42 of the top startups in Canada

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42 of the top startups in Canada

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In today's business world, startups are becoming more and more popular. A startup is a company or organisation in its early stages, typically characterised by high uncertainty and risk. And according to PwC, Canada is home to some of the top startups in the world.

In their report, "The Startup Reality: Canadian Edition", PwC looked at over 1,600 startups from around the globe and ranked the top startups based on several factors such as innovation, scale, leadership, financial performance and social impact. Some of the notable names on the list include Hootsuite, Shopify  and Kik Interactive.

35 of the top Canadian startups in 2024 are:

Hootsuite

Valuation: $1 billion
Customers: 18 million
Founded: 2008

Founded in 2008 as a social media management platform, Hootsuite is one of Canada's most popular and successful startups. It's worth an estimated $1 billion, employs more than 1500 people in 13 locations, and serves over 18 million customers in 175 countries. Its tools include social media analytics, scheduling, monitoring, trends, and other content creation features.

Shopify

Valuation: $97 billion
Customers: 1 million

Another major Canadian success story, Shopify provides e-commerce solutions to businesses of all sizes. It offers customisable online storefronts as well as payment and shipping services. It is a public company and has a valuation of around $97 billion (as of December 2023) and serves over 1 million merchants worldwide.

Interested in the founding story of Shopify? If so you can read it here.

CoHere

Valuation: $2.2 billion 
Launched in: 2019
Raised: $435 million

CoHere is a generative AI startup that has launched an LLM chatbot called RAG that is claimed to give accurate answers based on company data. It experienced significant growth with a Series C funding round of $270 million, propelling its valuation to $2.2 billion. The financing, led by Inovia Capital, marked a substantial milestone in the company's AI journey. 

Kik Interactive

Valuation: $1 billion
Founded: 2009

A messaging app created for teenagers, Kik Interactive was founded in 2009 with the goal of connecting people through instant messages and chat rooms. The company has grown to become one of the largest messaging apps on mobile devices, with an estimated worth of around $1 billion dollars.

Lightspeed POS

Valuation: $3 billion
Founded: 2005
Raised: $1.2 billion

This startup provides point-of-sale software for restaurants, retailers and other businesses that operate brick-and-mortar stores or have multiple locations across Canada and the US. The company is now valued at over $3 billion after going public in 2019 and employs more than 1000 people globally.

Summit Nanotech

Valuation: $200-300 million 
Launched in: 2015
Raised: $65 million

Summit Nanotech is working on pure lithium extraction that enables the electric vehicle industry and has raised $65 million in investment, with a valuation between $200 and 300 million. They are working on a coming-of-age technology that will likely prove to be a huge sector in the coming years!

Thalmic Labs

Valuation: $2 billion
Founded: 2012
Raised: $120 million

Thalmic Labs is a wearable technology company that focuses on developing products that can be used to control devices with simple gestures or movements from your body without touching anything else. Their products include the Myo armband, which reads electrical signals from your muscles to enable gesture control, and North Focals smart glasses, allowing users to access digital information without looking at their phones directly. The company is currently valued at around $2 billion dollars.

Element AI

Valuation: $2 billion
Founded: 2016
Raised: $102 million

Element AI is an artificial intelligence startup specialising in providing enterprise solutions such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision technologies for organisations to better manage their data resources efficiently and intelligently develop business models based on predictive analysis capabilities enabled by AI technology. The startup currently holds a valuation worth approximately $2 billion, making it one of the biggest AI firms today!

Neo Financial

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched in: 2019
Raised: over $246 million

Neo Financial is a prominent FinTech company in Canada, offering innovative spending, savings, and rewards programs. It has been making significant strides in revolutionizing financial technology.

Borrowell

Valuation: $200 million
Founded: 2014
Raised: $60 million

Borrowell is an online lending platform that helps customers compare personal loan rates from various lenders, including banks, credit unions, alternative lenders and private lenders across Canada, so they can quickly make informed decisions about financing options available to them - all from a single application process! This startup is valued at roughly around $200 million dollars making it one of the most successful fintech companies in Canada today!

VarageSale

Valuation: $136 - $200 million
Founded: 2012
Raised: $84 million

Established in 2012, VarageSale is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell items locally without paying fees or shipping costs associated with other sites like eBay or Amazon. The company was recently valued at $136-$200 million after receiving investments from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Oak Investment Partners.

Axonify

Valuation: Unknown
Founded: 2010
Raised: $35.2 million

Axonify is a software company specialising in corporate training programs using microlearning techniques such as gamification and quizzes to help employees learn quickly and effectively about their products and services. Founded in 2010, the company has been growing rapidly, with reported revenues of over $35 million as of July 2020.

Wave 

Valuation: $537 million
Founded: 2009
Raised: $100 million

Wave is an accounting software for managing finances for small businesses. Founded in 2010, the company boasts more than 3 million customers worldwide, making it one of Canada's most successful startups. In 2017, venture capitalists invested $100 million into Wave resulting in a valuation close to half a billion dollars.

Wattpad 

Valuation: $300 million
Founded: 2016

Wattpad specialises in creating and sharing digital stories across different genres written by more than 60 million users worldwide. Since its launch in 2006, Wattpad has raised over 60$ million from leading venture capital firms, including Khosla Ventures, Raine Group LLC, and Union Square Ventures (USV), among others allowing them to reach a valuation close to 300$ million by 2019. 

ApplyBoard

Valuation: $3.2 billion
Launched in: 2015
Raised:$300 million

ApplyBoard is an edtech company specializing in services related to international/global education. It witnessed substantial growth and funding across multiple rounds. The company soared to a valuation of $3.2 billion following a successful C$375M Series D funding round in June 2021.

Ecobee

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2006
Raised: Over $100 million

Ecobee designs smart home thermostats designed for energy efficiency while learning users’ comfort preferences over time. The startup launched in 2009, raising over 100$ million from top-tier VCs like BDC Venture Capital, Relay Ventures, among others pushing its ecosystem value up to 1$ billion by 2020, according to reports published by PitchBook Data Inc. 

FlipGive 

Valuation: $25 million
Founded: 2016
Raised: $8.7 million

FlipGive is an online cashback platform for teams looking for fundraising solutions for their causes through a shopping rewards program with top brands such as Amazon, Walmart etc. Launched in 2016, FlipGive received funding from notable investors, including Real Ventures enabling them to reach more than 50,000 teams across North America, reaching an estimated evaluation of close $25 million according to recent investment round news reports presented earlier this year.

Ritual

Valuation: $400 million
Founded: 2014
Raised: $150 million

Ritual is an online ordering and delivery service that connects users to local restaurants and stores. It launched in 2014 and is one of the fastest-growing startups in Toronto, generating more than $100 million in revenue by 2018. It has raised over $80 million in venture capital funding with a reported valuation of close to $400 million.

Wealthsimple

Valuation: $3.7 billion
Founded: 2014
Raised: Over $850 million

Wealthsimple is a Robo-advisor that helps Canadians make smarter investments with automated portfolio management and low fees compared to traditional financial advisors. Founded in 2014, the company has grown rapidly, with reported assets under management eclipsing $5 billion by 2019, resulting in a valuation of $3.7 billion as of 2021.

Rentlytics 

Valuation: $57 million
Founded: 2013

Rentlytics is a real estate data analytics platform that provides insights into rental property performance for landlords and investors. Founded in 2013, the company quickly became one of Canada's leading startups, raising over $15 million from Union Square Ventures, Real Ventures, and Atlas Venture, among others. Eventually, in 2018, it was acquired by RealPage for $57M

EventMobi

Valuation: $350 million
Founded: 2013
Raised: Over $20 million

EventMobi is an event planning platform providing conference organisers with tools for creating custom mobile apps that simplify registration, ticketing and check-in processes at events while also offering analytics tracking capabilities. The startup raised over $20 million from top-tier VCs, including Georgian Partners, OMERS Ventures and Relay Ventures, helping them achieve a valuation close to $500 million, according to recent reports published by PitchBook Data Inc. 

Hopper

Valuation: $5 billion
Founded: 2007
Raised: $1731 million

Hopper is an online travel booking application designed to help its users plan trips faster while also saving money through predictive algorithms that suggest the best time for purchasing plane tickets based on price fluctuations. Launched in 2007, Hopper managed to raise more than $730 million from leading venture capitalists and Investors, including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), allowing them to reach an estimated valuation close to $6 billion according to recent reports.

AppDirect

Valuation: $1.5 billion
Launched: 2009
Raised: Over $511 million

AppDirect is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to manage the entire lifecycle of their cloud services, including provisioning, subscription billing and management. Founded in 2009, it has raised more than $500 million from investors such as SoftBank Capital, J.P. Morgan and iNovia Capital, allowing them to reach a billion-dollar valuation by 2014.

Alida

Valuation: $500 million
Launched: 2000
Raised: Over $130 million

Alida, previously called, Vision Critical provides customer feedback software for businesses of all sizes looking for insights into customer behaviour and experience. Established in 2000, it has secured around $130 million in investments from firms such as OMERS Ventures and Technology Crossover Ventures, pushing its ecosystem value to almost half a billion dollars by 2019 according to PitchBook Data Inc reports.

Clio

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2008
Raised: Over $160 million

Clio provides legal practice management software designed specifically for lawyers making it easier to collaborate with clients while managing documents securely on the cloud. Founded in 2008, Clio claims more than 100,000 customers worldwide, making it one of Canada's top startups, considering that they have just reported a valuation close to $1 billion after raising more than $160 million.

Breather 

Valuation: $400 million
Launched: 2015
Raised: Over $90 million

Breather provides safe spaces for meetings, work or conferences on demand which can be booked instantly via a mobile application launched in 2015. Since then, venture capitalists have invested $90 million, enabling Breather to reach an evaluation near $400 million.

Avigilon

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2004
Raised: Over $350 million

Avigilon designs surveillance hardware solutions, including cameras, recorders etc. This helps law enforcement agencies fight crime through video analytics capabilities using artificial intelligence technology solutions. Launched in 2004, Avigilon was acquired by Motorola Solutions Inc in 2018 after raising investments worth $350 million through its lifetime, pushing its value up $1 billion.

Clearco

Valuation: $500 million
Launched: 2016
Raised: Around $400 million

Clearbanc provides working capital without equity dilution or debt obligations for entrepreneurs looking for quick funding solutions with minimal paperwork process. Established in 2016, Clearbanc raised around $400 million, reaching a valuation close to $500 million.

Layer 6 AI

Valuation: $3 million
Launched: 2015

Layer 6 AI specialises in developing deep learning models applied towards marketing applications leveraging data science algorithms for better insights about consumer behaviour trends available on the market today. It was founded in 2015. This Toronto-based startup already had four rounds since inception allowing Layer 6 AI to reach a remarkable evaluation of close to $300 million.

Real Matters

Valuation: $296 million
Launched: 2007 

Real Matters provides software solutions for real estate transactions, such as title insurance services and home inspections for banks, mortgage lenders and insurers across North America. Founded in 2007, it is reported to value up to $296 billion.

League

Valuation: $2 billion
Launched: 2016
Raised: Over $200 million

League is an employee benefits app that helps companies manage their health benefits programs by providing them with personalised advice, price comparison tools, health tracking features etc. It was founded in 2016 and recently raised $200 million, allowing them to reach an impressive $2 billion valuation.

Igloo Software

Valuation: $350 million
Launched: 2009

Igloo Software provides enterprise collaboration solutions such as document sharing, intranets, and customer portals. Launched in 2009, it currently serves more than 6 000 customers, including Walmart Canada and L’Oreal, making it one of Canada’s most successful startups. Recently it was valued at $350 million following investments from top-tier VCs like OMERS Ventures and Information Venture Partners ( IVP ), among others.  

Nulogy

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2009
Raised: Over $100 million

Nulogy specialises in logistics software providing agile supply chain technology solutions helping companies streamline operations while reducing costs associated with these processes. Founded in 2009, the startup has been growing rapidly, receiving investments from top-tier investors like Georgian Partners pushing its value up to $500 million.

Bridgit

Valuation: $300 million
Launched: 2011
Raised: Over $15 million

Bridgit specialises in construction project management software designed to help managers track progress cost efficiency while enabling them to collaborate better through automated workflows. Established in 2011 Bridgit managed to raise $15 million in venture funds leading to an estimated valuation of close to $300 million.

LeafLink

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2015
Raised: Over $70 million

LeafLink provides a digital marketplace platform tailored to cannabis business needs, such as ordering fulfilment and tracking payment processing technologies. Established in 2015, LeafLink has been growing rapidly, raising $70 million in venture funds resulting in an estimated evaluation of around $1 billion when they went public in 2022.

AlayaCare

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2009
Raised: Over $260 million

AlayaCare specialises in-home care assistance technologies allowing families to easily schedule and join virtual meetings with caregiving providers, to view progress reports, monitor care delivery status, and receive recommendations to improve the quality of life experience for individuals. AlayaCare has been growing steadily, receiving investment top tier investors, including Inovia Capital which resulted in a valuation of near to $400 million.

Top Hat 

Valuation: $1 billion
Launched: 2009
Raised: Over $112 million

Top Hat provides educational technology platforms designed specifically for teachers allowing them to engage students through interactive lecture materials, thus increasing student engagement during classes while reducing teacher workload. Established in 2009, the startup raised $112 million, reaching more than 700 Universities across North America, reaching a valuation close to $1 billion.

NutriLawn 

Valuation: $50 million
Raised: Over $6.8 million

NutriLawn provides lawn care services focusing on organic fertilising products leading to healthier lawns without any environmental harm. They have raised $6.8 million in funds,  reaching an estimated market valuation of $50 million.

Dialogue

Valuation: $365 million
Launched in: 2016
Raised: $89.8 million

Dialogue is a telemedicine platform providing online consultations with healthcare professionals. It got acquired by Sun Life in 2023, at a valuation of $365 million and has been integrated with them ever since. Dialogue, headquartered in Montreal, provides virtual healthcare and wellness services to approximately 2.8 million members spanning 50,000 organizations.

SkipTheDishes

Valuation: $200 million 
Launched in: 2012
Raised: $25 million 

SkipTheDishes, an on-demand food delivery service, was acquired by Just Eat for $200 million in December 2016. Operating as a provider of food delivery services, SkipTheDishes had raised a total funding of $25 million across six funding rounds involving 9 investors. 

CoinSquare

Valuation: $250-350 million
Launched in: 2009
Raised: Over $100 million 

CoinSquare is a Canadian digital asset, particularly a cryptocurrency trading platform, which also executed a significant acquisition of CoinSmart in 2022, creating one of Canada's largest crypto asset trading platforms. Coinsquare had previously raised over $100 million in capital and has executed trades exceeding $8 billion.

Knix

Valuation: $320 million
Launched in: 2013
Raised: $46 million

Knix, a revolutionary intimate apparel brand, achieved a significant milestone by surpassing 2 million customers at the time of acquisition in 2022. The acquisition by Essity marked a valuation of $400 million, valuing 80% of Knix at $320 million, while founder Joanna Griffiths retained the remaining shares. Over a decade, Knix has reshaped the intimate apparel landscape in Canada and beyond, witnessing substantial success and revenue growth

Conclusion

Many great startups are coming out of Canada, and these are just a few of the top ones. These startups have achieved a lot in a short amount of time, and there is no doubt that they will continue to grow and succeed. They have already impacted the economy, and their contributions will only increase in the future.

The top startups from Canada are making a big impact on the economy. They are innovative and creative, and they are changing the way businesses operate. They have already achieved a lot, and there is no doubt that they will continue to grow and succeed. The contributions of these startups will only increase in the future.

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