Each year, OBJ recognizes the region’s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the city’s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year. The companies will be profiled online in the coming days and recognized at a cocktail reception on May 24 at the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. Click here for more information on the event.
After 16 years, one of Ottawa’s most buzzworthy tech firms is finally making its first appearance on OBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies.
If co-founder and CEO Allan Wille has his way, it won’t be the last.
Mr. Wille, the personable chief executive of downtown software juggernaut Klipfolio, says the target market for the firm’s cloud-based business dashboard software – small and medium-sized enterprises – numbers in the tens of millions worldwide. With about 8,300 customers right now, the company is barely scratching the surface of its potential, he argues.
“Ten years ago, if you wanted to buy software for your small and mid-sized business, you went into Staples and you picked it off the shelf,” says Mr. Wille, referring to the pre-cloud days when the idea of subscription-based software was still in its embryonic phase.
“That was a pretty expensive way of getting software distributed. It was very limiting for a startup to do so. In the past 10 years, that has changed dramatically – the acceptance of the cloud and this entire space has opened up. There is tremendous appetite for visualizing data, working with data, consolidating data.”
Local headcount: About 80, with a handful of employees outside the country
Product / service: Business dashboard platform
Three-year revenue growth: 297.8%
Thanks to big-data analytics, today’s SMEs have access to a veritable mountain of information on everything from sales to customer churn rates. Klipfolio’s products help clients build customized dashboards to display key metrics that put all those numbers into perspective – for example, revenue per employee (a key measure of workplace efficiency) or sales increases over the past month (which helps show how quickly the company is growing).
Significant metrics can even be compared against competitors’ figures to give firms a better barometer of where they stand in the marketplace.
“A lot of numbers are nice to look at – for example, how much sales have I done today or what’s my headcount – but the more meaningful metrics are often ratios or relationships between certain things,” Mr. Wille explains.
And Klipfolio’s technology displays all that information in a real-time format that is constantly being updated – essentially, doing for business metrics what Hootsuite does for social media feeds.
“Having this data available in real time or rolling as things happen is really important, especially for small and mid-sized businesses,” the CEO says. “Small and mid-sized businesses can be nimble, so their data should be nimble as well.”
In January, the company announced it had landed $12 million in series-B venture capital, bringing its total funding to date to more than $19 million. Mr. Wille says Klipfolio plans to invest in more R&D spending in an effort to make its platform even more powerful and easier to use.
“We really need to find those magical points in the customer’s journey to really make sure that their meaningful metrics are being built, being seen, being shared, inside of their company.”
Klipfolio continues to add to its A-list roster of talent, recently bringing on board former Invest Ottawa executive Jonathan Milne as director of strategic and community partnerships and tech veteran Kenneth MacAskill as chief financial officer. On pace to reach 110 employees by the end of the year, the company also announced it has finally outgrown its original office on Gloucester Street and is moving to new digs in the World Exchange Plaza this fall.
For Mr. Wille, it all adds up to big things for his firm, now and heading into 2018 and beyond.
“There’s this buzz in Ottawa with the local successes – Kinaxis, Halogen, Shopify,” he says. “There are probably a dozen folks that are making waves, which I think really helps keep that buzz alive. I think the current tech community is probably stronger than it has ever been.”
And right there, near the front of the pack, is Klipfolio.
2017 Fastest Growing Companies
(Three-year revenue growth in parenthesis)
Bellefleur Physiotherapy (349.9%)
Prosperity Group (281.5%)
Mishkumi Technologies (223.8%)