Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

iStockPhoto / Getty Images

The Canadian technology sector has never had a year like 2021 – and it’s only half done.

Companies have raised nearly as much venture capital as the record $7.5-billion for all of 2019, and are on pace to surpass 2000′s inflation-adjusted record ($6.4-billion, equal to $9.4-billion in 2021 dollars) at the peak of the dot-com bubble. Twenty-two companies have announced financings of $100-million or more – 10 more than the 2019 record – partly due to a COVID-19-related surge in digital adoption.

Ten have hit the industry’s “unicorn” status – private tech companies that achieve US$1-billion valuations – backed by domestic venture capitalists and foreign investors that include Hg Capital, Tiger Global, Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and TCV.

Story continues below advertisement

It’s a similar story on public stock markets. By May 31, technology companies had raised $8.4-billion on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange – more than 2020′s full-year record of $8.1-billion. Next week’s debut of digital wellness platform provider LifeSpeak Inc. will mark the 14th tech IPO on the senior exchange in 12 months, more than the previous decade combined.

“The dynamic [18 months ago] was, ‘Why go public,’” said Dani Lipkin, the TSX’s director of global business development. “We don’t hear that any more.”

Booming Canadian tech sector set to smash venture capital records after ‘ridiculous’ run of megadeals

Trends in Canada mirror those elsewhere. Venture investing globally has risen sharply. The second quarter was the most active for IPOs in the United States since 2000. While the surge of large financings here is unprecedented, Canada may still be catching up. On CB Insights’ recent list of 700-plus known unicorns worldwide, the most highly valued Canadian one didn’t crack the top 100.

It’s been enough to wipe away bad memories of a decade ago, when domestic venture capital firms struggled and Canadian tech companies were underfinanced, undervalued and prone to predatory takeovers.

Since then, “the venture and growth equity local market has been redeveloped” to the benefit of Canadian startups, partly through federally financed programs, said Senia Rapisarda, a partner with venture capital financier HarbourVest Canada. There’s been “a radical shift in the attitude of Canadian entrepreneurs and the desire to ‘own the business podium’ and build global companies,” she said.

So, is this a new era in which domestic technology stars will transform the Canadian economy? Or should cautious Canadians think “we’ve seen this movie before” and prepare for trouble?

Canada’s technology sector has indeed matured. A new wave of entrepreneurs have built companies to take advantage of global trends that include the mass adoption of smartphones, social media, e-commerce and a shift to cloud-based software. While many startups failed, others flourished – notably Ottawa’s Shopify Inc. – as the internet became entrenched as the undercarriage of the global economy and they got large enough to disrupt incumbents.

Story continues below advertisement

How well do you know Shopify, Canada’s most valuable company?

Instead of selling out too early, a past Canadian tendency, many companies have scaled up.

Some that have attracted capital operate in speculative areas, such as Toronto quantum computing developer Xanadu Quantum Technologies Inc. and Vancouver’s Dapper Labs, a leading provider in the new blockchain-based digital games and collectibles market.

But many of Canada’s emerging tech successes don’t look like mania enablers. They’ve applied technological advances to more day-to-day tasks – such as helping companies to operate more effectively or enabling online commerce.

They include Toronto’s Clear Finance Technology, which offers e-commerce entrepreneurs new ways to finance their growth, based on data that wasn’t available a decade ago. Burnaby, B.C.-based Themis Solutions Inc. makes internet-based practice management software for lawyers. Vancouver’s Trulioo Information Services Inc. provides identity verification to companies whose customers are moving online.

But there are reasons for concern. Retail investors have flooded the market, chasing cryptocurrencies and pumping up meme stocks, enabled by online trading platforms such as Coinbase, Robinhood and Wealthsimple. Throngs of hot money-seeking punters also fuelled the dot-com boom – and that ended poorly.

Another cause for concern is that financings are coming together quicker than ever, driven by aggressive U.S. private capital firms – notably Tiger, a New York hedge fund. They have showered startups with offers, frequently unsolicited, often at rich valuations and with fast closing times, based less on due diligence than a read of broader trends, momentum and market intelligence.

Story continues below advertisement

If momentum abates and markets pull back, companies that raised large sums should survive short-term drops in their valuation, but “the bigger concern will be on the smaller fundraises done at FOMO-induced valuations,” said Sid Paquette, head of Royal Bank of Canada’s RBCx innovation banking division. That could leave some companies “locked out,” overpriced and forced to raise at lower valuations, he said.

Retail and venture investors are responsible for the overall surge in valuations. But rapid digital adoption during the pandemic has accelerated growth for many online companies, so some upward valuation adjustments make sense, argues Toronto-based Inovia Capital partner Karamdeep Nijjar. “Valuations are high now compared to historical norms, but so are growth rates and exit values,” he said.

But those rates may decelerate as the pandemic eases. If so, valuations could plummet. Ian Carew, managing director with Toronto’s Northleaf Capital Partners, worries there will be “some issues” when the business cycle turns. “The trick is recognizing when the switch flips and pulling back appropriately.”

But, like other Canadian innovation funders, he believes Canada’s tech sector will keep thriving. “Every part of the ecosystem is a lot stronger” than a decade ago, he said. – Sean Silcoff


March of the unicorns

So far in 2021, 10 Canadian private technology companies have reached so-called “unicorn” status by achieving valuations of US$1-billion or more

UNICORNS OF THE PANDEMIC

CompanyLead InvestorAnnouncedValuation in latest funding
Ada SupportSpark CapitalMay, 2021US$1.2B
ApplyBoard Inc.Ontario TeachersJune, 2021US$3.2B
Benevity Inc.HgCapitalDec., 2020US$1.1B
Clear Finance Technology Corp.Oak HC/FTApril, 2021~US$2B
Dapper Labs Inc.CoatueMarch, 2021US$2.6B
GeoComply Solutions Inc.Blackstone, AtairosMarch, 2021>US$1B
Hopper Inc.Capital One FinancialMarch, 2021~US$2B
SsenseSequoiaJune, 2021C$5B
TensTorrent Inc.FidelityMay, 2021US$1B
Themis Solutions Inc. (Clio)T.Rowe PriceApril, 2021US$1.6B
Trulioo Information Services IncTCVJune, 2021US$1.75B
Visier Inc.Goldman SachsJune, 2021>US$1B
Wealthsimple Technologies Inc.Meritech, GreylockMay, 2021C$5B

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH; BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER

UNICORN-SIZED EXITS IN THE PAST YEAR

CompanyDateType of Exit
AbCellera Biologics inc.Dec., 2020IPO (Nasdaq)
Alphawave IP Group PLCMay, 2021IPO (LSE)
Galvanize Inc.Feb., 2021Takeover
Verafin Inc.Nov., 2021Takeover

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH; BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER


Venture capital: Driving the boom

Venture capital financings are at all-time record levels in the U.S. and Canada so far in 2021, driven by a pandemic-fuelled acceleration of digital adoption and shift to online commerce, communications and health care delivery.

Three of the top five venture capital financings in Canadian history have happened this year, and 2021 is set to surpass previous funding records by a wide margin, based on first-half trends.

Initial fears that the interruption of travel during the pandemic would slow the pace of investing proved misplaced. Instead, companies and financiers alike embraced the benefits of fundraising by Zoom. Companies now line up a wall of investor meetings one after the other online, rather than having to get in an elevator, an Uber or an airplane between appointments.

Increasingly aggressive and fast-moving funders such as New York’s Tiger Global have shortened the fundraising process by weeks and months and helped fuel an increase in valuations. – Sean Silcoff

CANADA’S TOP VC DEALS OF ALL TIME

515

476

Equity

amount

(Estimate,

million $)

385

3

2

1

Verafin

Inc.

Trulioo

Inc.

Dapper

Labs Inc.

Company

name

Investment

date

30/03/2021

07/06/2021

25/09/2019

Primary

industry/

group

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Vancouver

St. John's

Location

Equity

amount

(Estimate,

million $)

365

351

331

4

5

6

ApplyBoard

Inc.

Canadian

Solar Inc.

Themis

Solutions

Inc.

Company

name

Investment

date

15/06/2021

30/09/2020

04/09/2019

Primary

industry/

group

Internet

Specific

Industrial/

Energy

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Kitchener

Guelph

Location

Equity

amount

(Estimate,

million $)

296

289

280

8

9

7

BlueRock

Therapeutics

LLC

Fraction

Technologies

Inc.

Afina

Energy Inc.

Company

name

Investment

date

10/02/2021

06/02/2018

12/12/2016

Primary

industry/

group

Internet

Content

Energy,

Alternative

Medical

Therapeutics

Vancouver

Montreal

Cambridge, Mass.

Location

Equity

amount

(Estimate,

million $)

270

250

231

10

11

12

Eddyfi

NDT Inc.

Wealthsimple

Inc.

Aurinia

Pharmaceuticals

Inc.

Company

name

Investment

date

20/03/2017

30/01/2020

03/05/2021

Primary

industry/

group

Biotech-

Human

Industrial

Services

Internet

Ecommerce

Victoria

Quebec

Toronto

Location

Equity

amount

(Estimate,

million $)

227

215

214

15

14

13

Coveo

Solutions

Inc.

Pivotal

Corp.

Hopper

Inc.

Company

name

Investment

date

24/03/2021

28/07/1992

06/11/2019

Primary

industry/

group

Internet

Software

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Montreal

Quebec

Location

SOURCE: REFINITIV

CANADA’S TOP VC DEALS OF ALL TIME

515

476

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

385

3

2

1

Verafin

Inc.

Trulioo

Inc.

Dapper

Labs Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

30/03/2021

07/06/2021

25/09/2019

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Vancouver

St. John's

LOCATION

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

365

351

331

4

5

6

ApplyBoard

Inc.

Canadian

Solar Inc.

Themis

Solutions

Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

15/06/2021

30/09/2020

04/09/2019

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Internet

Specific

Industrial/

Energy

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Kitchener

Guelph

LOCATION

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

296

289

280

8

9

7

BlueRock

Therapeutics

LLC

Fraction

Technologies

Inc.

Afina

Energy Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

10/02/2021

06/02/2018

12/12/2016

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Internet

Content

Energy,

Alternative

Medical

Therapeutics

Vancouver

Montreal

Cambridge, Mass.

LOCATION

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

270

250

231

10

11

12

Eddyfi

NDT Inc.

Wealthsimple

Inc.

Aurinia

Pharmaceuticals

Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

20/03/2017

30/01/2020

03/05/2021

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Biotech-

Human

Industrial

Services

Internet

Ecommerce

Victoria

Quebec

Toronto

LOCATION

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

227

215

214

15

14

13

Coveo

Solutions

Inc.

Pivotal

Corp.

Hopper

Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

24/03/2021

28/07/1992

06/11/2019

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Internet

Software

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Montreal

Quebec

LOCATION

SOURCE: REFINITIV

CANADA’S TOP VC DEALS OF ALL TIME

515

476

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

385

365

351

4

5

3

2

1

Verafin

Inc.

Dapper

Labs Inc.

ApplyBoard

Inc.

Canadian

Solar Inc.

Trulioo

Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

15/06/2021

30/09/2020

30/03/2021

07/06/2021

25/09/2019

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Internet

Specific

Industrial/

Energy

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Kitchener

Guelph

Vancouver

St. John's

LOCATION

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

331

296

289

280

270

8

9

10

7

6

Themis

Solutions

Inc.

BlueRock

Therapeutics

LLC

Fraction

Technologies

Inc.

Afina

Energy Inc.

Eddyfi

NDT Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

10/02/2021

06/02/2018

30/01/2020

12/12/2016

04/09/2019

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Internet

Content

Energy,

Alternative

Industrial

Services

Medical

Therapeutics

Computer

Software and

Services

Vancouver

Montreal

Quebec

Cambridge, Mass.

Vancouver

LOCATION

EQUITY

AMOUNT

(ESTIMATE,

MILLION $)

250

231

227

215

214

15

14

13

11

12

Wealthsimple

Inc.

Aurinia

Pharmaceuticals

Inc.

Coveo

Solutions

Inc.

Pivotal

Corp.

Hopper

Inc.

COMPANY

NAME

INVESTMENT

DATE

24/03/2021

28/07/1992

20/03/2017

06/11/2019

03/05/2021

PRIMARY

INDUSTRY/

GROUP

Internet

Software

Computer

Software and

Services

Computer

Software and

Services

Biotech-

Human

Internet

Ecommerce

Vancouver

Montreal

Quebec

Victoria

Toronto

LOCATION

SOURCE: REFINITIV


Canadian tech IPOs: Is this a bubble?

Canada is awash in tech IPOs, but their performance is uneven – and some stocks have tanked lately

Story continues below advertisement

Not since the dot-com boom has there been such heavy investor demand for Canadian IPOs – a hunger that emerged almost exactly one year ago when biotech company Repare Therapeutics tested the market by raising $345-million. Over the next 12 months, Canadian companies raised more than $9-billion through IPOs, according to Refinitiv.

The sectors have varied, especially recently, with recent deals for everything from a pet store chain to a network of dental offices. Yet tech has been the dominant industry throughout, with software-driven companies raising close to half of the total proceeds.

For many of the tech deals, investors showed so much interest that the offerings were heavily oversubscribed – sometimes as much as 10 times so, which meant there would be $1-billion in orders for a proposed $100-million deal.

Yet one of the major lessons from the past year is that early investor demand does not always translate into long-lasting market strength. In December, telemedicine startup MindBeacon Holdings Inc. set out to raise $50-million and ultimately received about $400-million worth of orders.

So the company decided to price its shares at $8 each, at the top end of its marketing range. Management also boosted the deal size to $65-million. The shares jumped 64 per cent over their first two months of trading.

But it’s been nothing but misery for MindBeacon since early February, when many growth stocks started to sell off in Canada and the U.S. The company’s shares now trade for about $4.60 each – about half their IPO price.

Story continues below advertisement

Of course, Canada’s tech sector has also seen some stellar returns. Dye & Durham Corp., which provides software for legal and business professionals, listed its shares at $7.50 each on the Toronto Stock Exchange last July, and they now trade around $48 – a 540-per-cent gain.

Montreal-based Nuvei Corp., which handles payments, originally set out to raise US$600-million last September, but ultimately raised its total haul to US$805-million because the deal was 20 times oversubscribed, making it the largest-ever tech IPO on the TSX. Nuvei’s shares, which are quoted in U.S. and Canadian dollars, have since climbed above US$80 each, up from their US$26 IPO price.

The extraordinary gains from these two deals have made Canadian tech IPOs look quite appealing over all. There have been 14 software-driven offerings over the past year, and they’ve returned 55 per cent on average since they started trading. The equivalent return on the principal indexes for the exchanges they are listed on is 14 per cent.

But strip Dye & Durham and Nuvei out of the calculation and the tech IPO returns are much less appealing. After Nuvei’s IPO last September, 12 Canadian tech IPOs have returned an average of only 1.1 per cent since they started trading. The equivalent return for the exchanges they are listed on is 12 per cent.

This trading performance partly stems from the growth stock sell-off that took hold in February, which hit everything from software, to biotech, to clean energy. Burnaby, B.C.’s Loop Energy, which hopes to produce hydrogen fuel, is down 56 per cent since its February IPO.

The pullback is also a reflection of investors seeking safety elsewhere. Canadian dividend stocks, for one, have seen money pour back in, a force that has propelled many of the Big Six banks to record highs.

For all the hype around tech, an investor who put money into an equal-weight Canadian bank ETF when Dye & Durham went public would be up 50 per cent today – plus dividends. Not spectacular, but impressive. – Tim Kiladze

Canadian IPO returns

over past 12 months

IPOs listed on Canadian exchanges,

as of market close on June 25

Average IPO return over the past year

Average market return since each

IPO started trading

55.1

25.4%

14.3

13.7

12.3

12.8

1.1

-0.83

Average IPO return, all deals

Average IPO return, without Nuvei and Dye & Durham

Tech sector average IPO return

Tech sector average IPO return, without Nuvei and Dye & Durham

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE:

TIM KILADZE; REFINITIV

Canadian IPO returns over past 12 months

IPOs listed on Canadian exchanges,

as of market close on June 25

Average IPO return over the past year

Average market return since each IPO started trading

55.1

25.4%

14.3

13.7

12.3

12.8

1.1

-0.83

Average IPO return, all deals

Average IPO return, without Nuvei and

Dye & Durham

Tech sector average IPO return

Tech sector average IPO return, without Nuvei and

Dye & Durham

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TIM KILADZE; REFINITIV

Canadian IPO returns over past 12 months

IPOs listed on Canadian exchanges, as of market close on June 25

Average IPO return over the past year

Average market return since each IPO started trading

55.1

25.4%

14.3

13.7

12.3

12.8

1.1

-0.83

Average IPO return, all deals

Average IPO return, without Nuvei and

Dye & Durham

Tech sector average IPO return

Tech sector average IPO return, without Nuvei and Dye & Durham

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TIM KILADZE; REFINITIV


How the Canadian tech boom is reshaping the TSX

The rise of Shopify Inc., the steady climb of Constellation Software Inc. and a raft of recent technology IPOs on the TSX and the Venture Exchange have helped reshape the dynamics of Canadian public markets.

Information technology stocks accounted for an incredible 40 per cent of the value of the S&P/TSX Composite Index in summer 2000, driven by Nortel Networks Corp. Then the dot-com bubble burst. From early 2002 until 2020, IT stocks consistently accounted for less than 10 per cent of the composite – and often much less than that, bottoming out near 1 per cent in 2012.

But in 2020 IT nearly doubled its share of the index and now sits near 11.2 per cent, making it the fifth-largest sector by weighting, and within 0.5 percentage points of claiming the No. 3 spot behind financials and materials.

Canada still lags the U.S., where supergiants such as Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. have driven tech stocks to a 27-per-cent share of the S&P 500. – Sean Silcoff


Loaded with cash, looking for talent

Tech employers are hiring – and competing hard to land promising candidates

Looking for a tech job? You won’t be lacking for options.

After a brief spate of layoffs when COVID-19 arrived, technology companies have gone on a hiring spree over the past year, onboarding talent whenever possible – and poaching much of it. The number of people working in professional, scientific and technical services has grown 7.5 per cent over the pandemic, the second-largest gain by industry, according to Statistics Canada.

The boom is nowhere close to finished. As of mid-June, the number of job postings for software development on hiring portal Indeed Canada was 66 per cent higher than before the pandemic. Scientific research and development was up 41 per cent.

The likes of Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Netflix Inc. have unveiled plans this year to expand their Canadian footprints and add thousands of white-collar workers. Meantime, an influx of fledgling startups – armed with boatloads of venture capital – are looking to load up on talent, too.

But with all that competition, filling vacancies can be pretty tough. Tech executives say they’re struggling with a chronic shortage of skilled labour that predates the pandemic. Remote work has opened up a wider pool of candidates, but more companies now compete for those people. That includes deep-pocketed Silicon Valley giants looking north, some executives say.

Facebook Inc., for example, has rolled out a campaign on its platform to lure Canadian-based teleworkers. “No relocation to the U.S. is required,” one ad boasts.

Ultimately, the situation is giving power to workers. Several companies told The Globe they’ve hiked wages to retain employees or fill openings. In a March report, Indeed Canada found the strongest growth in tech job postings was for high-wage roles with annual pay above $81,000.

“There’s just a real shortage of people that are out there,” said Adam Froman, chief executive officer of Delvinia, a Toronto-based market research company. “They’re probably spending half their day getting called by recruiters.” – Matt Lundy


CEOs cash in

Executives and institutional investors are selling some of their stakes in soaring Canadian tech companies this year

Insiders at several newly public Canadian technology companies are selling portions of their stakes, cashing in at a time when valuations are soaring.

CEOs and founders such as Matthew Proud at Dye & Durham Corp., Nuvei Corp.’s Philip Fayer, Dax Dasilva at Lightspeed and Claudio Erba at Docebo Inc. are among shareholders who have sold $1.08-billion worth of stock in their companies so far this year.

Dye & Durham insiders staged two significant stock sales last winter, and are now in talks to take the legal technology business private at a potentially higher price. Sophisticated backers such as Manulife Financial Corp., Novacap Management Inc. and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec also sold down their positions, profiting handsomely for their early support.

The newly public Canadian tech companies have staged their IPOs in the past two years, as U.S. tech giants and homegrown Shopify Inc. led a rally in the sector based on expectations of an increasingly digital economy. Even so, insider stock sales have been minimal this year at established Canadian tech platforms such as Shopify and Constellation Software Inc.

Recent insider selling at the young companies has played out at a time when the tech sector has commanded lofty valuations. In a recent report, analyst Hugo Ste-Marie at Scotiabank calculated Canadian tech companies, led by Shopify, are trading at an average of 60 times their projected annual earnings. That’s twice the domestic sector’s long-term price-to-earnings ratio, and far above the valuation on U.S. tech stocks, which trade at an average of 25 times earnings.

Scotiabank’s report also showed these insiders headed for the exits just as market sentiment shifted away from tech plays to stocks that will benefit from an economic recovery as COVID-19 eases, in sectors such as energy, mining and financial services. – Andrew Willis

CEOs cash out: Executives and institutional investors are selling down stakes in Canadian tech companies this year

Insider stock sales, in millions of dollars, by date of sale

600

$175M

140

100

70

Dye &

Durham

(Jan. 5)

Docebo

(Jan. 26)

Lightspeed

(Feb. 12)

Dye &

Durham

(Feb. 16)

Nuvei

(June 1)

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: COMPANY FILINGS

CEOs cash out: Executives and institutional investors are selling down stakes in Canadian tech companies this year

Insider stock sales, in millions of dollars, by date of sale

600

$175M

140

100

70

Dye &

Durham

(Jan. 5)

Docebo

(Jan. 26)

Lightspeed

(Feb. 12)

Dye &

Durham

(Feb. 16)

Nuvei

(June 1)

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: COMPANY FILINGS

CEOs cash out: Executives and institutional investors are selling down stakes in Canadian tech companies this year

Insider stock sales, in millions of dollars, by date of sale

600

$175M

140

100

70

Dye & Durham

(Jan. 5)

Docebo

(Jan. 26)

Lightspeed

(Feb. 12)

Dye & Durham

(Feb. 16)

Nuvei

(June 1)

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: COMPANY FILINGS


How well do you know Shopify, Canada’s most valuable company?

Shopify Inc. became Canada’s most valuable publicly traded company during the pandemic, but some people still confuse it with Spotify. (Hint: Shopify provides online software used by merchants to sell their goods and manage their operations.) Test your knowledge of Canada’s leading tech company:

1. True or False:

a) Shopify’s market capitalization (as of June 30) is greater than each of Pfizer Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Volkswagen AG and Citigroup Inc.

b) Shopify stopped placelining news releases from its hometown of Ottawa this year, replacing it with “Internet, Everywhere.”

c) Shopify president Harley Finkelstein is a company co-founder.

2. The gross merchandise volume processed by Shopify’s 1.75 million merchants last year was:

a) US$80-billion

b) US$100-billion

c) US$120-billion

d) US$150-billion

3. Shopify booked US$2.9-billion in revenue in 2020, but its partners, including affiliates and service providers to merchants, did even better. How much did they generate?

a) US$7.5-billion

b) US$10-billion

c) US$12.5-billion

d) US$15-billion

4. Shopify has raised more than US$4-billion in three stock offerings since May, 2020. What allotment of shares offered went to Canadian underwriters?

a) 2 to 4 per cent

b) 7 to 10 per cent

c) 20 to 30 per cent

d) 40 to 50 per cent

5. Shopify recently confirmed it invested more than US$350-million in which well-known Silicon Valley company?

a) Instacart

b) Stripe

c) Square

d) Reddit

6. Shopify reported a US$1.26-billion first-quarter profit, its largest ever. What was the single largest contributor to its bottom line?

7. If you had bought $1,000 worth of shares of Shopify at its peak price on the day it went public in May, 2015, what would they have been worth on June 30, 2021 (rounded to the nearest $100)?

a) $12,600

b) $25,200

c) $51,400

d) $113,800

8. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke is not a big fan of patents. What did he recently tell The Globe and Mail an idea was worth?

a) One buggy whip

b) One Ottawa Senators scarf

c) One BlackBerry Ltd. share

d) One good bottle of scotch

Answers:

1. a) False. It is worth more than every company on the list except Pfizer. b) True c) False

2. c) 3. c) 4. a) 5. b) 6. The January IPO of Affirm Holdings Inc. Shopify booked a 10-figure gain on the value of its Affirm stake, received as part of a partnership agreement. 7. c) 8. d)

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...