TORONTO—Venture capital (VC) investment in Canada is off to a rousing start in 2018, topping $800 million in the first quarter of the year, according to KPMG Enterprise’s Venture Pulse Q1 2018 report.
The global analysis of venture funding noted the Canadian market saw a number of higher value deals this quarter, accounting for the second-highest quarter ever for total capital invested, although total deals edged down to 72 in the quarter.
“Domestic and international VC investors have their sights set on Canada and have taken note of the country’s early leadership in breakthrough fields such as AI, fintech, healthtech and biotech,” says Sunil Mistry, a Partner in the Enterprise and Technology, Media & Telecommunications practices at KPMG in Canada.
“VC money is increasingly drawn to Canada because of the country’s stable economy, its highly skilled and diverse workforce, and growing technology ecosystems in Toronto-Waterloo, Vancouver and Montréal.”
Last month Toronto was ranked as one of the world’s leading tech innovation hubs of the future in KPMG International’s latest Global Technology Innovation report.
The Canadian entrepreneurial scene continues to attract a steady flow of VC investment. Total VC raised in Canada during the first quarter of 2018 climbed higher due to a large raise by a biofuels producer, and seven other financings of Canadian companies each exceeding $20 million.
“Canada’s VC market bucked a downward trend in 2016 when it reached a seven-year high for total VC invested, and that optimism continued last year with a solid back half of 2017,” adds Mistry.
For its part, the Canadian government is also committed to further developing the country’s VC market and innovation ecosystems with the introduction of the $1.2-billion Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, and $125 million in funding for a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
According to Mistry, “these initiatives should help spur additional VC investment through the remainder of 2018 and help cement Canada’s position as a global leader in AI.”
Learn more about global VC investments during the first quarter of 2018 by accessing the full report, including references to Canada on pages 30, 31 and 38.