Blockchain and cryptocurrency startups performed well on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) in 2021. Four blockchain and crypto firms were among the top 10 performing technology startups, while one – Bitfarms Ltd. – was one of four startups on the overall list to have a market capitalization greater than $1 billion.
The exchange’s annual list, which it calls the 2022 TSX Venture 50, ranks the top 10 companies from each of five industry sectors: cleantech and life sciences, energy, mining, technology, and diversified industries. The TSXV launched the program in 2006 as an opportunity to highlight Canadian startups.
“Early-stage growth companies are a critical component of our capital markets ecosystem.”
-Tim Babcock, VP and head of the TSXV
The 2022 winners were selected based on year-over-year performance across three equally-weighted criteria: growth in market capitalization, share price appreciation, and value traded for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Bitfarms owns and operates blockchain farms that power the global decentralized financial economy. It provides computing power to cryptocurrency networks such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash, earning fees from each network for securing and processing transactions. The startup also made the 2021 TSXV list.
The other blockchain and crypto startups on the technology list were Digihost Technology, Neptune Digital Assets, and DMG Blockchain solutions. The appearance of more blockchain and crypto firms on the list are a sign of the increasing mainstream acceptance of the relatively new technologies.
“Historically, the TSX Venture 50 rankings were driven by smaller cap companies that saw big growth spurts,” Dani Lipkin, the innovation sector head for the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSXV wrote in a blog post. “But that is no longer the case. The average market cap of technology companies on the list this year is $312 million. Combined, the top 10 high-performing companies created $3.12 billion in market capitalization and $4.9 billion in value from trading.”
Lipkin noted that Bitfarms reached a market cap of $1.2 billion in 2021. He called crypto and blockchain an emerging industry in Canada, and added: “Given the popularity of cryptocurrencies, investors have become more comfortable with investing in early-stage ventures that are innovating in the decentralized finance economy.”
While Bitfarms topped the technology list for 2022, a life sciences firm, Sernova Corp. took the first spot on the cleantech and life sciences list. Sernova is a clinical-stage company developing products for the treatment of chronic debilitating diseases. The first cleantech startup on the list was Eguana in the second spot. Eguana designs and manufactures high-performance residential and small commercial energy storage systems.
Powerband Solutions placed second on the technology list, while Voxtur Analytics ranked third. PowerBand Solutions offers a suite of cloud-based auction and finance portal software tools, while Voxtur is a PropTech firm that provides data analytics to aid with tax solutions, property valuation, and settlement services.
The other technology startups rounding out the list were A2Z Smart Technologies, Nubeva Technologies, Reliq Health Technologies, and Goldspot Discoveries.
Reliq Health Technologies previously appeared on the 2020 list.
On the cleantech and life sciences top 10 list, the other four cleantech firms (besides Eguana) respectively sat in seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth places. Respectively, they were First Hydrogen, Char Technologies, BluMetric Environmental, and H20 Innovation. For the latter startup this marked its fifth appearance on the list.
The life sciences startup also included Nanalysis Scientific in the third spot, a firm that manufactures devices for use in diagnostics and chemical analysis across a range of industries; as well as Perimeter Medical Imaging AI. The latter is developing imaging tools designed to let surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists visualize microscopic tissue structures during clinical procedures.
The top-ranked company across all sectors in 2022 was Emerita Resources Corp., a Canadian natural resource company. Its share price increased 1,255 percent in 2021.
The number one overall ranked Venture 50 company in 2021, Loop Insights, was also the top company in the technology sector last year. Loop Insights is a Vancouver-based Internet of Things technology company that delivers automated marketing, contact tracing, and contactless solutions to the brick-and-mortar space.
Not all the companies in previous years that have made the list have been long-term winners. In 2021, Facedrive landed on the list of the top 10 technology companies. In September 2021, the ridesharing company’s stock was valued as low as 87 cents at one point, and the firm’s co-founder engaged in a public battle over its stock with the startup’s former CEO.
“Early-stage growth companies are a critical component of our capital markets ecosystem,” said Tim Babcock, VP and head of the TSXV. “This year’s list is a reflection of the ongoing evolution of Canada’s markets and the face of TSXV, featuring a cross-section of companies from a range of sectors, using public capital to fund their expansion strategies and making a positive impact on the communities in which they operate.”