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Thalmic, co-founded by N36 alum Stephen Lake, could be one of Canada's next billion-dollar tech companies

Dec 13, 2017

One of the best-performing tech companies on a U.S. stock exchange over the past two years actually makes its home in Ottawa. Shopify went public in 2015, and shares are up more than fivefold since then.

Canada’s tech ecosystem is in rare form, with companies regularly raising nine-figure amounts from investors, and lots of young firms overcoming early challenges to rapidly grow revenue and head count. But investors and Canadian business boosters may have to wait. “Shopify isn’t just a once-in-a-generation Canadian story—it might be a once-in-a-generation global story,” says Karamdeep Nijjar, a partner at iNovia Capital, a venture capital firm. As retail continues to go digital, the number of online-only businesses will increase, giving the commerce platform a continuously expanding market to serve.

The next significant stock market debut by a Canadian firm could be a while in coming. “I think there’s a huge gap right now between [the] Shopify IPO and the next one, at least in internet companies,” says Angela Tran Kingyens, a principal at Version One Ventures.

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