Canadian VC sustains robust pace as top Q2 deals raise C$518 mln

Canada’s top 10 venture-capital financings in the second quarter drew C$518 million ($400 million) from investors, up 8 percent from the C$480 million that went into the top 10 deals a year earlier.

The number is based on Venture Capital Journal’s list of the largest deals announced from April through June, supplemented by preliminary data from Thomson Reuters. The list is headed by Element AI, Repare TherapeuticseStruxture Data Centers and Wealthsimple.

The data, when combined with the results of Q1 2017, suggest Canadian VC investment activity this year is so far keeping pace with the robust trend lines of 2016. Venture invested hit C$3.6 billion in 2016, a 15-year high.

At the end of June, VC funds invested C$1.75 billion ($1.35 billion) in Canada, preliminary Thomson Reuters data show. That’s not far behind the C$1.78 billion invested in the first half of last year. It also exceeds by 39 percent the C$1.25 billion invested in H1 2015.

Historically large round sizes are one of the reasons Canada’s venture market is continuing to show strength in 2017, despite early predictions of a pullback in deal-making.

1) Element AI (Montréal)

Artificial-intelligence-solutions company Element AI last month secured more than C$137 million ($102 million) in a Series A roundDCVC led and was joined by Real Ventures, BDC CapitalFidelity Investments, Hanwha Investment, Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, National Bank of Canada, NVIDIATencent and several sovereign-wealth funds.

2) Repare Therapeutics (Montréal)

Repare Therapeutics, a developer of precision oncology drugs, emerged from stealth in June to raise about C$90 million ($68 million) in a Series A financingVersant Ventures and MPM Capital led the round. Fonds de solidarité FTQCelgene and BDC Capital were among the other investors.

3) eStruxture Data Centers (Montréal)

Last month eStruxture Data Centers was launched with initial funding led by Canderel and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The deal provided the network and cloud-neutral data centre operator with C$80 million, which it will use in part to make acquisitions, such as Netelligent Hosting Services.

4) Wealthsimple (Toronto)

Online investment manager Wealthsimple collected C$50 million in a Series B financing in May. There was only one investor, Power Financial, which has to date committed C$100 million to the company, including the latest round. Wealthsimple is also backed by Impression Ventures.

5) D-Wave Systems (Vancouver)

D-Wave Systems, a quantum-computing systems and software provider, in May inked a deal for about C$68 million ($50 million), roughly C$41 million of which was invested immediately. The source of the convertible notes facility was PSP Investments. D-Wave’s other backers include BDC Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs and In-Q-Tel.

6) Monteris Medical (Winnipeg)

In June Monteris Medical raised about C$36 million ($26.6 million) in Series C funding. The round was led by new investors Versant Ventures and SightLine Partners and joined by existing VCs Birchview Capital and BDC Capital. Monteris develops minimally invasive laser ablation systems for treating brain lesions.

7) Wave (Toronto)

Cloud financial-management-software company Wave took more than C$32 million ($24 million) in follow-on VCNational Australia BankRBCPortag3 Ventures and Exhibition Capital committed to the May round. CRV, Social Capital, BDC Capital, OMERS VenturesHarbourvest and OurCrowd, all repeat investors, also signed on.

8) Nymi (Toronto)

Nymi in May secured more than C$20 million ($15 million) in a Series B round. New backer GII Tech Ventures led and was joined by Relay Ventures and Ignition Partners, which together led the company’s Series A round in 2014. Nymi has created a wearable authentication device for enterprise use.

9) TouchBistro (Toronto)

TouchBistro, provider of an iPad point-of-sale app for restaurants, accounted for C$16.3 million in Series C funding in May. The round was led by Napier Park Financial Partners and Recruit Group. There was also participation from TouchBistro’s prior investors, among them BDC CapitalRelay Ventures and Kensington Capital Partners.

10) Agrisoma Biosciences (Gatineau)

In April Agrisoma Biosciences closed a C$15.4 million Series B financing. The round was led by Lune Rouge, the investment vehicle of Guy LalibertéCycle Capital Management and BDC Capital. Agrisoma is the developer of an oilseed crop designed for the sustainable production of biofuels.

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