Québec City-based artificial intelligence (AI) retail tech startup Coveo has filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol ‘CVO.’
UPDATE (08/11/2021): Coveo has priced its IPO, and anticipates the offering to be sold between $13 to $15 per share. The company intends to sell about 14.3 million to 16.5 million subordinate voting shares with a target raise of $215 million CAD.
The underwriters for the offering are BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc., UBS Securities Canada Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp., Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., TD Securities Inc., and Samuel A. Ramirez & Company Inc.
“Business has moved into the digital experience economy where relevance wins.”
Launched in August 2004 under the name Copernic Business Solutions Inc., the startup initially offered SaaS solutions in the advanced search engines market. In October of the same year, the company officially changed its name to Coveo.
Leveraging AI and machine learning, Coveo is a provider of e-commerce products that use data to create personalized experiences for the consumer. Its Coveo Relevance Cloud product is an AI-powered platform that aggregates data from digital interactions and uses AI to embed relevant content into a user’s search results, recommendations, and personalization.
In its prospectus, Coveo’s chair and CEO Louis Têtu said businesses operating digitally is not enough when it comes to reaching a larger audience, and that AI systems have the capability to become the solution.
“Business has moved into the digital experience economy where relevance wins,” he said, adding that Coveo was incorporated with the goal of fixing search relevance for enterprises. “Being relevant to a million people, at the same time, is not humanly possible without AI.”
Coveo claims a global customer base of more than 475, with most coming from North America.
Coveo also noted in its prospectus that its business experienced significant growth this year. For its fiscal year ending in March, it generated $64.9 million in revenue. By September, that number climbed to $71.9 million.
The company has raised around $446 million to date; most recently securing $227 million in 2019 led by OMERS Growth Equity. A spokesperson for Coveo told BetaKit more recently that $150 million of that round was primary capital. The later stage investment round included around $55 million in secondary financing and $22 million in debt.
Coveo’s list of investors includes its CEO Têtu, Evergreen Coast Capital, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec (IQ), BDC Venture Capital, Tandem Expansion and Propulsion Ventures.
Têtu has been with Coveo as chairman and CEO since 2008, he was behind software company Taleo, which was acquired by Oracle almost a decade ago for $1.9 billion USD.
A notable player in Quebéc’s tech and innovation space, Coveo was recognized onCB Insight’s first annual Retail Tech 100, a roster of global tech businesses “reimagining” the traditional retail experience. Other Canadian startups named on the list include PayBright, Attabotics, and Bold Commerce.
Most recently, Coveo completed its October acquisition of London, UK-based Qubit, a startup that specializes in business-to-consumer, AI-powered merchandising.
Coveo joins a throng of Canadian tech startups turning to the public markets. The company’s filing came the same day E Automotive and D2L began trading on the TSX. Other recent IPOs include Q4 Inc and Propel Holdings. Sources have indicated to BetaKit that Hootsuite is nearing its own public offering, with plans to file before the end of the year.