Toronto skyline including the CN Tower, Toronto's Financial District, and the home of many of Canada's top startup companies

Toronto is home to some of North America’s top startups, and the city is a continental tech hub.

The largest city in Canada and Ontario’s capital is an international business centre for finance, business, arts, and culture with a thriving startup tech sector. In fact, recently, Toronto ranked fourth in North America in CBRE’s Tech Talent Rankings trailing only the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. This ranking accounts for each market’s depth, vitality, and attractiveness to companies seeking tech talent and to tech workers seeking employment. Popular roles within tech include developers, data scientists, data analysts, product managers, tech support, QA, and many other flourishing career opportunities.

Skyline of downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada showing the top startups in the Greater Toronto Area

Startups by definition are companies relatively new to the market. For the purpose of these rankings, companies founded post-2010 are included, although many of the city’s top tech companies, like Top Hat and Wattpad, are worthy of consideration.

These rankings take into consideration fastest-growing and best to work for, with data pulled from Linkedin, CBRE, the Globe and Mail, Forbes, and Canada’s Top-100.

15 Toronto Startups To Watch

1. Opencare

Year founded: 2012

This Toronto startup provides a platform that connects users with local dentists based on personalized preferences.

What you should know: Opencare brings a modern experience to a traditional industry. Through connecting locals with top-ranked dentists in their area, Opencare is quickly growing. Right now, the company is hiring in marketing, product, engineering, and customer success.

2. Drop

Year founded: 2015

Drop is a customer loyalty program, in which users earn points using their linked debit or credit cards. Users purchase items through Drop, and are rewarded with Drop “points,” for which they can redeem towards gift cards from a selection of partner retailers.

What you should know: Drop started in Toronto in 2015, and expanded to the U.S. market in 2017. As COVID-19 has accelerated business online, look for Drop will look to expand its offering. Drop raised US$44 million as part of their series B round in August 2019, and has quickly grown to more than 1 million users.

3. Connected

Year founded: 2014

Connected helps brands build software products.

What you should know: Don’t call them a dev shop, design agency or consultant. Instead, Connected is a full-service company that helps brands in the research and development phase, as well as development and launch, including everything in between. The company is 100% employee-owned and was ranked one of LinkedIn’s top-25 startups in Canada in 2019. Company culture is also big at Connected. Upon joining the company, each employee is assigned a house (like in Harry Potter) with quarterly competitions amongst the groups.

4. Ritual

Year founded: 2014

Ritual is a food- and drink-ordering app that allows users to pre-order and pre-pay to pick up from a wide variety of local restaurants and coffee shops. Think Starbucks or McDonald’s ordering apps, but for a greater selection of local restaurants and bars.

What you should know: Ritual helped bring the workplace together through lunching. The pre-ordering app is known for its convenience (skip long lines) and the ability to piggyback on orders, where one of your colleagues can pick up food for multiple people. This summer, Ritual raised close to $30 million in funding and has refocused efforts on existing markets after ceasing operations in Europe.

5. Loopio

Year founded: 2014

Loopio helps companies answer RFPs, RFIs, DDQs, and more.

What you should know: Loopio’s customer base includes more than 800 companies including Thomson Reuters, IBM, Netskope, Sprinklr, and Citrix. Loopio ranked No. 79 on the Globe and Mail’s Top-400 Fastest Growing Companies Globe with a three-year growth average of 681%. The company is currently hiring for its customer success, engineering, and product teams.

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6. StackAdapt

Year founded: 2013

StackAdapt is a programmatic advertising platform helping agencies accelerate customer engagement and acquisition.

What you should know: With a three-year growth rate of 754%, StackAdapt slots in at No. 69 in the Globe and Mail’s Top-400 Fastest Growing Companies. The bulk of the programmatic advertising platform’s team is a mix of engineers, product marketers, account managers, and data analysts and data scientists.

Photo of Toronto’s skyline including the financial district and the CN Tower

7. League

Year founded: 2014

League provides a single access hub for employees to engage with their health, lifestyle and benefit programs.

What you should know: League has been included in Canada’s top startups three years running, according to Linkedin’s annual rankings. The company was also named to the CB Insights Digital Health 150 and CB Insights Fintech 250. League continues to grow rapidly—as of writing, the Toronto startup is hiring for 12 roles, mainly in engineering, at its Canadian headquarters.

8. Wealthsimple

Year founded: 2014

Wealthsimple is a Canadian online investment management service targeted towards millennials that simplifies banking and investing.

What you should know: Wealthsimple is perhaps one of Canada’s best-known startups, although the company may have grown out of that category given their large market share and size. Recently, Wealthsimple raised $114 million from a U.S. venture capital fund valuing the Canadian company at more than $1 billion giving them unicorn status. The Toronto-based company’s primary business is a robo-advisor, but they’ve expanded to savings accounts, ETF and stock trading, and tax services (via SimpleTax).

9. Clearbanc

Year founded: 2015

Clearbanc focuses on revenue-share agreements with startups, and is known for offering equity-free investments in companies.

What you should know: Clearbanc is perhaps best known for its co-founder Michele Romanow, a popular guest on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. In 2018, she was named to Forbes Top 20 Most Disruptive "Millennials on a Mission.” Clearbanc interestingly uses AI to help value companies as their proprietary software connects with businesses financials to determine the health of the company.

10. Maple

Year founded: 2015

Maple provides online access to healthcare professionals for those seeking medical help.

What you should know: This company's name couldn't be more Canadian—it comes from the nation's most recognized symbol. Maple is based in Toronto, and provides a new way of connecting with healthcare professionals. Notably, a click of a button connects you with a physician, 24/7, and within minutes. According to Crunchbase, Loblaw Companies Limited and RBC Ventures are the most recent investors, and the company has raised $73 million in a series of rounds.

11. integrate.ai

Year founded: 2017

Integrate.ai uses machine learning and cross-industry intelligence to help predict customers' needs before they happen.

What you should know: As customer data becomes increasingly on trend (see the Social Dilemma), integrate.ai became the world's first AI-powered consumer intelligence network to hold the Privacy by Design Certification. Former Facebook and Instagram executive Steve Irvine founded the company in 2017, and continues to lead the company as CEO.

12. BlueDot

Year founded: 2013

BlueDot is a health technology company whose flagship product provides a SaaS (software as a service) used to map the spread of infectious diseases.

What you should know: BlueDot software is being used to track outbreaks of COVID-19, and the company has received heightened coverage since the coronavirus first emerged. In fact, on Dec. 30, nine days before the World Health Organization released a statement on the coronavirus, BlueDot picked up a “cluster” of “unusual pneumonia” in Wuhan, China, and flagged the spike.

13. Borrowell

Year founded: 2014

Borrowell is a fintech (financial technology) company that offers Canadians free access to their credit score, as well as a suite of other products including recommendations for financial products, educational tips, and tools to improve credit.

What you should know: Borrowell does what was previously only available to Canadians at a price. Their free credit score is one of a number of products they offer, and the company relies heavily on customer data, both for their product (they have an AI-powered recommendation system), and in their hiring. Borrowell has also been named to the Fintech 100, a compilation of the world’s top financial technology companies.

14. Ada

Year founded: 2016

Ada is an artificial-intelligence powered chatbot that allows businesses to speak directly with prospective customers.

What you should know: Ada’s growth has been exponential to date--the company started with two employees. Today, Ada employs more than 120 people in its Toronto office. Of note, Ada allows live agents to focus on issues of greater impact, while Ada provides a support role answering questions that customers have.

15. Mejuri

Year founded: 2013

Mejuri is a direct-to-consumer company that sells fine jewelry at comparatively-low prices.

What you should know: The jewelry e-commerce company started out through crowdsourcing efforts, and the brand relaunched in 2015 after being founded in 2013. Mejuri operates primarily directly to consumers (via online), but has expanded in recent years to sell through brick and mortar storefronts. More than 75% of its workforce is women, and is currently hiring for six roles in Toronto, and a number for its Bueno Aires office.

How Lighthouse Labs helps Canadian startups

Lighthouse Labs Bootcamp Graduates After Demo Day in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Another growing sector within tech is data. As mountains of data pile up, companies need to properly collect, clean, and analyze data to be able to make better business decisions. A relatively young career path still, demand for data scientists and data analysts has sky-rocketed in recent years. To accelerate a career change, our 12-week data science bootcamp will equip you with the skills needed to start, and succeed in, a new profession.