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April 20, 2016

Next up: Canada’s tech IPO market

When it comes to Canadian tech IPOs, post-Shopify, there’s a group of companies that are oft-thought as next in line: HootSuite, Desire2Learn, Shoes.com, BuildDirect and Vision Critical amongst them. Why 4 of those 5 are from Vancouver is worth a question or two. 

Less discussed is PointClickCare. Why? I’m not exactly sure.

With over 1200 employees, primarily at their HQ in Mississauga, and an estimated $115 million in 2014-2015 annual revenue, the company has a more solid and long-standing growth record than most. On employee size, they’re the biggest yet-to-IPO scaleup in Canada, and on revenue they’re not far off. They also highlight that venture capital isn’t the be all and end all that it’s made out to be. External financing has been a secondary consideration after a bootstrapped focus on early revenue generation. This model is worth better understanding.

As founder Mike Wessinger notes in a 2014 interview, ” Our company’s early days were during the E-Commerce Bust in 2001, and banks and investors were not giving loans. The company had to focus on bootstrapping, and the early years were tough. For 18 months – or 36 consecutive payrolls – we had to literally beg, borrow and steal to ensure the company stayed afloat.”

Will they IPO later this year? Maybe/yes. And if so, they’ll do so with less fanfare than any recent IPO, a pity given how strong their fundamentals are. They’re a great example of the type of Canadian tech firm we need more of to build prosperity in Canada, and to help recycle experienced growth talent through the ecosystem.

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