TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Finding a buyer is no longer a key exit
strategy for Canadian startup CEOs, according to PwC's Emerging Canadian Technology Companies: A CEO Perspective.
Results from the 10th annual report, released today, show that only 44% of the surveyed
companies are looking towards a merger or an acquisition to exit the
market, a stark contrast to the 76% who were eyeing this route just a
year ago. Just 21% anticipate a partial sale of the company, while 30%
have no plans to exit at all, showing that the trend is moving towards
building the business and bringing it to the next growth stage. And,
the survey also suggests that CEOs are staying put for good reason--
more than one-third (36%) of respondents reported having reached
profitability, while another 28% expect to get there within one year,
and another 26% within two years.
Startup CEOs are also staying close to home when it comes to seeking
future revenue growth. With Canada's economy continue to grow at a
steady (albeit small) pace, nearly seven in ten respondents generate
most of their revenue at home in Canada, well ahead of the US (23%) and
"Emerging companies in Canada are in a good place, and the prospects for
profit are high," says Eugene Bomba, National Emerging Company Services Leader at PwC. "Larger businesses are more willing to work with, and give a chance
to, startup ventures, and this friendly climate is helping CEOs to
truly develop their businesses while growing their revenue on home
However, even with the future looking bright for emerging companies in
Canada, startup CEOs are still uncertain about today's market. Survey
results show that startup leaders cite revenue generation (41%) and
funding (19%) as their biggest concerns, ahead of attracting and
retaining talent (11%), which topped the list for the first time last
year at 26%.
"The outlook is positive for Canadian startups, but it is crucial that
CEOs not rest on their laurels," says Chris Dulny, PwC's National Technology Sector Leader. "Tech services are in high
demand, and smart operational and financial decision making are the
tools to bringing a company's vision to life and seeing it thrive."
Other survey highlights include:
In what was previously a male-dominated sector, women are starting to
break through, but there is still more balance to be achieved. Among
the companies surveyed, women make up only 27% of the workforce and 24%
of their management teams.
At 64%, private funding from family and friends continues to be the
primary source of funding for the majority of respondents, compared to
16% who rely on angel investors and 9% who sought private venture
funding. However, almost half (46%) declared that they did not need to
raise funds at all.
Government funding continues to be key for Canadian startup CEOs, with
50% tapping into at least one government source. Among these, 35% said
they took advantage of the "Scientific Research and Experimental
Development" tax credit program (SR&ED), while 20% said they dipped
into the Industry Research Assistance Program (IRAP).
When it comes to retaining talent, startups continue to be able to hold
on to full-time staff, with 72% reporting losing less than 5% of
employees to voluntary turnover. To keep talent, 36% of companies
reported using stock compensation as a way to build closer ties between
performance and results, and to increase employee engagement.
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SOURCE: PwC Management Services LP
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