LinkedIn Unveils Annual Edition Of Canada’s Top Startups for 2020

LinkedIn has released the Canadian edition of the 2020 Top Startups list, featuring the top emerging startups to work for. In the wake of COVID-19, the 2020 list reflects the current state of the economy and the world, showcasing emerging and resilient startups and how they’re navigating the ever-changing world of work

The startups on this list are all experiencing growth, are still in high demand amid the pandemic, and have weathered through an increasingly challenging economic climate this year. These are the key trends we’re seeing among the Top Startups in Canada this year:

  • BREAKING BARRIERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION: Education technology companies have pivoted to embrace new virtual and flexible models to help students pursue educational opportunities remotely. This includes application assistance, online study from abroad, increase student diversity on campus, advocacy for greater flexibility in study permit requirements for international students.
  • EXPANDING ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE: Digital health startups have gained further prominence in the fight against COVID-19, as they address labour shortages, offering telehealth, pandemic healthcare needs, employee-focused health, de-stigmatization of mental health. 
  • EVOLVING FINANCIAL SERVICES: Financial services companies have ramped up innovation to help companies and consumers access the funds they need in new and creative ways, for example online valuation tools and emergency funding for startups, early access to paycheques and government support for consumers.

These are the top emerging startups on LinkedIn right now:

  1. Clearbanc – As e-commerce booms in Canada over the pandemic, it’s no wonder this fintech startup – which specializes in funding online brands – has found its way to the top of the list. Clearbanc has also recently launched a tool to help startups assess their own worth.
  2. Drop – Drop is a personalized platform that matches consumers with brands through a mobile app, allowing customers to earn points for purchases that can be redeemed for rewards. The company has raised over $71M from global investors, and offers employees unlimited time off.
  3. ApplyBoard – The online education platform connects students with academic institutions and recruitment partners around the world. Even as the pandemic disrupts education, the edtech startup closed another round of funding that brought its valuation to USD $1.5 billionand has continued to hire rapidly, adding nearly 250 new employees since March.
  4. BookJane – BookJane’s online platform creates a sort of gig economy for workers across health care facilities. As demand for doctors climbed through the pandemic, the company has been helping the Ontario Medical Association manage a shortage of physicians.
  5. Symend – Symend uses analytics and behavioural science to create individualized debt recovery programs. The startup, which has offices in Calgary, Toronto and Denver, Colorado,received USD $52 million in funding earlier this year and plans to hire up to 300 more roles in 2021.



LinkedIn measures startups based on four pillars: employment growth, engagement, job interest and attraction of top talent. Employment growth is measured as percentage headcount increase over one year, which must be a minimum of 15%. Engagement looks at non-employee views and follows of the company’s LinkedIn page, as well as how many non-employees are viewing employees at that startup. Job interest counts rate at which people are viewing and applying to jobs at the company, including both paid and unpaid postings. Attraction of top talent measures how many employees the startup has recruited away from LinkedIn Top Companies, as a percentage of the startup’s total workforce. Data is normalized across all eligible startups. The methodology time frame is January 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020. To be eligible, companies must be independent and privately held, have 50 or more employees, be 7 years old or younger and be headquartered in the country on whose list they appear. We exclude all staffing firms, think tanks, venture capital firms, management and IT consulting firms, nonprofits and philanthropy, accelerators, and government-owned entities. Startups who have laid off 20% or more of their workforce within the methodology time frame are also ineligible.

*For fairness, we have removed LinkedIn and Microsoft from consideration for the LinkedIn Top Startups list as we do with all other lists in the editorial franchise.

LinkedIn Top Startups – Canada 2020

  1. Clearbanc
  2. Drop
  3. ApplyBoard
  4. BookJane
  5. Symend
  6. Dialogue
  7. BlueDot
  8. League
  9. KOHO
  10. Maple

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