Saskatoon-based e-commerce platform raises historic $119M private investment

A Saskatoon-based end-to-end e-commerce platform announced a historic $119.5 million private investment earlier this week.

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Founded in 2008, Vendasta provides digital products and services to businesses. The private company employs over 500 people.

The company has over 50,000 registered channel partners who most often are marketing, advertising and web agencies, media companies, managed service providers, independent software vendors and value-added resellers.

Experts in the tech industry say the investment helps mitigate the risk of global investors coming to the province, further strengthening the tech landscape in Saskatchewan.

“It’s a huge, validating moment, not just for Vendasta and the incredible work of their leadership team, but of the whole ecosystem going forward because it proves we can build global leaders here in the tech space,” Sean O’Connor, head and managing director of Conexus Venture Capital.

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In 2019, Vendasta secured $40 million in funding, revolutionizing the tech game for small and medium businesses.

Currently, Vendasta has 5 million small and medium business clients.

The money raised is led by New York-based Lugard Road Capital and joined by Nicola Wealth, the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) and other existing investors.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to more small businesses turning to digital technology, which in turn resulted in strong growth for Vendasta. The company intends to use the money to further accelerate the pace of its growth.

Click to play video: 'Vendasta selling digital solutions to local businesses' Vendasta selling digital solutions to local businesses

Vendasta selling digital solutions to local businesses – Nov 23, 2016

Vendasta has an annual recurring revenue of more than $50 million.

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CEO Brendan King told Global News it took $30 million for Vendasta to grow to the size it is today, so the recent investment of $120 million will go a long way.

“It just gives you an idea of the scale that we’ll be able to have,” King said.

“Our goal is to build a long-lasting tech company in Western Canada, but it really is to become the operating system of choice for these small businesses to democratize the way that small businesses use technology.”

King said the pandemic affected small businesses in “dramatically worse” ways compared to larger companies.

“It wasn’t the Walmart’s and the Amazon’s that suffered during the pandemic, it was small businesses,” he said.

“We really want to allow them to leverage and use technology in a new way. We’re going to democratize technology for them. This investment allows us to accelerate our timelines to get there faster.”

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King explained that Vendasta is looking to double the amount of small and medium business clients they service in the next three years.

– with files from Brady Ratzlaff

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