On this day last year, global stocks capped off a historic one-month collapse with another epic fall.

While no one knew at the time, that marked the COVID-19 nadir.

Over the course of the following week, governments around the world said just stay at home, we’ll pay for it.

And by the end of April, the ASX had posted its biggest monthly gain in 32 years (off the March lows).

The ensuing 12 months have given rise to a unique post-COVID bull run, led by high-growth tech stocks and commodity plays in a low-rates environment awash with government stimulus.

At the small cap end of the ASX, that’s resulted in no less than 61 companies recording an annual gain of 1,000pc or more.

Among some barnstorming returns, Malaysia-based fintech IOUpay (ASX:IOU) led the pack with a gain of 6,971pc.

Here are the biggest winners since markets bottomed out at the height of the pandemic panic:

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After climbing off the mat from less than 1c to a trading range of around 15c at the start of this year, IOU shares surged higher in February as sophisticated investors backed the company with a $50m share placement priced at 50c per share, to pursue its BNPL strategy in the Malaysian market.

Another massive fintech winner was payments company Cirralto (ASX:CRO), which surged from 0.5c in July last year to highs above 12c in February.

It came amid some torrid trading activity in Cirralto shares, which saw the stock rise to an intra-day high above 20c on February 17 before falling back.

This morning, the company responded to an ASX query regarding a breach of the company’s Trading Policy in connection with a disposal of shares by CEO Adrian Floate.

As part of its response, the Cirralto board said it plans to undertake a review of the firm’s Trading Policy which will include additional compliance steps.

Stockhead’s Nick Sundich has also provided a recap of 10 stocks that posted annual gains of more than 2,000 per cent since March 2020.