The 5 Biggest Canadian Software Companies

Canada is famous for hockey and maple syrup, but it is also home to some of the world's leading software companies. In fact, it is one of the leading countries for software development, and the software sector accounts for some of the biggest companies in Canada.

Five of the largest Canadian software companies include Constellation Software Inc., OpenText Corporation, CGI Inc., Descartes Systems Group Inc., and Shopify. Not only is Shopify the largest Canadian software company, but it is also now the most valuable publicly-traded company in the country.

All of these companies have different business profiles and operate on different business models, so comparing them is not apples to apples; however, they are some of the key leaders in their specific sectors under the software umbrella.

Key Takeaways

  • Canada is home to some of the leading software companies in the world.
  • Examples include OpenText, Descartes Systems, and CGI Inc.
  • While CGI Inc. is more than a software company, it develops cloud-based solutions to share information and data.
  • By far the leading software company is Shopify, an e-commerce company whose value grew more than tenfold between 2019 and late 2021.
  • Shopify is now the largest publicly-traded Canadian company, with a market capitalization of over $200 billion.

1. Shopify

Market Capitalization: $209 billion.
The newest entrant to the list of Canada's leading software companies is also the largest. Founded in 2006, this small Ottawa-based startup skyrocketed to the top of Canada's burgeoning e-commerce sector, and it is now the largest publicly-traded Canadian company in any industry.

Shopify is a commercial platform used to launch and operate online stores, allowing individuals to easily sell their products online. As of 2020, more than one million businesses use Shopify for online sales.

Shopify's market capitalization grew more than tenfold since 2019, from $15 billion to more than $200 billion.

2. Constellation Software Inc.

Market Capitalization: $46.5 billion.
Constellation Software has a market capitalization of $46.5 billion and annual revenues of nearly $4 billion in 2020. It operates internationally, offering its market-leading software and services to a number of industries that function in both the public and private sectors. Shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol CSU.

Constellation Software was established in 1995 with a goal to amass a portfolio of growing market software companies that possess the qualities necessary to make them leaders in their particular markets. Through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, the company has experienced rapid growth and established an arrangement of companies that service a large and diverse customer base. Constellation provides its services to over 30,000 consumers, operating in more than 30 countries worldwide. The company has offices in five continents, and more than 25,000 employees.

3. CGI Inc.

Market Capitalization: $21.8 billion.
CGI Inc. is a Montreal, Quebec information technology company involved in systems integrations, consulting, and outsourcing. While not strictly a software company, it does provide a number of different products, including secure cloud computing, designed to help with the sharing of information and data. CGI has a market value of $21.8 billion, making it one of the top 30 companies in Canada. The stock is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker GIB. The company had 2021 revenues of $12.13 billion.

While all of these companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, many of them are listed on U.S. exchanges as well.

4. OpenText Corporation

Market Capitalization: $14.1 billion.
OpenText Corporation, with a market cap of $14 billion, is another top Canadian software company. Headquartered in Ontario, the company cultivates and sells enterprise information management (EIM) software solutions to major companies in a large variety of industries. OpenText software applications are used to manage content or unstructured data for many types of governance and monetization requirements for large companies, professional service firms, and government agencies.

OpenText’s ongoing growth is due in large part to its many acquisitions, including Actuate Corporation, Information Graphics Corporation, GXS Inc., and Cordys. OpenText is a publicly-traded company, listed on TSX and on the NASDAQ under ticker OTEX. The firm employs approximately 14,000 people and had revenues of $3 billion in 2020.

5. Descartes Systems Group Inc.

Market Capitalization: $7.4 billion.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Descartes Systems is involved in supply chain management software, logistics software, and cloud-based services. The company almost went bankrupt in 2000 in the wake of the dotcom bubble but has since reemerged as a profitable company. Descartes Systems currently has a market cap of $7.4 billion and 2021 revenues were $348.7 million. The stock trades on TSX and on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol DSGX.

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