Venture capital investment in Canadian technology companies remained strong in Q4 2019, with $1.7 billion deployed across 143 rounds, bringing total investment for the year to $7.3 billion. This marked the most active year in dollar terms on record, final data released by Refinitiv show. The number of financings last year also rose 8 percent, to 598 rounds. Late-stage companies accounted for 28 percent of all financings, the fourth largest share ever. Canadian venture capital fundraising also set a new record in 2019, with $4.2 billion secured by 37 funds.
A full PDF report of 2019 Canadian venture capital market activity by Refinitiv is available here.
Canada venture capital investment totals $7.3 Billion in 2019
Canadian venture capital activity reached record levels in 2019, with CA$7.3 billion invested across 598 rounds. At CA$1.7 billion across 143 rounds, the fourth quarter of 2019 was down 40% from the mammoth third quarter but remained the third strongest quarter ever recorded and the fifth consecutive quarter with investment greater than CA$1 billion.
A total of eleven venture capital rounds surpassed the nine-figure mark in 2019, with two of those occurring between October and December. These were Québec-based search and analytics platform Coveo, which raised CA$227 million and Toronto-based password management software 1Password, which raised CA$185 million. Companies based within Ontario saw CA$2.7 billion invested across 235 deals, resulting in 7th place for dollar values and 4th place for volumes in the provincial & state rankings. Québec companies saw CA$1.9 billion across 185 deals for dollar and volume rankings of 11th and 6th, respectively.
Firms headquartered within the United States invested CA$2.8 billion in Canadian companies through the end of 2019, a 47% share of all disclosed dollars. This was down from the 50% share throughout the first three quarters of the year, but still above the 46% of dollars contributed by domestic sources, marking the first full year that venture capital investments from the United States into Canadian companies have exceeded those from Canada.
A total of 37 Canadian VC funds recorded closes during the year, raising a combined CA$4.2 billion in commitments, an increase of 70% compared to the previous year and a record for venture fundraising by dollars raised. Fundraising figures were led by firms iNovia, Radical Ventures, OMERS, and Northleaf, all of which raised more than CA$300 million. Newly added to the top funds raised list in the fourth quarter was Portag3 Ventures Fund II, which raised CA$229 million in its second close, bringing its total commitments to CA$427 million.
Canadian companies completed 47 VC-backed exits during the year, worth CA$2.0 billion in exit values, a 12% uptick in the number of exits and a 305% increase in values when compared to the lackluster 2018.