the prominence of the airport and will help grow business opportunities in all southern Saskatchewan,” said James Bogusz, president and CEO, Regina Airport Authority on Aug 11.

In January 2021, Transport Canada removed YQR and other airports from the international designation list. The airport was able to resume flights to and from the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean without the designation, having this status back will allow YQR market itself for new routes and grow business in the province.

Evraz PLC plans to sell North American assets

Russian steel and mining firm Evraz PLC, based in London, United Kingdom, announced it intends to sell its North American operations, including its steel mill in Regina.

In a news release on Aug. 10, the company said it was “launching the process of soliciting proposals for the acquisition of its North American subsidiaries.”

Evraz’s North American operations are based in Chicago, Ill, with Canadian operations in Regina and Alberta. The company has been sanctioned by the U.K. government since May, and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who owns 28 per cent of the company, was also sanctioned by Canada and the U.K.

WestJet returns flights to Regina and Saskatoon

WestJet announced on Aug. 8 that flights to sun destinations will resume this fall from Regina and Saskatoon.

Both cities will see the return of twice-weekly flights to Las Vegas resume on Nov. 10, and once-a-week flights to Orlando begin Dec. 16. Regina will also see twice-weekly flights to Cancun resume Nov. 13.

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