Cofounded by Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, Wattpad provides a free way for people to read fiction and share creative writing on any type of web and mobile device. The Canadian company won our own Best Overall Canadian Startup of the Year award last year.
“Wattpad is a terrific example of a game changing technology solution that is a winner not only because of its incredible innovation but also because of the company’s ability to hit the ground running, going after a large market with a sound business plan,” says Eugene Bomba of PwC’s Emerging Technology Company practice.
Wattpad has grown to 10 million unique users in 2012, who spend about 2.4 billion minutes per month on average with the service (70% from mobile devices), with 8 million stories shared.
“We saw an opportunity to fundamentally re-invent the way the publishing industry has traditionally worked, making it easier to share and exchange content between storywriters and readers,” says Allen. “We are excited to be awarded the 2012 Innovator of the Year Award."
The Innovator of the Year Award acknowledges the company that has best demonstrated the commercialization of an innovative technology solution. Nominees must showcase an innovation that is new, unique and demonstrates customer acceptance.
Quebec-based Acquisio and Toronto-based Infusion were runners-up.
Below is PwC's list of 10 Canadian tech startups worth watching.
1. Wattpad – Toronto
2. Acquisio – Brossard
3. Infusion – Toronto
4. 500px – Toronto
5. BroadbandTV – Vancouver
6. Mobovivo – Calgary
7. N8 Identity – Burlington
8. Nulogy – Toronto
9. UXP Systems – Toronto
10. Vana Workforce – Burlington
(Yes, seven out of 10 are based in Ontario. Remind you of something?)
“The strength of these companies is a reflection of Canada's tech startup community, which has reached a new level of growth and maturity," Eugene says. "Startup CEOs are optimistic and the majority continue to take an aggressive approach to business planning and execution, while understanding that innovation takes many forms—from improving on what already exists to completely disrupting an industry.”