Shift is a small, but up and coming provider based in Calgary, Alberta, and they've come to a market with a hosted IP solution (based on the BroadSoft platform). On Wednesday this week, they announced a private placement of $5.2 million, which will fund their growth, including expansion plans into Eastern Canada, and beefing up their management and sales teams. Among their management ranks is their CTO, Erik Lagerway (formerly of Eyeball and Xten/Counterpath), who is no stranger to the IP world.
I say this is a good news story for Canada, mainly because there's not much in the way of a CLEC market here, so there are few carrier-based options for SMBs outside of the handful of ILECs we have. In light of how the Telecom Panel Review is gaining credence with our regulators (i.e. pro-competition and open markets), Shift is a great example of an company bringing more choice to the market. Shift is also a public company (SHF on the TSX Venture Exchange) - albeit not widely followed - and we don't have many of those here in the IP space.
Can they take things to the next level? We'll find out soon, and if they do, at least you can say I told you first. Or almost first, as I haven't seen their news picked up anywhere else in the Canadian blogosphere, other than on Erik's blog (of course!). And if you want a better read on how the company is doing, Erik also has a post highlighting Shift's Q1 financials - which definitely show growth.