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The developer of systems for stores and restaurants aims to reach the heights attained by Shopify Inc. – a $1-billion valuation and initial public offering, Chief Executive Officer Dax Dasilva said. To get there in the next few years, his plan is to annually double the number of stores signing up for its software.Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

LightSpeed POS Inc. is betting there's room for more than one billion-dollar Canadian retail software company.

The developer of systems for stores and restaurants aims to reach the heights attained by Shopify Inc. – a $1-billion valuation and initial public offering, chief executive officer Dax Dasilva said. To get there in the next few years, his plan is to annually double the number of stores signing up for its software.

"Us and Shopify, we're selling to individual brands but there's lots of room for any one of us to go," Dasilva said by phone from Montreal. He declined to give a specific timeline for a future IPO. "In terms of our growth numbers we're attractive and we're excited, but we still have a ways to go."

LightSpeed is going after retailers who may already be using a system built by Oracle Corp. or NCR Corp. to record sales and organize inventory, while Shopify's user base is mostly small online sellers who aren't as established.

That's allowed Shopify to increase sales faster than LightSpeed, reaching $105-million in 2014. LightSpeed hasn't hit that mark yet, Dasilva said, declining to disclose the company's annual sales.

Many Shopify customers also use the software to sell at farmers markets, craft fairs and physical stores, Satish Kanwar, Shopify's director of product, said in an e-mail.

Still, with larger stores, the value of transactions handled by LightSpeed dwarfs Shopify's. The Montreal-based company processes $10-billion in transactions a year. Shopify has handled about $8-billion since it was founded in 2006, according to its website.

LightSpeed is also considering an online-only system, a space dominated by Shopify and Austin-based Bigcommerce Inc. Since starting in 2005, LightSpeed has signed up 24,000 stores.

Shopify and LightSpeed are part of a surge of Canadian technology startups attracting attention from investors around the world. Shopify, the first of the group to go public, soared 51 per cent to C$25.68 on May 21, its first day of trading in New York.

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