Three Ottawa companies rank on 2020 Narwhal List of Canada’s high-potential firms

Hamid Arabzadeh is president and CEO of Kanata-based Ranovus. File photo

Three of Ottawa’s most well-funded companies are ranked among Canada’s biggest IPO prospects, according to the 2020 edition of the Narwhal List.

The annual report on Canada’s high-potential companies ranks firms based on their financial “velocity” – the amount of funding they’ve raised over the number of years they’ve been in business. The project, born out of the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto, uses the rankings to peg which Canadian companies are primed to go public in the coming years.

The 2020 edition featured three Ottawa-based companies already well-known to this particular blessing1 of narwhals.

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Keeping its top-10 position this year was Ottawa’s Assent Compliance, which ranked No. 8 in the list of 40 private firms. Assent, a developer of compliance software, revved up its financial velocity in 2018 with a $160-million series-C round.

Also maintaining its position at No. 26 is Ottawa’s Ranovus, which develops fibre-optic data-transfer technology. The company has earned support from the federal government in its R&D push, landing $20 million in funding from the feds in late 2018.

Ranovus’s spot on the list was also boosted by $29 million in unannounced funding secured this past year, according to officials with the Impact Centre.

Following a $29.6-million series-B round last May, fintech firm MindBridge Ai pushed its way onto the list at No. 31 in 2019’s mid-year update. The fraud detection software developer, which is shooting for an IPO in 2021, fell a few places in this year’s rankings, placing at No. 37.

Dropping off the sonar this year was Ottawa’s Turnstone Biologics, which had placed on the Narwhal List’s health-tech rankings for the past two years in a row.

Montreal-based Element AI maintained its top ranking on this year’s Narwhal List.

A group of narwhals is indeed called a blessing.

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