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UrtheCast takes top spot on Deloitte's 2016 Technology Fast 50

International consultancy firm Deloitte has released the 2016 Canadian edition of its Technology Fast 50 list, with several X factors responsible for flinging new names up the list while others from previous years drop away.
Some of those X factors consist of softer metrics, what sports coaches might call “intangibles”, while others are more firm, like revenue growth, which is ultimately how the Fast 50 are ranked.
First the great news. Longtime Cantech Letter favourite, Richmond, B.C.’s UrtheCast (TSX:UR) claims the Number 1 spot, posting a mind-boggling 72,938.0% growth in revenue.
Deloitte’s blog post announcing this year’s list describes Canada’s economic landscape as being at a “tipping point”, and then attempts to create a numerical representation of the feeling of “courage” felt by Canadian business leaders, adding metrics like “fearful”, “hesitant”, “courageous” and “evolving”.
While it’s true that Canada has a reputation for being “risk averse” when it comes to business, there’s not much of a sense that any of the companies in the Fast 50, or many others who aren’t on the list, are somehow missing a chromosome in their courage gene, which in turn is holding back Canada’s economy.
In any case, “courage” as an indicator for growth might actually be a decent barometer for measuring the transition from who might have been a hot “carpe diem” YOLO sort of company last year to “Whatever happened to…” status next year.
It’s instructive to look at last year’s Fast 50, to compare some of the hot companies of the time with their relative growth today, or to look at newcomers and try to puzzle out whether a hot arrival might actually translate into solidity down the road.
Last year’s Number 1 spot, for example, was Montreal men’s clothing e-commerce retailer Frank & Oak, which posted an 18,480% growth rate, followed in the Number 2 spot by Richmond, B.C.’s Corvus Energy, with 16,943% growth, followed in the Number 3 spot by Pointe-Claire, Quebec’s Amaya Inc., which posted 3,645% growth and today is struggling through a protracted police investigation and some drama at the company’s top.
Rounding out the 2015 Top 10 were Montreal’s Budge Studios, Toronto’s iotum, Terrebonne, Quebec’s Adrenaline Amusements, Vancouver’s Hootsuite, Waterloo’s Magnet Forensics, Toronto’s AcuityAds, and Waterloo’s Aeryon Labs.
Of that Top 10, the only names that remain on Deloitte’s 2016 list are iotum, at the Number 7 spot with 2146.8% growth, Magnet Forensics at the Number 19 spot with 586.7% growth, Corvus Energy, at the Number 23 spot with 503.8% growth, AcuityAds, at the Number 42 spot with 307.8% growth, and Aeryon Labs, at the Number 24 spot with 494.0% growth.
Looking even farther back at the 2014 Fast 50 list, the repeat customers really make themselves known, although the Number 1 spot that year was taken by Toronto ad retargeting firm Chango, which was eventually acquired by Chicago’s publicly traded Rubicon Project.
One of the perks of dealing with publicly traded companies is that the numbers are more or less transparent, and it was possible to see, because of the acquisition, that although Chango had posted impressive growth numbers, 69,800% over a five year period, the company never was quite able to turn a profit.
But no matter how you slice it, triple-digit growth is impressive for any company under any circumstance, including for 50th place Vancouver fintech company Zafin, which only last week picked up a US$10 million investment.

Rank Growth % Company name City Province
1 72938.0% UrtheCast Vancouver British Columbia
2 16966.1% Cooledge Lighting Inc. Richmond British Columbia
3 5869.7% Benevity Inc. Calgary Alberta
4 3809.2% Maropost Toronto Ontario
5 3802.6% Prodigy Ventures Toronto Ontario
6 2703.4% Canada Drives Vancouver British Columbia
7 2146.8% iotum Toronto Ontario
8 1704.5% Sortable Kitchener Ontario
9 1640.3% Wave Toronto Ontario
10 1519.6% Axonify Waterloo Ontario
11 1312.6% Plusgrade Montreal Quebec
12 1080.9% Big Blue Bubble London Ontario
13 998.5% MobileLIVE Richmond Hill Ontario
14 863.8% Unbounce Vancouver British Columbia
15 818.4% JUICE Mobile Toronto Ontario
16 815.4% You.i TV Kanata Ontario
17 662.1% Clearpath Kitchener Ontario
18 606.8% Top Hat Toronto Ontario
19 586.7% Magnet Forensics Inc. Waterloo Ontario
20 577.0% PixMob Montreal Quebec
21 573.2% Traction on Demand Burnaby British Columbia
22 544.4% Vena Solutions Toronto Ontario
23 503.8% Corvus Energy Richmond British Columbia
24 494.0% Aeryon Labs Waterloo Ontario
25 481.3% XYZ Technologie culturelle Montréal Quebec
26 473.1% Financeit Toronto Ontario
27 448.6% Appnovation Technologies Vancouver British Columbia
28 441.6% 8D Technologies Montréal Quebec
29 430.4% ScribbleLive Toronto Ontario
30 414.5% Livestock Water Recycling Inc. Calgary Alberta
31 395.4% EventMobi Toronto Ontario
32 390.7% Neurio Vancouver British Columbia
33 383.5% Dealer-FX Toronto Ontario
34 367.3% Solido Design Automation Saskatoon Saskatchewan
35 360.6% eSentire Cambridge Ontario
36 341.8% Eddyfi Quebec Quebec
37 332.0% Dejero Labs Waterloo Ontario
38 330.6% VistaVu Solutions Inc. Calgary Alberta
38 330.6% Embrionix Laval Quebec
40 323.5% 360insights Whitby Ontario
41 314.7% Clio Burnaby British Columbia
42 307.8% AcuityAds Inc Toronto Ontario
43 299.8% Copperleaf Vancouver British Columbia
44 299.5% Kinova Inc. Boisbriand Quebec
45 293.0% Resolver Toronto Ontario
46 287.0% Big Viking Games London Ontario
47 269.5% ProntoForms Ottawa Ontario
48 268.4% Avigilon Corporation Vancouver British Columbia
49 252.3% Vendasta Technologies, Inc. Saskatoon Saskatchewan
50 230.2% Zafin Vancouver British Columbia

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