Building A Solid Base For Growth

The Okanagan has provided great support for Staffbase employees, providing a lot of benefits of a major centre.

When a business is included on three fastest-growing company lists in one year, you know they are going places. This was certainly the case for Kelowna-based Bananatag, who in 2020 was listed on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 North America List, The Globe and Mail’s list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies, and Rocket Builders annual Ready to Rocket list, which profiles BC tech companies who they predict will grow faster than their peers by delivering on technology sector trends.

The rise to the top started when Corey Wagner helped launch Bananatag in 2011. He and his co-founders, who all grew up in the Okanagan, set out to help companies, especially those with a distributed workforce, successfully deliver their internal communication.

“Our core belief is that internal communication moves people, and people move companies,” says Wagner. “Our solutions have been developed for enterprises who are looking to bring employee communication and employee experience to a new, modern level.”

Over 10 years, the Kelowna- based company grew to 150 employees and opened an office in Vancouver. In March 2021, Bananatag was propelled even further ahead when it merged with Germany’s Staffbase, a company with complementary software and strength in the European market, to form the world’s largest and fastest-growing internal communications company. While the Bananatag name has been retired, the ethos of the company remains.

Staffbase now employs more than 675 people across North America and Europe, providing service to 1,350+ businesses worldwide, including companies like Adidas, Audi, and Ikea.

While Wagner notes that the institutions and infrastructure in the Okanagan provided great support for the business, he believes it’s the world-class people in Kelowna that are the biggest draw.

“When new team members join, they always comment that everyone is so nice, people recognize that, and they want to be part of it.”

“Starting a business in the Central Okanagan is great because you and your employees get to enjoy a lot of the benefits of being near a major centre, without a lot of the downsides.”