The Top Tech Companies in Canada in 2020

By Bruce Harpham Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Canadian tech companies are starting to grow nearly as fast as in Silicon Valley. The following six high-growth tech companies have been selected to illustrate the state of the Canadian tech scene at the end of 2020.

1. Shopify ($130 Billion Canadian Market Capitalization)

The e-commerce software company has done very well through the pandemic. In Q3 2020, the company increased its revenue by more than 90% compared to the quarter before. Even more critical, Shopify has achieved profitability in 2020 thanks to its booming growth. In the third quarter, Shopify reported a net income of $191.1 million. The company’s share price has nearly tripled throughout 2020 from $530 in January 2020 to a 2020 high of more than $1,400.

2. ApplyBoard ($1+ Billion Market Valuation)

ApplyBoard is an educational tech company that aims to help international students apply to study abroad. It's a significant market. In 2019, there were more than 1 million international students in the United States. The company has expanded to several countries in Asia, including China, Nepal, Vietnam, and India.

The company was founded in 2015 at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Waterloo has become one of Canada's most influential technology and engineering institutions. In total, ApplyBoard has $242 million CAD ($190 million USD) in funding. The company's investors include Index Ventures, Drive Capital, and the Educational Testing Service (ETS). ETS is best known for running some of the world's best known educational tests such as the GRE (required to enter graduate school) and TOEFL (an English language test).

3. Mistplay (11,000% Revenue Growth Over the Last Four Years)

Mistplay offers a loyalty program for mobile gaming. Founded in 2015, the company pivoted to loyalty programs in 2017. Today, the company helps brands connect with gamers. The company also allows tracking of how much time a user spends on each time. Mistplay's customers include Good Game, Peak, Game House, Mystery Tag, and Nanobit.

Mistplay also has a notable audience in the video game industry. The company's audience is mainly female (56%) and adult (over the age of 25).

Mistplay's growth is even more impressive, given the company's small funding. According to AngelList, the company has raised $500,000 in funding.

4. Aucerna (438% Revenue Growth Over the Last Four Years)

Based in Alberta, Aucerna shows the risks and rewards of specialization. This high growth technology company specializes in serving the energy industry. The Calgary company has produced several software products to help energy companies improve process efficiency, plan projects, and manage their operations. In addition to software, Aucerna provides consulting and training to customers. The decline in oil prices in 2020 may hurt Aucerna's growth this year.

Aucerna's growth strategy includes acquiring companies. Earlier this year, the company acquired Previso, a production modeling software company in Australia. In 2019, the company acquired Micotan, which develops data management software.

5. Ada (12,000%+ Revenue Growth Over the Last Four Years)

This Toronto-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup focuses on solving a single problem: AI for customer service and engagement. The chatbot company's customer list includes prominent names such as AirAsia, Mailchimp, Shopify, Square, Telus, Zoom, and Upwork.

Ada's approach to AI chatbots makes the technology simple to use with a "no-code" approach. That means that companies using the product do not require advanced AI expertise to use the product. In addition, the company also offers integration with popular software products such as Intercom, Kustomer, Salesforce, Oracle, and Zendesk.

The company has raised $60 million in funding from investors such as Accel, Burst Capital, Version One Ventures, and Ramen Ventures.

6. League (7600%+ Four-Year Revenue Growth)

Benefits administration is a painful process for companies and employees. That is one of the problems that League, an HR tech company based in Toronto, can help with. The League's list of customers includes Shopify, Uber, Shoppers Drug Mart (a pharmacy chain in Canada), and Shopify.

From 2014 to 2019, League raised $76 million in funding from investors, including TELUS Ventures (the investment unit of a large Canadian telecom company) and OMERS Ventures (a pension fund). In the Canadian startup world, there are relatively fewer traditional venture capitalists than in California. Therefore, Canadian startups like League need to look for other funding sources.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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