Bill Ackman is widely considered one of the best public markets investors in history.
Through his hedge fund Pershing Square, he has made a number of big calls and bold bets, both on individual companies poised to grow and on big picture trends which will move markets.
However, while he’s well known for his activist letters and outspoken perspectives on the future, there’s something many people are unaware of: he’s been quietly betting big on a relatively unknown Canadian public company.
- In December 2020, technology company WeCommerce went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture market. The company raised $60 million (CAD) concurrently with their public listing
- WeCommerce was a Shopify app roll-up entity created by Tiny
- Upon listing, shares of WeCommerce rocketed from $7 to over $20
- WeCommerce was largely owned by two Canadian entrepreneurs, Andrew Wilkinson and Chris Sparling, who were also the founders of Tiny
- Through his family office, Table Holdings, Bill Ackman owned approximately 15% of WeCommerce
- It’s also worth noting that Bill Ackman’s involvement came serendipitously. Andrew Wilkinson and Chris Sparling won a charity auction to have lunch with Bill Ackman. After their lunch, he was so impressed with their approach to tech, he asked to become an investor
- As markets went into turbulence last year, so did WeCommerce's share price, falling from a high of $29.50 to a low of $2.50
- WeCommerce eventually bottomed out at a price of $1.90 per share
- Then came a big announcement: Andrew Wilkinson and Chris Sparling were decided to merge Tiny with WeCommerce, creating a massive roll up of tech and software companies
- The new combined entity took the name Tiny and the trading symbol TINY on the Toronto Venture Exchange
- News of the merger resulted in the share price doubling, and a new market capitalization of approximately $700 million
- Andrew Wilkinson and Chris Sparling, who own a combined 81% of Tiny, have been vocal for a long time about wanting to build a “Berkshire Hathaway for tech”
- Tiny is an impressive collection of numerous businesses, across digital agencies, technology, software and more, boasting $36M CAD in their last quarter
- The shareholder base of Tiny is equally as noteworthy, with Bill Ackman continuing to retain all of his equity and Freemark Partners, the family office of legendary investor Howard Marks, as another large shareholder
- While little has been discussed publicly about the future plans of Tiny, they have shown a deep acumen for acquiring accretive assets and building one of the most significant roll ups in Canadian tech history