Hashtag Trending, May 5, 2021 – Wealthsimple snags $750M in funding; Bill and Melinda split; Use of ad blockers surge

Wealthsimple snags $750 million in funding from venture funds and Canadian celebrities, Bill and Melinda Gates are calling it quits, and ad blockers are growing in popularity

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, May 5 and I’m your host Alex Coop.


Wealthsimple is making moves. Canadian rapper Drake and actor Ryan Reynolds are part of a landmark financing for fintech giant Wealthsimple Technologies Inc. The company has announced a $750-million deal backed by some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture funds. According to the Globe and Mail, some of those VCs include Dragoneer Investment Group, DST Global, and Redpoint Ventures. Wealthsimple is also experiencing a serious bump in its valuation. Up from $1.4 billion, Wealthsimple is now valued at $5 billion. It’s not a huge surprise to see the momentum as the fintech giant’s commission-free platform is surging in popularity during the pandemic.

Social media has been buzzing ever since Bill and Melinda Gates made it public that they are calling it quits after 27 years of marriage. In a joint statement Monday, one of the richest couples in the world said that they would continue to work together through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The couple said, “We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue to work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives.”

Ad blocking surges as millions more seek privacy, security and less annoyance from technology

And lastly, ad blockers, especially on mobile devices, is surging according to a report from ad tech firm Blockthrough. Over the past year, mobile adblocking grew by 10 per cent to reach 586M users. Blockthrough’s business consists of helping advertisers cope with ad blocking by offering a system that persuades website users to opt into delivery of the less intrusive system called Acceptable Ads. These ads are less distracting but still face criticism that they enable tracking, which is the central issue in the dispute between Apple and Facebook. 



That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. And catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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