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This article was published 28/12/2018 (329 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Bold Commerce, the Winnipeg e-commerce software company, has formed a board of directors with three independent directors in addition to the company’s four founders.
The move could be a prelude to the company’s first-ever injection of outside capital, which is likely to be announced in the coming weeks. Bold has become the largest app developer for the Ottawa-based Shopify e-commerce platform.
In six years, Bold Commerce, which has been entirely self-funded to date, has outgrown successive locations. The company now has about 260 employees and expects to hire another 150 in 2019 alone.
Joining the board are well-known Manitoba business leaders Michael Legary and Curwin Friesen, as well as Tim Jackson, based in Waterloo, Ont.
Legary is a Winnipeg information technology entrepreneur who built one of the country’s first cybersecurity firms with a national base of government and private sector clients. He has taken on a leadership role in the startup community and is currently a senior adviser on economic development issues for both the province and the city.
Curwin Friesen is currently the CEO of GVE Inc. (Greenvalley Equipment), which owns a chain of John Deere dealerships. Previously he was the CEO of Friesens printing company in Altona. He is also a shareholder and chairman of Permission Click and is active on several corporate and not-for-profit boards.
Tim Jackson is currently the CEO of SHAD, a Waterloo-based enrichment and entrepreneurship program and network that empowers exceptional high school students. He’s also the co-founder and partner of the Waterloo venture capital firm Tech Capital Partners. Prior to that, he ran a company called PixStream, where he raised more than $60 million in equity capital and negotiated the $550-million sale of the company to Cisco Systems, in one of the largest technology company acquisitions in Canada at the time.
Yvan Boisjoli, co-founder and CEO of Bold Commerce, said the decision to form a board of directors is part of the general guiding philosophy of the company, which encourages its own staff to find mentors within the company to grow and learn and share ideas.
"This is really no different," he said. "As founders we really don’t know what’s coming and (whatever it is), we have never done it before. To have people with that knowledge and experience to bounce ideas off and learn from — instead of learning the hard way, which we have done for the past six years — will be beneficial for the company."
Co-founder Jason Myers said, "Our company has evolved and we have gotten to the point where we wanted the wisdom of people who have gone through building successful businesses. These three people come with unique skill sets and experience we thought filled some missing pieces for us."
Growing from 110 to 262 employees in 2018, Bold has been recognized for its innovation in the tech community. Reporting a 3,692 per cent growth in revenue, Bold was ranked 12th out of the fastest-growing tech companies in Canada on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 list in 2017, and won the Emerging Entrepreneur award from Ernst & Young last year.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.
Updated on Friday, December 28, 2018 at 6:26 AM CST: Adds photo