By Mark Evans
In many ways, the sale of Radian6 was just a matter of time. As a leading player in the fast-growing social media monitoring business, Radian6 was a big target for anyone looking to quickly establish a strong foothold. So when Salesforce.com rolled in with a $326-million offer, it wasn’t much of a surprise.
For Canada, the sale of Radian6 is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s disappointing to see another Canadian company snapped up by a foreign buyer. On the other, it shows that successful and world-class technology firms can be nurtured and financed here. Radian6 had enough time and money (from investors such as BrightSpark) to embrace an aggressive growth strategy and become a $40-million company.
Far too many high-tech startups in Canada never get the chance to get this big because they can’t find the financial support to make it happen. And even if a startup has strong prospects and sales traction, they often have to pursue money outside Canada. The sale of Radian6, and last summer’s sale of Sysomos to MarketWire (Note: I’m director of communications with Sysomos), should be huge confidence boosters for the Canadian startup scene.
Last month, Sarah Prevette wrote a column in the Toronto Star wondering why there weren’t more startup success stories in Canada. In many ways, she’s right that Canada’s active and enthusiastic startup community should be doing better.
But the success of Radian6 and Sysomos demonstrate that, with some financing, it is possible for Canadian startups to not only take on the world but dominate a new and fast-growing market such as social media monitoring and analytics.
First published on markevanstech.com.