Shopify Rival Lightspeed Eyes Growth in Europe, Asia Pacific


Lightspeed POS Inc., a Canadian payments software company with ambitions to take on Shopify Inc., is “just getting started” with international market opportunities, Chief Executive Officer Dax Dasilva said.

The Montreal-based company already generates more than half its revenue from outside North America, including in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. “We have a lot of untapped places where we haven’t grown yet,” Dasilva said in an interview. He sees most of Asia, Africa and Middle East as potential “greenfields.”

Following this week’s launch of a payments tool for hospitality companies in five new European markets including France and Germany, Lightspeed plans to expand the service to the Asia-Pacific region in coming months.

Acquisitions have been key to the company’s growth. Lightspeed reported $116 million in sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which ended June 30, beating analysts’ expectations with a 220% increase over the previous year. Revenue from subscriptions and transactions grew 78% excluding acquisitions, but the loss widened.

Lightspeed’s U.S.-listed shares are up 36% this year, pushing the company’s market value to more than $12.8 billion.

Name Change

While the company is best known for its point-of-sale software, it is “much more than that,” Dasilva said, prompting the company to change its name to Lightspeed Commerce. Shareholders approved the move on Thursday.

As the company grows, Dasilva says competition over talent is going to be a “global digital crunch,” now that many employees can work from anywhere.

Canada’s tech companies have long suffered from a brain drain to the U.S., as skilled workers favor higher salaries in the country’s southern neighbor. With demand for talent booming and new global tech entrants expanding to Canada, local companies have faced a hiring challenge over recent months.

From Dasilva’s perspective, Canadian tech companies need to become category leaders -- the kind of organizations “people want to build,” he said -- to win tech talent.

For Lightspeed, it also doesn’t hurt that their Montreal headquarters is a castle-like former railway hotel, a destination which feeds into “the appeal of why we’re blazing,” Dasilva said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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