Canadian venture activity soars in robust H1

The Canadian venture capital market experienced a record-setting second quarter and the highest amount of invested capital during H1 of a year yet.

Canada’s venture community saw more than C$2.2 billion ($1.65 billion) invested across 256 deals during the first six months of 2019, according to a report released on Aug. 27 by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA). This represented about a 25 percent year-over-year capital growth from the same period last year, which had C$1.6 billion invested into 266 deals.

More than C$1.283 billion of this capital was invested during the second quarter, the most ever during a single quarter for the region.

The majority of the capital during the first half of 2019 was through 11 mega-deals that were valued at a collective C$895 million.

The largest transactions involved Fusion Pharmaceuticals raking in more than C$140 million in April. Other notable deals include technology company, Vena Solutions Canada, collecting C$115 million in January and Wealthsimple Financial raking in C$100 million in May.

The C$1 million to C$5 million deal range saw the most amount of activity with 91 deals that represented more than C$214 million.

The early-stage ecosystem received the highest amount of invested capital with C$973 million dispersed across 111 deals.

Ontario-based startups saw C$1.1 billion of the invested capital, or 52 percent. Quebec-based companies received 25 percent of the capital, C$532 million.

Tech companies collected the majority of invested capital during the first half of 2019. The sector amassed 54 percent of the invested capital over 144 deals that were valued at a collective C$1.2 billion. Life sciences took home 27 percent of the capital, with C$586 million invested over 20 deals.

BDC Capital recorded the highest amount of deals during the first half of 2019 with 22 funding rounds that amounted to more than C$252 million. The government-backed firm focuses on early-stage tech startups and recently launched a C$250 million fund focused on industrial innovation in June.

The venture debt market moved C$66 million across 59 deals during the first half of 2019.