Canadian tech and innovation were front and centre in this year’s TSX Venture 50, a tally of the top performers on this year’s Venture Exchange over 2020. And while clean tech companies like Nano One Materials (Nano One Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:NNO) and good natured Products (good natured Products Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:GDNP) saw lots of action, it was Vancouver-based marketing tech and customer engagement company Loop Insights (Loop Insights Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:MTRX) who took top honours overall, managing a return of 1,142 per cent according to the Venture 50, released on Wednesday.
Technology companies were coming out of the woodwork in 2020, with a record number of tech IPOs and new listings along with record financings for the sector. But the Venture Exchange was booming across the board, as the top 50 performers showed the highest average share price increase in ten years at a whopping 406 per cent. Companies grew at a swift rate as well with a market capitalization increase hitting 709 per cent.
“We are very proud to recognize the remarkable success of our 2021 Venture 50 winners and to honour the exemplary efforts of our early-stage growth companies to advance on their business initiatives and make a positive impact on the communities in which they operate, despite the challenging conditions of the past year,” said Loui Anastasopoulos, President, Capital Formation and Enterprise Marketing Officer, for financial services company TMX Group which runs both the TSX junior and senior boards, in a press release on Wednesday.
“The Venture 50 celebrates important success stories from across our diversified issuer base and serves to highlight the strength of our world-leading two-tiered capital formation ecosystem,” Anastasopoulos said.
Looking at companies from five industry sectors — Clean Technology and Life Sciences, Diversified Industries, Energy, Mining and Technology — the Venture 50 makes its selection based on market capitalization growth, share price appreciation and trading volume for the year ended December 31, 2020.
Loop Insights was tops in both the Technology category and overall with a market cap increase of 1,775 per cent and a trading volume at 259 million to go along with the 1,142-per-cent jump in share price. Loop had a transformative year in 2020. The company, which uses Internet of Things technology to deliver automated marketing, contact tracing and contactless solutions, scored partnerships with, among others, Amazon Web Services and NTT DATA, a top-ranked IoT services company, while securing its point-of-sale integration with Shopify’s platform.
“As a result of these world-class partnerships, are now on the cusp of participating in global opportunities we never thought possible at the beginning of 2020,” Loop said in a December 29, 2020, press release.
“Moreover, we are very confident that additional significant developments will continue to be announced in 2021 when our partners and customers return from their holiday breaks to resume several high-level discussions across many verticals,” Loop said.
Venture 50 top performers in other categories included Greenlane Renewables (Greenlane Renewables Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSX:GRN) for Clean Tech and Life Sciences with a year-over-year share price increase of 450 per cent, Grande West Transportation Group (Grande West Transportation Group Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:BUS) for Diversified Industries at 234 per cent, Reconnaissance Energy Africa (Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:RECO) for the Energy sector at 372 per cent and American Lithium Corp (American Lithium Corp Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:LI) in Mining which increased by 876 per cent.
Clean Technology and Life Sciences saw the highest average share price increase at 682 per cent, while Mining saw the largest market cap increase of all sectors at 1,092 per cent.
As is the way with companies on the TSXV, a number of names from this year’s top 50 have since graduated to the TSX, including Greenlane Renewables, Xebec Adsorption (Xebec Adsorption Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSX:XBC) and Bragg Gaming (Bragg Gaming Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSX:BRAG).
Exposure was again varied, with most of the companies in both the Clean Tech & Life Sciences and Energy sectors showing analyst coverage while the same couldn’t be said for the other sectors. By industry, of the top ten companies in Clean Tech & Life Sciences, eight are currently covered by analysts. Energy also has eight of ten, while only three names in Diversified Industries have coverage as well as just three in Mining and three in Technology.
Trading volume was quite varied across sectors, as well, with Greenlane, good natured Products and Xebec all registering more than 100 million shares traded over the one-year span. Loop Insights, Bragg Gaming and ARHT Media (ARHT Media Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:ARHT), a Toronto-based hologram and digital content company all saw over 100 million shares traded in the Technology category. The least active sector was Diversified Industries industry where the most-traded stock was Grande West at 51 million.
In connection with the Venture 50, TMX is conducting its first-ever virtual stock portfolio contest featuring the companies on this year’s Venture 50, with a grand prize of $5,000. Contest trading begins on March 3 through to April 28, 2021.