The nascent rotation from mining and metals to the innovation sectors has torn a swath across the TSX Venture Exchange. The exchange’s composite index is down 25% this year and a startling 79% of its stocks trade below a dime.
One bright spot has been tech. A smattering of new listings through reverse mergers and capital pool qualifying transactions will, without doubt, be a trend that will continue and likely strengthen in 2014.
Dealmakers looking to convince Canada’s countless private tech companies to move to Bay Street will point to this list as proof that Canada’s viable place for them to raise money and increase their visibility.
We count down the top ten performing tech stocks so far this year on the TSX Venture Exchange, omitting those that began the year at less than a dime.
1. Sphere 3D Corp (TSXV:ANY) +663.5%
CEO: Peter Tassiopoulos
December 31st, 2012: $.74
December 6th, 2013: $5.65
After Sphere 3D’s spectacular run, which began in August, many investors scrambled to figure out exactly what this previously little known company does, exactly. The promise of the Sphere 3D’s technology, which aims to consolidate digital devices in the cloud regardless of each user’s operating system, was given a credibility boost the company inked a deal with Corel and became part of the VMware Technology Alliance Partner Program.
2. Opsens Inc. (TSXV:OPS) +321%
CEO: Louis Laflamme
December 31st, 2012: $.19
December 6th, 2013: $.80
Quebec-based Opsens, which as its names suggests, develops and manufactures Optical Sensors, rose as it began working on a landmark 48 well contract for its OPP-W sensor systems from an unnamed client in Alberta’s oil sands. The company’s expanding topline earned it a place on Deloitte’s Fast 50 as one of the fastest growing companies in the country.
3. Destiny Media Technologies (TSXV:DSY) +315.2%
CEO: Steve Vestergaard
December 31st, 2012: $.59
December 6th, 2013: $2.45
Destiny Media Technologies, the developer of Clipstream, a new cross-platform playerless video streaming format, began to rise midway through the year and continued to gains as the months turned colder. Investors are clearly bullish on the company’s streaming technologies, which CEO Steve Vestergaard says have nothing less than “…the potential to change the way video is delivered over the Internet.”
4. Wanted Technologies Corp (TSXV:WAN) +222.3%
CEO: Bruce Murray
December 31st, 2012: $.335
December 6th, 2013: $1.08
Big data, big gains. Wanted Technologies, which provides real time employment information for the pubic and private sectors, made gains on the back of better numbers. The company’s 2013 annual revenue of $7.2-million was a record.
Attend the Fourth Annual Cantech Letter Awards
The Fourth Annual Cantech Letter Awards, brought to you by Difference Capital, will take place on-site, immediately following the Cantech Investment Conference on January 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Individual general admission tickets for the gala dinner event are $150. A limited number of tables (10 seats) are available for $1500. Contact Karen Renaud at Cambridge House to reserve. ([email protected] or Direct at (604) 398-5356). This event will sell out, so please book early to avoid disappointment
5. LX Ventures (TSXV:LX) +162.5%
December 31st, 2012: $.24
December 6th, 2013: $.63
LX Ventures, a sort of junior answer to recent TSX grad Difference Capital, stirred late in the year. It was been buoyed, as its management guessed it might be, by the probability that one company in its basket of investments would ripen early. Social media platform Mobio has since signed an A-list roster of celebrity spokespeople.
6. C-COM Satellite (TSXV:CMI) +139.3%
CEO Leslie Klein
December 31st, 2012: $.66
December 6th, 2013: $1.58
C-Com Satellite, which has deployed thousands of antennas in a variety of verticals has caught investor attention for a constantly improving bottom line, but CEO Leslie Klein says it has been business as usual for the Ottawa-based company. “Perhaps investors are recognizing that the company is one of those hidden gems – with a large cash balance and a solid technology with customers around the world, added to the fact that we pay dividends,” he said recently, adding: “We have not changed the way we do business; we’ve been profitable now for almost nine years.”
7. FLYHT Aerospace (TSXV:FLY) +138.8%
December 31st, 2012: $.18
December 6th, 2013: $.43
FLYHT Aerospace Solutions is a company whose roots go all the way back to the dot-com days, having been founded in 1998. The space the company plays in – it has developed an automated data collection and delivery service for the commercial aviation sector – is widely noted for its red tape and glacial pace of progress.Today, however, the company feels it is close to weaving its way to the finish line, past a regulatory tangle that now represents a significant barrier to entry for would-be competitors.
8. BSM Technologies (TSXV:GPS) +138.4%
CEO: Aly Rahemtulla,
December 31st, 2012: $1.30
December 6th, 2013: $3.10
High flying BSM Technologies, which sells GPS technologies that manage large fleets of trucks and secure other mobile assets, monitor fixed assets and automate vehicle security, made gains on the back of some key customers wins in 2013. Its September deal with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York could be worth as much as $4.2-million. But the company is only scratching the surface of its market potential, says CEO Aly Rahemtulla.
9. QHR Technologies (TSXV:QHR) +129%
CEO: Al Hildebrandt
December 31st, 2012: $.56
December 6th, 2013: $1.28
Kelowna-based QHR, which has consolidated the Canadian electronic medical records space with thirteen acquisitions since 2000, is starting to see an increase in its organic growth. CEO Al Hildebrandt says there is still runway left in the Canadian EMR space, but the company’s long term future growth will be spurred by the U.S. and international markets, where he says he is confident the company can compete effectively.
10. Nanotech Security (TSXV:NTS) +128%
CEO: Doug Blakeway
December 31st, 2012: $.75
December 6th, 2013: $1.71
Nanotech, which uses surface plasmonic physics of light waves to collect and reflect concentrated light to develop products intended sell into the authentication and anti-counterfeiting market, rose after a couple key hires. The company added ex-sellside analyst Sean Peasgood and former BlackBerry exec Frenny Bawa to strengthen its bench, and closed a $4.2-million financing late this past summer.