Venture capital (VC) investments in Canada are on track to surpass last year’s totals, but private equity is slumping, according to the latest statistics from Canada’s Venture Capital and private Equity Association (CVCA).
VC investments totalled $2.1 billion in the nine months ended Sept. 30, which is just 9% short of the total invested in 2015, the CVCA reports, adding “there’s every indication that 2016 VC investment will surpass last year’s numbers.”
In the third quarter alone, VC investments reached $605 million in 111 deals, the CVCA reports, noting that average deal sizes are on the upswing in several sectors, including technology, life sciences and agribusiness. Furthermore, the average size of VC deals this year is $5.83 million, which is the highest level since 2013.
“The higher average deal size we’re seeing for VC investment demonstrates continued confidence in Canadian entrepreneurs,” says Mike Woollatt, CEO of the CVCA, in a statement. “Canadian VC is on a much needed upswing.”
In contrast, this year has been relatively slow for private equity, the CVCA says, citing “the high relative valuations in the current environment” as dampening investment.
So far, $9 billion has been invested over 271 private equity deals this year, down by about 55% from the same time last year when $20 billion was invested over 311 deals.
Almost one-third of the private equity activity has been in the oil and gas sector, the CVCA says, followed by the tech and cleantech sectors.
“[Private equity] remains in a bit of a holding pattern, particularly in its leading category of oil and gas,” Woollatt says. “It’s looking like 2016 will end up more like 2013 than the huge levels we saw in 2014 and 2015.”
Tough market conditions are continuing to hamper exits for private equity investors, the CVCA says, and that there have only been $3.5 billion in exits so far this year compared with $11 billion last year.