Tim Gillis: 'There's still a lot of growth in front of us.'

Tim Gillis: 'There's still a lot of growth in front of us.'

Halifax-based STI Technologies has been named to the Deloitte Fast 50, the first Atlantic Canadian company to make the list of the fastest–growing Canadian tech companies in three years.

Deloitte Canada released the list on Thursday, placing STI in the 41st place with revenue growth of 204 percent over the past four years. On Friday, Deloitte named STI to its North American Fast 50 list, assigning it the 319th spot. The company expects to have 80 employees by the end of the year, up from 57 at the end of 2014.

The company, which landed $17 million in private equity investment from Imperial Capital of Toronto in 2013, is still on a growth trajectory and is now looking to acquire more businesses to continue its growth.

“Luckily, there’s still lots of growth in front of us,” said CEO Tim Gillis in an interview on Thursday.

Read our report on STI's $17M Funding

The Fast 50 is a list of the fastest growing companies based on actual revenue over a four-year period. Heading the list this year is first-time entrant, Montreal-based men’s online clothing retailer Frank & Oak, whose sales soared 18,480 percent in the four-year period.

STI is the first Atlantic Canadian company to make the Deloitte Fast 50 since 2012, when St. John’s-based financial software company Verafin placed 25th.

STI Technologies started out in 2002 to solve a problem for the pharmaceutical industry by simplifying the way pharma companies distribute samples of new products. Rather than shipping out small samples to doctors and have them hand them out to patients, the STI platform allows drug companies to send physicians smart cards they can hand out to patients, who take them to a pharmacy along with a prescription to receive the drug. As well as cutting costs and improving safety, the STI platform allows for an orderly record of how the sample was distributed. The pharma companies that use the product include such global giants as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

A few months before the Imperial funding, STI launched a new initiative called InnoviCares, which is now the fastest-growing part of the business. At the outset, it allowed patients to stay with a brand name drug at a lower price when the drug’s patent expires, and receive savings on other health care products.

Gillis said in the interview that InnoviCares has evolved in the past two years and now includes additional features for the customer. He added the same could be said for the entire company.

“Our service offering has grown to the point where we want to be known as a patient engagement company, not just a card company,” he said.

By making the Deloitte Fast 50 this year, and being named one of the 50 Best-Managed companies in Canada last year, Gillis said the company is increasing its recognition with corporations and individuals to a greater extent.

When asked if STI needed to raise more capital, Gillis responded that, on the contrary, the company is now looking for acquisitions, as long as there is a strategic rationale and an affordable price. STI is interested in an American or Canadian acquisition that would bring the company “technology or added capability,” though it wouldn’t turn down an attractive deal in another part of the world.

The only other Atlantic Canadian company recognized by Deloitte on Thursday was Fredericton-based Smart Skin Technologies, which was one of a dozen companies names to its 2015 Companies-to-Watch list.