Fewer Ottawa companies rank on 2018 Branham list of top Canadian ICT firms

Moving up

While Ottawa’s share of the top 250 ICT companies in Canada may be down in 2018, many of the local firms appearing on the latest edition of the Branham300 list are moving up the rankings.

The Branham300 ranks the top 250 tech firms in Canada by annual revenue, with figures obtained either by public filings, company disclosure or Branham Group’s estimates. In total, 29 Ottawa firms ranked on the 2018 list, down from 32 the year before.

Ottawa’s top three remained unchanged from the past year: Mitel at No. 16; Telesat at No. 19; and Shopify at 21, though the local e-commerce firm showed a decent jump from last year’s 26 spot.

A few local firms made their debuts on this year’s list. Quarterhill entered at No. 51, having pivoted into the industrial Internet of Things sector in fiscal 2017.

Two local firms’ aggressive growth plans also paid off. Iversoft, which told OBJ that it had achieved triple-digit revenue growth last year, debuted at No. 234. Just behind it at No. 235 was Martello Technologies, which announced plans to go public earlier this year.

Alongside the top 250 companies by revenue, Branham also publishes a list of 25 up-and-coming startups. Ottawa’s Motion Pay, which makes point-of-sale devices for Canadian retailers to accept mobile payment platforms commonly used by Chinese tourists, and VigilantCS, a developer of compliance software for financial firms, both earned nods for their potential growth.

The number of Ottawa firms on the list again paled in comparison to the dominance of Toronto and Montreal-based companies. Speaking to Techopia Live last year, Branham Group CEO Wayne Gudbranson said Ottawa’s tech sector was undergoing a successful rebuild under the stewardship of companies such as Shopify. He suggested that playing to the city’s strength as a government town could help local firms rise on the list in future years.

Though the total number of Ottawa firms was down, those firms that hung on largely saw growth in fiscal 2017. Most of the companies on the list increased their rankings, which could reflect either individual growth or a relative slowdown from other companies.

Growth was also the trend nationally, albeit a bit more slower. The top 250 companies achieved revenues of $106.5 billion in fiscal 2017, up from $105.3 billion the year before. That represents year-over-year growth of 1.14 per cent, down from 9.6 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

Branham Group points to a number of strong Canadian firms being acquired by U.S. companies, and therefore being removed from the list, as a reason for the slowdown.

BCE, Telus, CGI, Rogers and Celestica maintained their top five spots on this year’s national list.

Full list of Ottawa firms on the Branham top 250 Canadian ICT companies:

16 - Mitel (up from 17)
19 - Telesat (up from 21, and ranked No.1 for mobile technology companies)
21 - Shopify (up from 26)
39 - Calian (down from 38)
51 - Quarterhill (previously unlisted)
52 - Kinaxis (up from 53)
55 - Experis-Veritaaq (up from 61)
56 - Eagle Professional Resources (down from 54)
58 - Northern Micro (up from 72)
89 - Pythian (down from 87)
94 - Dragonwave (down from 60)
112 - Espial Group (up from 126)
129 - CIRA (up from 147)
131 - Cistel (up from 145)
137 - Epiphan (up from 154)
145 - Thinkwrap Commerce (up from 159)
155 - Intouch Insight (up from 165)
161 - LeverageTek IT Solutions (up from 195)
162 - ProntoForms (up from 176)
174 - TECSIS (down from 167)
178 - C-COM Satellite Systems (up from 197)
179 - Fidus Systems (up from 199)
185 - Heygi Geomatics (up from 202)
217 - Versature (up from 251)
221 - The KTL Group (down from 170)
232 - Cistech (up from 250)
234 - Iversoft (previously unlisted)
235 - Martello Technologies (previously unlisted)
240 - Ackroo (up from 263)