Three Kitchener-Waterloo startups top the 2019 Deloitte Technology Fast 50


Deloitte has announced the 2019 winners of its Technology Fast 50, which highlights Canadian companies’ growth and commitment to innovation between 2015 and 2018. This year, three Kitchener-Waterloo startups took the top spots.

“Fast 50 winners should be incredibly proud of the impact they are making across all industries.”

Ontario was home to 27 of the Fast 50 companies, while 10 were from British Columbia, seven were from Quebec, four from the Prairies, and one from Atlantic Canada. Deloitte said that the average three-year growth of the Fast 50 winners was 1,689 percent.

Topping the Fast 50 list, this year, was ApplyBoard, the Kitchener-Waterloo based SaaS platform that helps international students apply to study at higher education institutions. The company raised a $55 million Series B this year, and Deloitte pegged the startup’s three-year growth rate at 12,525 percent.

“Our company is on a mission to make education accessible to students regardless of their location,” said ApplyBoard’s co-founder and CEO, Martin Basiri. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be recognized for the positive impact we’re having on the lives of thousands of people around the world.”

“This year’s Fast 50 winners should be incredibly proud of the impact they are making across all industries. They are living proof that innovation and adaptability are key factors in remaining competitive and thriving in unpredictable times,” said Erica Pretorius, partner and national leader for the Technology Fast 50 program at Deloitte Canada.

Second on the list was Intellijoint Surgical, another Kitchener-Waterloo startup, which Deloitte said saw a three-year growth of 10,246 percent. Earlier this year, the medical device startup announced the creation of the Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), an industry-led hub dedicated to healthtech startups.

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“It is such an honour to rank among Canada’s top fastest-growing technology companies, said Armen Bakirtzian, CEO and co-founder of Intellijoint Surgical. “A big thank you to our talented team, supportive investors, and local medtech community as they have been important to our success and tremendous growth. This award also speaks to the value of our core technology and attests that Intellijoint HIP is helping surgeons improve patient outcomes.”

Taking third sport on the Fast 50 was Auvik Networks, a network-monitoring and management software developr for IT managed service providers, which raised a $20 million Series C in May 2018.

Deloitte also surveyed CEOs of the Fast 50 to identify any challenges and trends across Canadian tech companies for 2019. Notable this year was the increase in companies reportedly using AI and cognitive technologies. Of these companies, 78 percent of respondents also noted that conversations on the ethical use of data have influenced how they protect their data. Overall, the number of respondents using AI and cognitive technologies jumped by five percentage points, to 65 percent.

Nearly half of all respondents cited the labour market as their top challenge for this year, with three-quarters indicating that availability of talent and attracting the right talent were key difficulties.

Deloitte also announced its Companies-to-Watch program and Enterprise Fast 15 awards. Companies-to-Watch winners included Checkfront, d1g1t, Daisy Intelligence, FlexPay, Jane App, Kognitiv Spark, Sensibill, and Traction Guest.

The Enterprise Fast 15 is a new category that is available for organizations with a minimum revenue of $10 million in 2015 and $25 million in 2018. Among the Enterprise Fast 15 winners were Ecobee, Fleet Complete, and BroadbandTV.

See all the Fast 50 winners here.

Image courtesy ApplyBoard via Instagram

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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