Canadian companies developing technology for the health care and education sectors have so far drawn the bulk of venture capital (VC) investment in the second quarter, according to KPMG LLP.
“While market uncertainty has slowed overall investment in the Canadian [VC] sector, funds continue to flow to firms developing technologies to combat the impacts of the coronavirus,” KPMG partner Sunil Mistry said in a release.
Vancouver-based Abcellera, a biotech company that researches and develops human antibodies, has raised $142 million this quarter. Montreal-based Ventus Therapeutics, which develops medicine aimed at boosting immune systems, has raised $81 million.
“The reality is developing a vaccine against Covid-19 is one of the most important business issues facing our economy, so it is encouraging to see investments going to Canadian startups in the space,” Mistry said.
Mistry added that the pandemic has highlighted the importance of Canada having domestic capacity to supply its own medical needs.
Waterloo-based ApplyBoard, a company that develops education software, has raised $74 million in C-series funding this quarter. ApplyBoard claims its platform is now valued at $2 billion, making the company “the newest member of Canada’s exclusive unicorn club,” KPMG said.
Canada has now created three “unicorns” in the past six months, KPMG reported.
“After a dry spell of four years when we did not see a single startup grow to a billion-dollar valuation, the recent run demonstrates a growing maturity in the Canadian marketplace,” Mistry said.
While the second quarter has yet to close, KPMG noted that Canadian VC investment is down about 30% from Q1, mirroring a trend seen around the world.