Vancouver’s Thinkific virtually rang the opening bell at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) today to celebrate the company’s first day of public trading.
Listed under the ticker symbol “THNC”, Thinkific shares opened at $13.50 and have risen as high as $15.37 today giving Thinkific a market capitalization of $1.18 billion and making it the second B.C. company declared a Unicorn today. The IPO netted Thinkific $160 million.
Thinkific is an all-in-one, cloud-based software platform designed to enable entrepreneurs and established businesses to create, market, and sell online courses. Course creators can easily build and launch customized online courses for their audiences under their own brand, with no technical experience required.
As a leading online course platform in the burgeoning course creator economy, Thinkific competes in a space that includes MasterClass, Udemy, and Coursera.
“Our mission is, and always will be, to make it easy for course creators to build and scale profitable businesses through transformational online learning experiences,” said Greg Smith, Thinkific Co-Founder and CEO.
“We believe education is the most powerful force for positive change in the world, and commerce is the rocket fuel that powers it. We are proud to be a part of this explosive sector and drive this impact forward for years to come.”
2020 saw the rise of entrepreneurship and the mass adoption of online learning with many willing to share their knowledge online for the first time.
In 2020 alone, Thinkific saw annual recurring revenue grow by 150% year-over-year as course creators taught over 21 million students, and earned over USD $275 million in revenue from direct course sales on the Thinkific platform.
Thinkific was founded in Vancouver in 2012 by brothers Greg and Matt Smith, Miranda Lievers, and Matt Payne and their nine-year journey from startup to IPO is a great example of what is possible for startups in Vancouver’s tech ecosystem.
“Five to ten years ago there were some magic things that came together, resources like Launch Academy which is where we got our start and a bunch of other great companies that are really growing up now got their start, there were mentors like Jeff Booth and Fraser Hall who jumped in and started mentoring companies with everything they’d learned, and then Rhino Ventures really took things to a new level in terms of investing in Western Canada,” Greg told Techcouver.
Referencing Rhino Ventures investments in Thinkific, Smith put their support in perspective.
“Their first fund was $14 million and they’ve now put $50 million into Thinkific. So they’ve put more into us now than three times the value of the fund they started investing in us. They’ve created new investment vehicles just to get into Thinkific more. So they’ve been super supportive in every way.”