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New report ranks Canada’s fastest-growing companies

The Globe and Mail's Report on Business published its annual list of Canada's top 400 fastest-growing businesses, with a strong Waterloo presence.

The Globe and Mail released its second annual ranking of Canada’s top growing companies last week via its Report on Business Magazine. The 400 businesses are the fastest-growing in Canada – based on three-year revenue growth – and touch on a multitude of sectors, from tech and manufacturing to fashion and finance.

“The stories of Canada’s Top Growing Companies are worth telling at any time, but are especially relevant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said James Cowan, Editor of Report on Business magazine. “As businesses work to rebuild the economy, their resilience and innovation make for essential reading.”

Waterloo often does well on lists like this.

When Deloitte last released its list of Canada’s 50 fastest growing tech businesses – based on four-year revenue growth – it was Waterloo-based companies that held the top three spots. When the Narwhal List came out earlier this year it included four local companies with the potential to become a unicorn (and one of them, ApplyBoard, did just a few months later). There’s a reason why CBRE called Waterloo the top emerging tech talent market in North America.

Our expectations were high and local companies did not disappoint.

Here are the 12 Waterloo companies that appeared on their list and their three-year revenue growth:

  1. TruLocal – 3,695% three-year revenue growth
  2. Encircle Inc. – 1,622% three-year revenue growth
  3. Intellijoint Surgical Inc. – 1,397% three-year revenue growth
  4. Voltera – 718% three-year revenue growth
  5. ThinkLP – 511% three-year revenue growth
  6. Smile – 400% three-year revenue growth
  7. KW Signs – 239% three-year revenue growth
  8. eleven-x Inc. – 150% three-year revenue growth
  9. Bridgit Inc. – 135% three-year revenue growth
  10. Stryve Digital Marketing – 123% three-year revenue growth
  11. Miovision – 108% three-year revenue growth
  12. TextNow – 77% three-year revenue growth

That’s fantastic representation for a community that accounts for just 1.5% of Canada’s population. What’s driving this productivity? A few different things. We can start with the University of Waterloo – it’s Canada’s top tech university and Waterloo’s entries on the list are overwhelmingly tech-oriented. The talent in Waterloo, especially in tech, is also off the charts – in CBRE’s most recent Canadian report on tech talent we were ranked #1 for quality.

If anything, the surprise is that more Waterloo companies aren’t on the list – we can only speculate that differences in methodology have excluded companies like ApplyBoard (which recorded a 12,000% revenue growth in Deloitte’s model) and Faire, which also recently became a unicorn. The fact that the Canada’s Top Growing Companies list is voluntary and requires companies to submit an application is the likely culprit.

Click here for the whole Top Growing Companies list.

Want to learn more about a community that punches well above its weight?