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Montreal software company Lightspeed files for IPO

It's the first notable tech IPO in Montreal since Stingray Digital went public in 2015.

Updated: February 7, 2019

A TSX tote board is pictured in Toronto. FRANK GUNN / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Montreal-based software company Lightspeed has filed for an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The filing by Lightspeed, which makes a cloud-based payments software aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, is the first notable IPO by a Montreal technology company since Stingray Digital, now Stingray Group, went public in 2015.

The listing could place Lightspeed among the most valuable technology companies in Canada. While the initial price of individual shares — and the number of shares that will be issued — has not yet been determined, it is believed that the company is seeking to raise around $200 million through the IPO at a valuation of around $1 billion.

Lightspeed says it processed more than $13 billion in payments in the 2018 calendar year and had $71.9 million in revenue, according to the prospectus filed with securities regulators.

However, the company has lost money for at least the past three years. In the company’s 2018 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2018, it had revenue of $57 million, up from $42.6 million the year before and $30.749 million in 2016, according to the prospectus.

But as revenue has increased, so have the company’s losses.

Lightspeed’s net loss was $96.179 million in 2018, $58.404 million in 2017 and $51.119 million in 2016.

It says its software is used in 47,000 “customer locations” in 100 countries.

Thirty-five per cent of Lightspeed’s revenue comes from outside North America, it said in the prospectus, and it has subsidiaries in Delaware, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Even after the IPO, the company’s current CEO, founder Dax Dasilva, will retain significant control, with the majority of voting shares.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will also have significant influence over the company.

The Caisse owns 44.6 per cent of Lightspeed. The provincial pension fund manager has invested $292 million U.S. in Lightspeed, or approximately $387.6 million Canadian.

Lightspeed employs around 700 people.

BMO Capital Markets, National Bank Financial Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities Canada Inc. are underwriting the IPO.

This article will be updated.


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