Two of Canada’s most successful private tech companies have been in no hurry to IPO, but when they do they may choose to co-list in the United States, says one expert.
Brent Holliday, founder and CEO of Garibaldi Capital Advisors was on BNN yesterday to talk about some of Canada’s most successful techs. While the technology sector has been pacing the TSX for several years, many have expected a slate of IPOs led by some of the country’s more mature technology companies.
While investors are hungry for tech, Holliday says entrepreneurs like Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes are characterized by their patience and long-term commitment.
“Ryan is very committed to growing (Hootsuite) in Canada and maintaining it in Canada and we need a lot more tech CEOs like that, that aren’t willing to sell out early,” said Holliday. “So he is just going to take his time. He is building a very, very big business, a global business. I know that the valuation is quite healthy and he wants to maintain that.”
While Hootsuite’s IPO window might extend as much as two years, it appears imminent that Ottawa-based Shopify will list sooner rather than later. Rumours abound that the ecommerce platform provider will soon IPO on both the TSX and the New York Stock Exchange.
Holliday says an IPO for Shopify in the current environment “makes a lot of sense”.
“They are an enabler of ecommerce, so they are more of a tool,” he said. “They’re not trying to compete with Wayfarer or Amazon or trying to be a typical ecommerce company selling goods online. So I think that Shopify will (be) quite a resounding success in the IPO market.”
While techs in the past may have looked to avoid a resource laden exchange such as the TSX in favour of the tech focused Nasdaq, Holliday says that past divide may be exactly what is driving interest on Bay Street.
“There is an institutional buildup of interest around technology,” he said. “Mining is not in the best state right now. Institutional investors are looking for a place to put their money where there is growth. And there is growth in technology.”