40 venture capital-backed exits in 2019 were valued at CAD $3B; triple the amount in 2018
The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) today released its year-end report focused on Canadian venture capital. Following years of consistent investment growth across all stages in the ecosystem, Canadian venture capital investment reached impressive new heights in 2019 with a record CAD $6.2B invested over 539 deals. This is 69% more than the CAD $3.7B invested in 2018 and three times more than when the CVCA began market analysis in 2013. Q4 2019 significantly contributed to the year’s total, with CAD $1.6B invested over 144 deals.
The exit environment was healthy in 2019, with 40 VC-backed exits (the same amount in 2018) valued at CAD $3B, triple the value from 2018. There were three notable exits on the public markets:
Lightspeed POS Inc.’s unicorn-level debut on TMX with a market cap of $1.1B. The company was backed by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), iNovia Capital and Teralys Capital
Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc. went public on NASDAQ valued at $468M and backed by investors that included BDC Healthcare Fund, Fonds de solidarité FTQ and inovia Capital
Lumira Ventures-backed Edesa Biotech’s Reverse-Takeover (RTO) now listed on NASDAQ with a market cap of $49M
“The performance of venture capital investment in 2019 is beyond positive and an indication of sustained confidence in the Canadian ecosystem,” said Kim Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. “Canadian entrepreneurs have continued to aggressively grow their companies and Canadian VCs are helping push Canadian innovation forward.”
Excluding mega-deals (CAD $50M+), the average deal size in 2019 was $5.6M, an 11% increase from $5M the previous year. Signalling the strength of the Canadian VC market: ten of the 28 mega-deals were over $100M and included five which exceeded $200M:
$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 Private Equity Inc.
Montreal-based Element AI’s $200M series B round from investors that included Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), BDC Capital Co-Investments and Real Ventures
Canadian information and communication technology (ICT) companies continued to take in the majority of investment, receiving 66% (CAD $4.1B over 308 deals) of total VC dollars in 2019. Life sciences received a 17% share (CAD $1.1B over 177 deals) while cleantech companies took a 7% share (CAD $407M over 29 deals).
Read the full Venture Capital Canadian Market Overview here https://central.cvca.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/CVCA_EN_Canada_VC_2019_Final.pdf
About the CVCA
Our vision: A thriving Canadian economy driven by private capital
Our Mission: CVCA’s mission is to help our members fuel the economy of the future by growing the businesses of today. We do this by supporting and connecting a vibrant private capital industry with advocacy, research, and education. CVCA is also the nation’s ultimate resource for data on Canadian private capital investments. Please visit: http://www.cvca.ca.