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A significant tech base has been developed that can support these companies
Loui Anastasopoulos, TMX Group
The success of Shopify has inspired more tech companies to discuss a possible listing with TMX, Anastasopoulos said. The company has brought a halo effect of sorts to the sector. Up-and-comers looking to go public regularly bring up the company as an example to follow — they want to know what it did to be so successful and what it did wrong so they can avoid the same mistakes, he said.
That’s a departure from the pattern many Canadian tech startups followed in the past, when building a business as a private entity with the goal of being acquired by a U.S. tech giant or fund was the preferred model. Now, they’re not only thinking about going public, they’re moving up their timelines.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in the conversations we’ve been having with private companies in our prospect pipeline,” Anastasopoulos said. “A lot of these companies that we thought were in the later stage of our pipeline and we thought could come to market four to five years down the road seem to be accelerating their thinking about coming to market much sooner.”
Because of this, Anastasopoulos is bullish on tech moving forward, and there’s still plenty of room for growth. Tech still holds a minor presence on the S,amp;P/TSX Composite Index with a 10 per cent weighting. On the S,amp;P 500, the tech sector accounts for nearly a 26 per cent weighting. But give it another five years, Anastasopoulos said, and that divide will have certainly been narrowed.