Ottawaâ€™s Fastest Growing Companies: Pre-pandemic pivot pays off for bug-detection firm Noibu
By: David Sali, Ottawa Business Journal. Published Apr 9, 2021.
Each year, OBJ recognizes the regionâ€™s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the cityâ€™s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year.
Little did Noibuâ€™s founders know just how prescient their decision to pivot the fledgling Ottawa software firm two years ago would be.
Originally conceived as a vehicle for offering 3D virtual tours of high-end retailersâ€™ brick-and-mortar stores, the four-year-old startup changed focus in 2019 to become a bug-detection platform for e-commerce sites.
Mere months later, the pandemic flipped the retail world on its head, triggering an online shopping boom. Noibuâ€™s product went from a niche offering to a must-have service for hundreds of customers practically overnight.
â€œIt allowed us to break into some really big names,â€ says co- founder Kailin Noivo, rhyming off global brands such as Avon, Champion and Guess among the retail giants that have signed on to Noibuâ€™s service since last March.
Year founded: 2017 ?Local headcount: 23 ?Three-year revenue growth: 960% ?2021 rank: #4 Noibuâ€™s revenues soared nearly 600 per cent in 2020 as retailers
realized that even minutes of selling time lost to glitches in their online stores could translate into a massive missed opportunity. Meanwhile, the firmâ€™s headcount has ballooned from five to 23 since the pandemic began, and Noibu expects to be at 40 employees by the end of 2021.
Realizing they needed an experienced hand at the tiller to help scale the firm, Noivo and co-founders Robert Boukine and Filip Slatinac brought Dan Cardamore â€“ a seasoned software developer whoâ€™d cut his teeth at Nortel, JDS Uniphase and BlackBerry QNX â€“ on board as CEO in mid-2019.
Noivo says the bootstrapped venture will continue to fund its own growth and has no plans to raise a headline-grabbing VC round any time soon.
â€œIâ€™d say (venture capital firms) are looking at us, but weâ€™re not looking at them,â€ he says.
Does the company face any threats?