Quebec investors dig deep for Montreal tech company Lightspeed POS
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 5:16PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 20, 2017 10:11PM EDT
A Montreal company has just received the largest investment ever for a Canadian tech startup – and the cash is coming from local sources.
Lightspeed POS, a point-of sale system for small businesses, raised US$166 million.
“This new round of financing is all from Quebec-based sources like the Caisse de depot, like Investissement Quebec, like iNovia Capital and I think that's really exciting,” said the software company’s founder and CEO Dax Dasilva.
Dasilva began making waves in the tech sphere 12 years ago.
“For the first seven years, we bootstrapped the company. Very scrappy, we built the company on our own sales,” he said.
“We gave retailers an iTunes-like interface so they felt they could manage their store in a way that was very simple.”
It quickly grew, integrating cloud-based services and e-commerce.
The software, headquartered in Montreal, is currently used by more than 45,000 independent retailers and restaurants.
“Cloud-based software has basically given big-box store tools to independent businesses,” he explained.
Small-business owner Simon Tooley said he uses the software at his skin care boutique Etiket.
“Today it's all about data. I know what we're selling, to who we're selling. What our repeat business is. If we were going to a bigger POS company, I don't know if we'd be able to afford it,” he said.
For Dasilva, the investment represents an important shift in Quebec's tech scene.
“Five years ago, all that money would have come from Silicon Valley and we would end up being American owned and perhaps sold,” he said, adding that it also puts the company on track to go public in the next two years.
“For us it's been a real affirmation that we can create a headquarters here in Montreal and have strong Canadian roots, strong Canadian ownership,” he said.