Smaller tech companies grow and giants slim down

Approximately two-thirds climbed up the list while just over a quarter fell lower

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The province’s largest technology companies grew by an average of 10.5% in 2019, according to data collected for Business in Vancouver’s Top 100 Tech Companies in B.C. list.

Despite this recent growth, the top 100 tech companies employ 2%, or 805, fewer people than the top 100 tech companies did in 2015.

Although total and average employment fell over the past five years, the median employment level grew by 12.4% to 150 in 2019 from 133.5 in 2015. This suggests that smaller companies lower on the list grew more than larger companies higher on the list. This was revealed by the number of companies that grew and moved up the list versus companies that contracted and moved down the list. Of the 46 companies that were on the list in both 2019 and 2015, 31 or 67.4% moved up the list, and only 12 or 26.1% moved down the list.

Companies moved up the list at almost twice the rate of companies that moved down the list. The average company that fell in rank dropped 7.7 positions compared with the average 13.8 positions for companies that moved up the list.

The largest decline was No. 84, FCV Technologies Ltd., a Vancouver-based digital service company that fell 32 spots from No. 52 in 2015. This drop was the result of a 45% decline in employees to 72 in 2019 from 131 in 2015.

Tech chart 2 by Albert Van Santvoort

The largest move up the list was No. 21, Visier, which rose 65 positions from No. 86 in 2015. The company increased its head count by 325% to 340 employees in 2019 from 80 in 2015. Visier posted nearly 1.5 times the growth of the second-fastest-growing company, No. 19-ranked Traction on Demand. This Burnaby-based consulting and application development firm grew 217% to 365 employees in 2019 from 115 in 2015. The company had the third-largest move up the list, jumping 26 spots from No. 55 in 2015.

Clio’s 207% growth moved it 41 spots up the list to No. 22 in 2019 from No. 63 in 2015.