Goldmoney Network CEO Darrell MacMullin has the same reaction as most people to his own firm’s revenue growth of 96,000 per cent over the past year.
“It sounds outrageous,” he says. The Toronto-based online platform that modernizes access to gold for the use of savings and payments is just two years old. According to ICT analyst firm Branham Group Inc., the public company soared from $269,000 revenue in 2015 to $258.7 million in 2016.
That puts Goldmoney on top of the 15 fastest-growing companies in the ICT sector, according to the 2017 Branham300 list released on Wednesday. Coming in at the number two spot is Richmond, B.C.-based fibre optics materials company, with revenue growth of 1,066 per cent. In its 24th year of ranking of public and private technology companies, the results hold some good news for the sector. The top 250 ICT firms in Canada earned a combined revenue of more than $105.3 billion, an increase of almost 10 per cent over last year.
“This is a purely objective list, either you have the revenues for the top 250 or you don’t,” says Wayne Gudbranson, CEO of Branham Group. “We’ve got some unbelievably impressive organizations on that list.”
Branham Group gleans the revenue data for public companies from earnings reports, and from private companies that submit their revenue data voluntarily. Not all private companies participate every year, but many of them have been contributing data for years now, Gudbranson says. A quality control process, requiring supporting materials for revenue records and asking for closer scrutiny when a big change in revenue occurs.
At Goldmoney, MacMullin credits his growth to a quick start in attracting venture capital, acquiring two other companies that addressed the same problem, and rapid international expansion. As the former head of PayPal Canada and employee 202 at the online payments processor, MacMullin is no stranger to scaling up.
“As a small, Canadian startup, we’ve made some unCanadian startup moves,” he says. “Very early on, we were focused on getting to our first million sing ups very quickly.”
Now approaching 1.5 million account holders, MacMullin says Goldmoney’s focus has shifted from signing up as many customers as possible to deepening the customer relationships it already has. In the early days, MacMullin says it was typical to see new users test the platform by making a small gold purchase and then sell it back to themselves.
But after several months of engagement and education with Goldmoney, those customers are putting thousands of dollars into the platform and setting up reoccurring payments. Meanwhile, Goldmoney has established offices in Toronto, Jersey Island in the U.K., Milan, and New York City.
Top 15 Growth Companies – Branham300 2017
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Originally launched as BitGold, the firm rebranded to Goldmoney in early 2016, aligning with the Goldmoney.com acquisition it made in 2015. The decision was done to avoid confusion with Bitcoin, MacMullin says, and to bolster the company’s credibility as a place to maintain wealth.
Working in Goldmoney’s favour is the inherent and longstanding acceptance of gold as a stable investment for wealth. MacMullin describes it as a trusted alternative to fiat currencies that is made more accessible than ever by the firm’s online platform. In times of crisis or uncertainty, it’s typical to see investors scrambling to buy gold, and that’s exactly what happened when Britain voted to leave the E.U. and the pound lost 20 per cent of its value.
International expansion is something that more Canadian FinTech startups should be doing, he says. “The benefit of being a financial technology company, if you have a strong and meaningful value proposition, you can grow your business globally.”
But that doesn’t mean taking on a huge headcount to staff those offices, MacMullin adds. Goldmoney is still at under 75 people. It’s the technology that helps keep growth moving.
“Our technology is very scalable, we’ve engineered our platform to handle 10 times the volume we’re already doing,” he says.
The growth of companies like Goldmoney show the Canadian ICT sector is gaining confidence, Gudbranson says. He points to another company on the Top 15 growth list, Shopify, and says that it services as an example for others to follow. Namely its CEO and founder, Tobias Lutke.
“The guy has quietly emerged as someone that is a resourceful leader and setting the bar for others in the industry,” he says.
Shopify is the 13th fastest-growing company on the list, with a 2016 revenue of almost $516 million and growth of 90 per cent. It ranks 26th overall in terms of total revenue.
The Branham300 list is now attracting international attention to Canada’s ICT cluster, Gudbranson says. Delegates from the Ukraine are in Toronto to help celebrate the launch of the list and have set up dozens of meetings with companies here to explore opportunities.