B.C. tops all provinces during record year for IPOs: report

Canadian companies raised $10.18b through initial public offerings, says CPE Analytics

Thinkific CEO Greg Smith oversaw the initial public offering of his B.C. tech company last year | Photo: Chung Chow

Initial public offerings from Copperleaf Technologies Inc. (TSX:CPLF), Thinkific Labs Inc. (TSX:THNC) and Telus International (Cda) Inc. (TSX:TIXT) helped make B.C. the go-to centre for IPOs in Canada last year.

The West Coast was home base for 90 out of the 171 IPOs across the country, according to a report released Wednesday by Toronto-based CPE Analytics.

Overall 2021 was a recording-setting year for Canadian companies, both in terms of the number of IPOs as well as the $10.18 billion raised by going public.

Despite B.C. dominating in sheer volume, Ontario companies led all provinces with the amount of dollars raised: $6.69 billion from that province’s 55 IPOs.

B.C., meanwhile, raised $2.2 billion — the second most out of all the provinces — from its 90 IPOs (52 of which were capital pool companies).

The TSX-V led all exchanges in terms of volume with 103 IPOs, raising $300 million in total. 

But with $9.2 billion raised through 37 IPOs on the TSX, Canada's largest exchange led in terms of dollars.

“Being a public company gives us a greater platform to attract, retain and compensate exceptional people,” Thinkific CEO Greg Smith told BIV after his company went public in 2021.

Thinkific, best known for its platform that helps businesses and individuals create and distribute online courses, also raised $22 million in venture capital in September 2020 in a funding round led by early investor Rhino Ventures — also based in Vancouver.

Shares debuted at $13 as it sought to raise $160 million but closed out the year at $8.91 a share. They are currently trading at $7.81 as of Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. PT.

Copperleaf, meanwhile, was one of four venture-backed IPOs that trading above their offering prices by the time 2021 closed out. Having debuted at $15 a share in October, it ended the year trading at $23.85 a share. It’s now trading at $21.05 a share as of Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT.

The company is best known for developing software that helps clients who manage critical infrastructure — such as electricity generation or natural gas distribution — to make investment decisions.