Canada’s Best Ed-Tech Startup Goes IPO

Thinkific has an off-chance of becoming the Shopify of Online Courses. The Vancouver based startup has raised over $160 million CAD in gross proceeds in its IPO, this after raising $22 million so far in its history.

Entrepreneurial Centric Course Builder in the Cloud

  • Thinkific is a leading cloud-based software platform that enables entrepreneurs and established businesses to create, market and sell online courses.
  • Course creators can easily build and launch customized learning products for their audiences under their own brand, with no technical expertise required.
  • The platform is designed to create transformative learning experiences for students, and drive sustainable revenue for businesses through enterprise-grade functionality and extensibility for growth.

At the Last Futurist we like how the product allows others to build courses and earn revenue from those, a bit like the empowering influence Shopify has had on indie E-commerce businesses.

Thinkific says that it’s seen 150% year-over-year growth and is being valued at over $1 billion. With IPO hype the stock hit as high as $16.

Its growth since 2018 really is quite impressive with the expected acceleration in 2020 with the lockdowns. Still we have to be realistic about its ceiling given its Canadian location.

The software-as-a-service firm plans to use the proceeds from its IPO to invest in sales and marketing, develop its platform, and strengthen its balance sheet in order to pursue unspecified “future opportunities.”

Founded in 2012 by CEO Greg Smith, COO Miranda Lievers, CTO Matt Payne, and Chief Strategy Officer Matt Smith, it has really come of age during the pandemic. It also offers a sweet spot of the future of Ed-Tech, which is going to be just a huge TAM. The founders appear grounded, laid back and forward looking.

For the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2020 Thinkific recorded $21.07 million USD in revenue and a net loss of $1.29 million, according to its preliminary prospectus. This revenue was more than double its 2019 total of $9.8 million and more than triple its 2018 total of $6 million.

That’s good, but it’s not as great as it might at first appear. Many Canadian IPOs get pretty pricey before mean reversion takes place. Still, this startup bears watching since Ed-Tech is one of the next major sectors in technology and society.

After the IPO, Rhino Group, along with Greg and Matt Smith own a total of 57 million multiple voting shares, accounting for 79 percent of Thinkific’s outstanding shares, and 97 percent voting power. That’s an incredible amount of control the founders have.

In December, Thinkific surpassed 100 million total course enrolments on its platform, serving customers across 165 different countries. To date, Thinkific claims it has helped over 50,000 entrepreneurs and businesses earn over $650 million through online courses.

So this means the startup has raised around $182 million to date.

  • Creators can easily build and launch customized online courses for their audiences under their own brand, with no technical experience required.
  • The Thinkific platform is designed for ease of use, reliability and scale, using enterprise-level technology to enable course creators to develop transformative learning experiences for their students and drive sustainable revenue for their businesses.

It’s highly likely this company will be acquired before 2026.

“With the growing democratization of education and the expanding opportunities for businesses to monetize their skills and knowledge online, we envision that doors will continue to open across the world to a new era of Knowledge Entrepreneurship,” commented Greg Smith.

In my estimation, $THNC is a buy under $6.50. This is not financial advice, and more for entertainment purposes. Always do your own due diligence.

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