John Vandermay returns to Canada as Lightspeed’s new CTO


Lightspeed POS, fresh off its impressive US $166 million Series D in October, has announced the appointment of John Vandermay to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

“The retail and restaurant industries now require businesses to deliver a greater and more unique experience to thrive,” Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed said at the time of the raise. “Lightspeed is leading the digital transformation with our powerful, easy-to-use platform, which enables your favourite local businesses to increase revenue, continue to innovate, and ultimately deliver an extraordinary shopping or dining experience.”

While no specific valuation has been disclosed, a source for the Wall Street Journal, this latest round of financing will give Lightspeed a valuation near CAD$1 billion, making it close to becoming that rarest of breeds: a tech unicorn, or narwhal in Canada.

The announcement of the company’s new CTO is seemingly another step in the company’s strategy to be IPO ready by mid-2019. Dasilva said that he expects their Series D to be the last round of funding before the company goes public, which he expects to happen in about 18-20 months.

Vandermay’s appointment sees him return to Canada after three years as the CTO for Visto (formerly Collective), an advertising technology company in NYC backed by Accel, Greycroft, and iNovia. While at Visto as CTO, Vandermay lead the transformation of the company to an advertising media service provider to a technology platform by building a breakthrough SaaS enterprise advertising platform that seamlessly provided transparency and interoperability between the myriad of ad technologies.

“It’s incredible to welcome John back to Canada and into our Lightspeed community, at the height of growth in our development sector. John’s extensive experience in software engineering and product development will make him an invaluable asset to the Lightspeed team,” said Lightspeed Founder and CEO Dax Dasilva, “As a Canadian company, we’re proud to be part of an innovative network of technology companies that are attracting top industry talent back to Canada.”

In his more than 25 years of software engineering and global leadership experience, John has served as Vice President of Product Development at Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA in Vancouver, as Vice President Enterprise Server Software at Research in Motion (Blackberry) in Waterloo, and as VP Worldwide Engineering at Omniture in Utah.

While at Omniture, his contributions built an analytics engine that powered more than 350k transactions / second, expanded the product portfolio to over 10 products and resulted in a successful IPO in 2006 and secondary offering in 2007, eventually leading to the sale of the company to Adobe in 2009 for $1.8 billion.

“I am thrilled to join Lightspeed during this significant period of global growth and work alongside the team to advance development,” said Vandermay. “Lightspeed is a team of innovators, whose renowned advancements in omnichannel and POS technology allows restaurants, retail entrepreneurs, and business owners to seamlessly grow and manage their businesses.”

Lightspeed also announced that John will curate a blog series entitled Lightspeed talks code. You can read the first entry here.


Photo: Collective/Vimeo

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