What follows is based on the Venture Capital Canadian Market Overview for year 2019 as published by Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association (CVCA).

2019 was an incredibly impressive year for venture capital investment in Canada as a record CAD $6.2B was invested over 539 deals. This represents a 69% increase than the CAD $3.7B invested in 2018 and three times more than when CVCA began market analysis in 2013. The last quarter of 2019 alone contributed CAD $1.6B to the staggering new record.

Excluding the CAD $50M+ deals, the average deal size in 2019 was $5.6M, an 11% increase from the $5M in 2018. Some of 2019 notable deals were:

  • – $515M VC growth financing of St. John’s-based Verafin from a syndicate of investors that included Information Venture Partners, BDC Co-Investments, Northleaf Capital and Teralys Capital;
  • – $332M series D round in Vancouver-based Clio by US investors;
  • – $265M series A round in Toronto-based 1Password by a syndicate of US Investors;
  • – $227M growth financing of Quebec City-based Coveo Solutions Inc. by a syndicate which included Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and OMERS Growth Equity;
  • – Montreal-based Element AI’s $200M series B round from investors that included Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec;

In terms of sectors, Canadian ICT companies took the majority of investment receiving 66% (CAD $4.1B over 308 deals), Canadian life sciences received 17% share (CAD $1.1B over 177 deals), and cleantech took 7% (CAD $407M over 29 deals).
Ontario-based companies received 39% of the entire investment; Quebec-based companies were second to follow at 25% followed by BC-based companies with 20% share.
Early stage companies received 43% ($2.7B over 244 deals) of total investment. Growth equity deals accounted for 28% ($1.7B over 24 deals) and later stage for 23% ($1.4B over 82 deals).

What Does This Mean?

This means that Canada is comfortably on the fast lane to becoming an innovation power house. The 69% increase from 2018 in VC funding and the fact that the deal sizes are getting bigger are strong indications of Canadian establishment in the start-up world.

The report is also promising for early stage start-ups as they were the main recipients of VC funds at 43% in comparison to later stage start-ups. This means that Canadian VCs are becoming more receptive to early stage investments thereby creating ample opportunities for early stage start-ups in Canada.

This report can also help you identify which Canadian provinces offer higher chances for VC funding. Top Canadian provinces in order of securing the number of deals from VCs are:

2019 RankProvinceNumber of DealsTotal VC Investment
3British Colombia77$1.3B
5Nova Scotia23$67
6New Brunswick15$16M
8New FoundLand & Labrador6$114M
9Prince Edward Island2$1M