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The TSX logo is seen in Toronto in this file photo.© Mark Blinch / Reuters

The chance to get more analyst coverage and a touch of nationalism led Ottawa-based Kinaxis Inc. to the Toronto Stock Exchange for its initial public offering.

There is a spate of technology IPOs believed to be in the hopper in Canada, and the TSX is vying to become the venue of choice over the stiff competition of the traditional technology destination – the Nasdaq. The Canadian exchange needs to build more critical mass in technology stocks, and winning a good share of the new listings is important, as Streetwise has written in past.

Kinaxis, which raised $100.6-million selling stock at $13 a share, makes supply chain management software and had about $61-million in revenue last year. The company, while profitable, would struggle to get noticed on the Nasdaq.

"We felt to go on the Nasdaq we should be over $100-million in revenue, in order to get the coverage we want," said Kinaxis chief executive officer Doug Colbeth. "Right out of the gate on the TSX we have seven analysts covering us."

"To get that kind of coverage on the Nasdaq today would be very difficult for a small company like Kinaxis," he added.

The Canadians who worked at the Ottawa-based company also wanted to do it at home.

"Call it a little bit of nationalism," said Mr. Colbeth.

Mr. Colbeth said also that he is a believer in the pitch from the TSX that Canadian investors are more patient with technology companies, leading to less volatile selloffs when a company hits a bump. That's an argument the exchange makes in attempting to win listings.

"We definitely believe that," Mr. Colbeth said, adding that "was appealing to management and the board – that we would have a more stable environment as we build the company toward the next milestone we're focused on, $100-million in revenue."

As the first big technology IPO in Canada this year, Kinaxis is counting on other companies to follow to create more of a critical mass of technology companies on the TSX. That will foster more analyst coverage, and lead more investors to Canada's listed technology sector.

A couple of years ago, the technology stock list on the TSX had shrunk to the point where investor interest had waned and many of the companies that were there were not fetching great valuations. Now, there are enough companies in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa that have the potential to go public in the coming years to feel confident about that, Mr. Colbeth said.

"We felt that there was enough activity in the funnel that there would be more TSX offerings right behind us," he said.

"You do need to have a dozen or so companies out there that are growing nicely and performing nicely," he said.