The Canadian landscape for venture-backed companies is growing more robust as funding and deals hit record highs in 2018, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC Canada) and CB Insights.
Funding and deals to Canadian VC-backed companies hit US$3.5 billion across 471 deals last year, according to the MoneyTree Canada report. The fourth quarter was particularly strong, seeing a 79% quarter-over-quarter jump in funding to US$983 million, up from $548 million in Q3, with 116 deals compared to 96.
“Corporate investors will likely participate in more deals this coming year as investors recognize the growing market opportunity within Canada,” says Anand Sanwal, co-founder and CEO of CB Insights, in a statement.
A 26% increase in the average deal size of expansion-stage deals showed that firms in the Canadian technology sector are scaling well, says Michael Dingle, PwC Canada’s national technology sector leader.
“While deal count has risen across all stages of funding, the increase in total investment was mostly driven by larger cheque sizes in expansion and later-stage deals,” Dingle says in a statement.
Toronto and Vancouver were the top markets in deal activity, with year-over-year funding increases of 47% and 14%, respectively.
“Sectors of strength include artificial intelligence, fintech, and digital health that all hit record funding highs in 2018. Investment and deals also increasingly flowed to top markets – Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Québec City, and Calgary,” Sanwal says.
Some of the companies involved in 2018’s largest deals were: Montreal-based Enerkem ($224 million), Québec City-based Ocean Group ($112 million) and Coveo ($100 million), Montreal-based Hopper ($100 million) and Ottawa-based Assent Compliance ($100 million).
The report notes that Canadian investors participated in 67% of all deals to Canadian venture-backed companies.