Lightspeed’s latest US$166 million round values it close to the rarest of breeds, a narwhal

Lightspeed has officially staked its claim as one of the most significant tech players in Canada.

Lightspeed POS, Montreal’s point-of-sale (POS) system for retailers and restaurants, has raised a US$166 million Series D.

Led by an investment of $170 million from la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse), Investissement Québec (IQ), iNovia Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank also provided funding.

“The retail and restaurant industries now require businesses to deliver a greater and more unique experience to thrive,” said Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed. “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.”

The company’s last round raised was US$61 million in 2015. This latest investment round brings the total amount raised to date up to US$292 million.

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.

La Caisse is a repeat investor in the company.

“Two years ago, when we first invested in Lightspeed, the company was already considered a Canadian leader in its field. Today, its solutions are used in more than 100 countries and Lightspeed is the world’s largest company in its sector. This success is due to the impressive innovations that it implemented and the strategic vision of its experienced management team,” said Christian Dubé, EVP, Québec at la Caisse in a statement. “This investment is part of our commitment to provide long-term support to Québec’s new-economy companies as they grow internationally.”

The round comes after several companies approached Lightspeed to acquire it.

“We had a lot of inbound interest in companies buying us, strategic companies in related industries. That’s been a decision that we had to evaluate with the board and stake holders,” Dax Dasilva, CEO and founder of Lightspeed commented in an interview.

Dasilva also said that he expects this to be the last round of funding before the company goes public, which he expects to happen in about 18-20 months.

“We are hoping to be IPO-ready by mid-2019”

The company’s track record makes that decision a smart move. At the time of their last round in 2015, the company had 25,000 businesses as customers, and US$10 billion in transactions from 100 countries. Today, transaction volume is up to US$15 billion annually and they’re up to 50,000 businesses as customers.

Customers today include Todd Snyder, Want Les Essentiels, DASH, Draper James, Rocket Fizz, Malin+Goetz, Mike’s Bikes in California, and the Montréal Canadiens, Eataly, La Marina NYC, Nobu Malibu, Lutze Biergarten, Zoku Amsterdam Hotel, Hummus Bros, Crêpeaffaire, and Detroit Foundation Hotel.

“We were among the first to believe in Lightspeed’s remarkable growth potential and invest in it,” said Investissement Québec President and CEO Pierre Gabriel Côté. “Lightspeed is currently enjoying an impressive level of success. It is now a global leader whose growth and accomplishments are making waves far beyond our borders.
It was only natural for Investissement Québec to reinvest in the company.”

If Lightspeed manages to reach a valuation of CAD$1 billion by the tim they are IPO ready, they will join the ranks of only five other narwhal companies in Canada


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