2022 LinkedIn Top Startups List in Canada

This is is part of my live-learning series! I will be updating this post as I continue through my journey. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incoherent thoughts. This is a practice to help me share things that are valuable without falling apart from the pressure of perfection. 

Episode Summary

– 5th annual LinkedIn Top Startups list
– Features 15 Canadian companies
– Strong resource for jobseekers
– Location, headcount, year founded and skills breakdown
– List compiled based on employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent
– People challenging the definition of a startup
– Skepticism around recently layoffs and market conditions
– Personal favourites are Ada, Cohere and Klue

YouTube Video


LinkedIn Top Startups 2022: The 15 Canadian companies on the rise | LinkedIn
Neo Financial: Life | LinkedIn
Neo Financial™ | The Modern Way to Money | Spend, Save, Invest
Ada: Overview | LinkedIn
Brand Interaction Platform: Conversational AI | Ada
Fable: Overview | LinkedIn
Digital Accessibility Powered by People With Disabilities | Fable
Shakepay: Overview | LinkedIn
Shakepay – Buy/Sell Bitcoin in Canada
ApplyBoard: Overview | LinkedIn
AI startup Ada cuts 16 percent of its workforce | BetaKit
ApplyBoard | Study Abroad Application Platform
BenchSci: Overview | LinkedIn
AI-Assisted Reagent Selection and Experiment Design – BenchSci
Cohere: Overview | LinkedIn
Home – NLP Toolkit And Language Models for Developers | Cohere
Certn: Overview | LinkedIn
Cohere – Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding
(1) New Messages!
Drop: Overview | LinkedIn
Drop | Shop & Earn Rewards | Join Free
Dapper Labs: Overview | LinkedIn
Dapper Labs – Fun and games on the blockchain
Snapcommerce: Overview | LinkedIn
Manifest Climate: Overview | LinkedIn
Climate Change Solutions & Consulting – Manifest Climate
Irwin: Overview | LinkedIn
The Most Powerful Investor Relations Software – Irwin
TealBook: Overview | LinkedIn
Unleash procurement possibilities with dynamic supplier data.
Klue: Overview | LinkedIn
Klue | Competitive Enablement for every department of every business.


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Automated Transcription

Hello, hello, Tyler Bryden here. I hope everything’s going well today. I’m looking at Linkedin’s top startups of 2022. This is specifically the Canadian version. So it’s 15 Canadian companies that are on the rise. This was published on September 28th and I just thought it would be interesting to take a couple minutes to look through this. I’ve got all the links you can see. I got a lot of LinkedIn pages up here and so you can learn some interesting things about the companies through there. And then I’ve got the actual dedicated website. So I take a sort of quick gander at this, you know? Pick out a couple of things that are maybe interesting about the companies that are selected and then, you know, dump you with a load of resources. If you’re either, you know, interested in these companies or exploring more or maybe you’re a startup founder yourself and seeing like how did these companies become these top, you know, 15 in Canada? What are there any trends or patterns amongst them? Or if you’re a job seeker, it seems like ultimately in the end this is, you know, a resource at LinkedIn, you know, huge platform for hiring. In the end, it’s ultimately meant to be a resource.

Job seekers excited to, you know, excited about the opportunity to join a startup. And I think there’s something that’s super fascinating that comes out from the comments that are in the second. So we’ll jump into the, the, the actual companies in a second here. But Michael, with a, you know, maybe a blunt comment on this about it being hard to be bullish on Canadian tech startups when you see big companies like Shopify, Lightspeed Commerce and others struggling in the market, whether that’s them trying to raise funding, whether that’s them having to do recent layoffs. Or just, you know, if they’re public companies taking massive hits on the, you know, the overall valuation of their company as sort of equity markets and and the public markets get hit. And, you know, I’m not going to be able to comment too much on that, but you know, it seems like there’s some insight or some signals that this is going to get worse before it gets better and you know, with that in mind.

While you are, you know, maybe an A person looking at joining these companies, you know, the question is if is this the right time to join these companies, what is the risk of this? And then I think you also have to balance like what do I, what am I looking for, for compensation, what am I looking for, what do I expect out of this? And then also take a look at these companies that were, you know in the past vary relatively sort of safe bets, you know if you had the talent or the network or the skill set, you know these big Amazon. Google, Meta, all these, they have also put in hiring freezes and and are you know, not hiring in the same way. So you know, super interesting time where you’ve got these high growth startups like the ones on these lists and then you’ve got these big companies and both of them are actually making decisions based on the market conditions they’re in, the growth trajectory that they’re on. Whether that’s like you know, super, you know, if that’s been super aggressive in the past, maybe they are needing to tighten that up because they don’t know how long.

This potential? What could be significant recession is going to last. And so they are, you know, figuring out the best way to. You know, basically move towards break even, move towards profitability and that’s something I think super, you know, super important for you to consider because generally and it’s not always that way, but if there is any layoffs with market conditions continue to worsen, these companies need to tighten up even further. It’s people who are often the newest who can be impacted and it’s not always true, but it’s definitely something to consider and it was also a super interesting thread on this idea of like.

If someone has recently done a round of layoffs, would you go and work at these companies? So I think that’s an important thing to ask yourself. And so we’re saying that one of my favorite companies here, ADA software development company really working with you know started out with sort of specifically with chat bots, but now bringing sort of voice interaction into that and really through this lens of like how can we optimize the efficiency of customer service so that you have intelligent chat bots and customers, automated customer and service engagement before it’s maybe upgraded to. Talking to a real person, in this case ADA recently did a round of layoffs and and they’ve done this in the past and I don’t think this is, you know, specifically a shot at them, but they had recently cut it out, cut off 16% of their workforce. So that’s 1878 positions in in total. And you know, these are some people we being connected to a bunch of these people on on LinkedIn. I’m from Toronto. I love this company. I love following these companies. Some of these people seem, you know, super talented.

And you know, big parts of the team. And so you can see sort of in this letter and sort of what I’ve just said like the higher cost of capital. So, you know, these companies are saying, hey, do we want to continue to dilute our company more by raising more money. Can they match the valuation that they had, you know, previously raised up? And if not, it’s not really an ideal time to raise and and you can see like this is not just limited to 8, this is you can see off layoffs 630 tech companies across the world have cut almost 90,000.

Employees this year, Shopify, a little bit of an insight on Shopify and some of the other companies who have seen this. So this is not just limited to ADA and not picking them on them on this list. But I think something super important to think when you look at companies that are in this list who are doing amazing things, but are maybe on that venture capital route, high growth and with that high growth, high expectations probably, you know, maybe not profitable and high burn. And so those are things that you should consider and I don’t know how open these companies are with their details. That’s like, can you go into a job interview, say, if you’re actually interested in working with these companies and say.

Hey, I want to know, you know, where are we at, where we at from runway, where are we at from you know a revenue monthly standpoint, how much are we burning each month? If you can sort of paint that picture you can really start to see like how safe you know is this position. And I think you also then need to look at the other companies that we’re working. You know that I’m interested in or any of these companies. Just if you’re looking at this in general like this, people sort of predicting like how, how many of these companies are going to make it, are they doing something that is truly essential.

To businesses, to the bottom line of businesses or helping with massive efficiency gains or increasing their revenue or decreasing their cost is significantly that with the customers we’re working, we’re like, are they necessary? Because there have been a lot of companies over the last few years who have been propped up on venture capital funding without selling a true problem in the market. And I think that’s something really important for us all to consider right now. As you know, just as an example, companies all around the world adjust to this market and say, hey, I need to cut my marketing spend or. Experimental R&D I’m doing, and this place specifically is no longer.

Necessary or we cannot afford to do this because we need to allocate these resources somewhere else. And so we’ve seen like, you know, very experimental. You know, experimental. Departments, even at big companies like Google Cut projects because they’re so experimental and the return in the short term, even though it was a paid out in the long term for them many times over with product development and breakthroughs is maybe not the most essential, crucial thing right now. So I’ll jump back off my pedestal for a minute and just a couple sort of interesting things about this. And again, all these links are here. You can check this out if you want. I just wanted to sort of, you know, share a couple points on this of what I’m seeing as I’m looking for this and obviously as they’re promoting hiring.

And and things. So making sure that they haven’t done a recent round of layoffs. Making sure that you know the compensation and everything makes sense and you know, also understanding like what is their market function and are they solving a problem that’s truly needed. Or take another example of a company I have a lot of love for cohere. Cohere has raised a significant amount of money, I believe $110 million here. Let me see if I can pull up. Cohere on crunch base. And so with that they took a big valuation in that and then they’re doing a lot of sort of.

Sort of, I would say testing of markets to see like where, yeah, 164 million, I think that’s USD. So first of all, that’s a one thing is actually super good is that they have a lot of money and resources and you can see with that like that there’s some security in that that round has already been closed. That money is sitting in the bank. Of course they’re hiring and they’re growing, but. You know, you can understand as long as they’re, I mean they are training, you know massive systems generally they’re not going to, they’re not going to be spending that, you know all in the next six, 912 months. So you also think what is the life cycle that I actually want to spend at this company. The other thing that’s super interesting is because they’re sort of application of their technology is so wide. I think they’re doing a lot of sort of testing in the market right now. So content moderation, you know text generation, you know there’s some really interesting sort of sample sets of the kind of technology.

Application that they have. Some people might not define them as specifically having. This idea of product market fit or a focused you know focused application of their technology because it is so broad and wide and that can be part of the strategy we’ve struggled with that here at our company at speak I but it is something for you that as maybe you’re thinking depending on their role or you’re thinking of how closely you want to be aligned with customers and market conditions that could be a factor. And you making the decisions of like is this the right company for me and this is the right company you know again as a job seeker maybe as someone who’s an investor or someone who is just sort of following the market and. Trying to figure out what companies they can, you know, follow model after and all those things. So a couple of things that were cool was that it was broken down by headcount, headquarters, a lot of Toronto companies in here, but I’ve also seen a couple of Vancouver companies. I don’t know you know exactly how.

You know, I don’t know exactly how they split. So there are Montreal, Kitchener, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg. So pretty you know, wide geographic area, although there is some concentration in Toronto and then I would say out West what we’re not seeing in here is any out East company. So that was super fascinating. There doesn’t seem to be besides Montreal, there’s no hub, you know, as least as far as I know what we’re seeing in these companies that are you know, out East and Halifax and Nova Scotia and all that. So they do talk about the methodology that they have. So they.

Base it around 4 pillars, employment, growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent. Some of those things are, you know, seems somewhat. You know, subjective, but it seems like they do have, you know, a couple sort of actual objective measures. So like head count increases over time frame which must be a minimum of 10%. Looks at non employee views and followers of the company LinkedIn Page. So how engaged, how engaged are people with the company page? So again this is very in Linkedin’s interest to do it. Job interest counts right at which people are viewing and applying to jobs and then attraction of job talent implies how many, how many employees the startup has recruited away from any LinkedIn top company.

As a percentage of the startups total workforce. So in the end that’s pretty fascinating. That is normalized across all eligible startups and then they actually share the time frame and then they actually give the original eligibility. So it must be fully independently, privately held, 50 or more full time employees seven years older or younger and be headquartered in the country on whose they list. So all of these are Canadian companies that do that. I think some of the other debate here is, is this, you know truly are all these fit the definition of a startup?

I think generally you know when we look just example back at that crunch base of cohere in a way still classified as a startup although you’re seeing companies that have 400 you know 400 employees they were founded in 2016. What is this definition of a startup and when does that crossover from a you know a scale up or or just become a real company and. Just just for a second time, because I’m already at 11 minutes here, I think I’ve given a couple of things. I’m not going to jump into every website, but some super fascinating things I would say around the head count. The industries in definitely some fintech all very technology based. Some seem to have sort of SaaS B2B offerings, others do even seem to have a little bit more sort of a consultant or development arm to them and obviously that’s super valuable in the time that we’re in. So I think that’s it for me here today. I appreciate you checking this.

Hope this is Canada’s top startups of 2022, the 15 best. I just wanted to give a couple insights of what I’m seeing in the market and some of the fascinating ones to me I love Ada, I love cohere. The other one that I love and I have a couple of friends who work there is is clue, so like market intelligence startup that lets companies collect, manage and share insights on, on competitors. So we’ve got, you know, this one basically helping you with battle cards, how to how to compete, how to, how to win when it comes to head to head and sales. So super, super fast.

And company and they’ve been a lot of success. And when I look at, you know, who are these ones that are maybe going to stick around, you can see some big names on here. They definitely seem to be one that’s very related with like market needs, sales growth, revenue growth, business growth. And for that reason, I have a lot of love for them, of course, some friends who work there too. So that’s it for me today. I hope you like this video. And if you’re looking at this, if you have some thoughts, you have some questions, you know, please feel encouraged to send me a message. Check out the comments on this because some super fascinating things around investors who have invested in these companies. Congrats, people having some skepticism.

Other people just celebrating. But overall, you know, fascinating to see all the, you know, all the great companies that are part of this even, you know, sort of bullish and and persevering in a, you know, a difficult market condition. So thank you very much. This is Tyler Braden. I got a fence getting built in the back, so I’m going to go attend to that and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Bye. Bye.


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