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Mar 8, 2019

Lightspeed shares soar in debut after US$179M IPO

New Caisse-backed tech firm Lightspeed debuts on the TSX

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Lightspeed POS Inc., a software maker for retailers and restaurants, soared in its trading debut after raising $240 million in the biggest initial public offering by a Canadian technology company in almost nine years.

Shares climbed as much as 26 per cent from the IPO price of $16. They closed up 19 per cent to $19 in Toronto. That values the Montreal-based company, whose platform can be used for everything from point of sale to inventory management, at about $1.7 billion.

The share sale is the biggest by a Canadian tech company since Smart Technologies Inc. raised US$660 million in a 2010 U.S. listing. Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify Inc. raised US$131 million in its IPO, and is now valued at more than US$20 billion. Not all have fared well though: Real Matters Inc., a real estate data and software firm has seen its market share shrink by about two thirds since its 2017 debut.

Lightspeed, which was founded in 2005 and employs more than 700 people, focuses on small and medium-sized businesses. Early investors include Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, the province’s pension fund manager. Bank of Montreal, National Bank Financial and JPMorgan Chase & Co. led the share sale.