Triple merger accelerates Ottawa-based Thinkwrap Commerce's growth plans

One plus one (plus one) equals four, according to the local commerce developer
Steve Byrne

Thinkwrap Commerce is joining forces with two other firms to form a single commerce services company, letting the Ottawa-based firm focus on developing new technology.

The triple merger was orchestrated by Toronto’s Tenzing and includes Redmond, Washington-based Spark::red. Both are managed hosting providers for clients using Oracle or SAP Hybris commerce platforms.

Thinkwrap, previously named one of OBJ’s fastest growing firms and a mainstay on the Branham300 list of Canada’s top ICT companies, represents the software component of the new combined entity.

CEO Steve Byrne, who will remain in charge of the Thinkwrap side of things, says the merger allows the company to “think bigger.”

The combined company will see its revenue base tripled – now well into eight-figures – with some-215 total employees spread across every inhabited continent in the world.

Though the resultant firm will be headquartered in Toronto, Byrne says there will be “absolutely no headcount reductions” in Ottawa or the firm’s outpost in Valencia, Spain.

“This is not a, ‘Let’s merge and let’s squeeze efficiencies out of this deal,’” he tells OBJ.

Byrne says the firm remains small and nimble enough to deliver the “personal touch” that Thinkwrap’s clients have come to expect. He says this isn’t the first time Thinkwrap has been approached for M&A opportunities, but a critical factor has always been maintaining the company’s culture.

“One of the things that we did not want was for this company to disappear into some massive, larger version of ourselves,” he says. “We wanted all of that to persist. What we built in Ottawa, we’re really proud of.”

New chapter of innovation

Though Byrne says the company plans to remain focused on Canada, the merger gives the company a physical connection to the lucrative U.S. market.

One of the things Byrne is most excited about is getting deeper into product development, which he says the new firm is putting budget behind.

Augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and big data – each of these emerging technologies holds the potential to redefine the state of commerce. Byrne says the ability to work with some of North America’s largest retailers gives Thinkwrap the perfect test cases to address new needs in the market.

He also sees opportunities as wholesale distributors and manufacturers adapt to the digital era. Many of these businesses have traditionally been “laggards” in digital transformation, he says, and he’s excited to help them go direct to consumer.

Getting into product development and pursuing these customers was always on Thinkwrap’s roadmap. Now, Byrne says having the weight of two like-minded companies behind the Ottawa firm will accelerate its growth in the coming age of commerce.

“Part of our vision, and part of why we’re all doing this, is to write a new chapter of innovation.”