Archive for PE/VC News

Canadian Private Capital Continues Sustained Market Activity in First Quarter 2015 after Strong 2014

The year 2014 was a highly active one for Canadian private equity, but how will 2015 compare?  Despite a slight decrease from the high level of activity in the fourth quarter of 2014, Q1 2015 began strongly. $5.4 billion was invested in over 76 deals, up from 64 deals in Q1 2014. Ontario generated the most transactions with 28, followed by Quebec’s 24 and Alberta’s eight.

In venture capital, 121 deals were disclosed in 2015’s first quarter, with a total of $362 million invested. Ontario had the highest level of activity, with 55 deals, followed by Quebec with 34 deals, and BC with 13. Information and communications activity remained as the most active sector, with 71% of deals and 66% of total funds invested.

A survey by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association found that the majority of their members (77%) believed that the current Canadian economic conditions would be beneficial for the private capital industry. After Canada’s strong first quarter, it seems that this may be proven true, benefiting companies looking for venture capital funding or considering an acquisition as their exit strategy.

For the full Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association report, click here

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Vidyard Raises $18 Million Series B

Kitchener-based video analytics platform Vidyard has raised an $18 million Series B round of venture capital from existing investors iNovia Capital, OMERS Ventures, and SoftTech VC as well as new investors Salesforce Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.  Tyler Lessard, the company’s CMO, said that the new capital will be used to expand its workforce from 60 to 150.

Vidyard’s founders started out as producers of online videos for tech companies, then shifted the business to video content hosting services that also features a set of analytic tools that help companies to understand how their videos are being watched, providing data that can be used by marketing automation and customer relationship management platforms.  Prior to this round, the company had raised $7.7 million in venture capital.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

BuildDirect Raises Another $50 Million

Congratulations to Jeff Booth and the team at BuildDirect on their latest round of venture capital funding.  The company raised C$50 million from existing investors OMERS Ventures, BMO Capital Markets, and Mohr Davidow Ventures.  The company’s valuation for this round was reported to be approaching C$500 million and its current annualized revenue run rate exceeds C$100 million.

BuildDirect has now raised over C$112 million through five rounds of venture capital investment.  The current funding comes on the heels of a C$30 million round in January 2014 and will be used to help build out its technology platform to make it easier for other suppliers to showcase their products on the company’s website.  It also plans to expand its physical infrastructure, increasing the number of North American warehouses from 12 to 22 in the coming year.

BuildDirect is one of the most noteworthy Canadian technology companies these days.  It was founded in 1999 and is an online wholesaler of building materials for the construction industry, tradespeople, and consumers.

To read more about this transaction, click here.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

More Big VC Fundraising for Canadian Companies

The hits just keep on coming.  This week Waterloo-based Kik announced that it has raised another $38 million in venture capital funding from new investors Millennium Technology Value Partners and SV Angel as well as existing investors Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures.  This brings Kik’s total funding to $70.5 million.  With 185 million users it is no wonder that the mobile messaging company has been able to attract such remarkable sums of financing from big name US investors. Furthermore, it is already putting that money to good use by acquiring the GIF messaging app Relay, along with its 700,000 users.  To read more about the deal, click here.

This transaction comes on the heels of Montreal-based Blockstream’s whopping $21 million seed round from Khosla Ventures and Real Ventures.  It is not only impressive that the cryptocurrency company was able to raise such a large sum of very early-stage capital, but that it was able to attract the likes of Khosla Ventures, which is not know to make investments of this sort in Canada.

Kudos to both of these companies.  We hope to see lots of good news from them in the future.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Peraso Technologies Raises $20 Million in VC

Congratulations to our neighbours at Peraso Technologies on their recent $20 million round of venture capital financing (they are located in the same building as Q1 Capital, one floor down).  The company, which is in the fabless semiconductor space and is developing 60 GHz wireless chip sets, has raised over $37 million in capital to date from investors including VentureLink, Celtic House Venture Partners, iNovia Capital, and Roadmap Capital, which led the most recent round.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Good Times for Fundraising in Canada

The past few weeks have seen some impressive fundraising activity among noteworthy Canadian technology companies.  This is great news not just for the recipients of this new capital but for Canada’s tech ecosystem as well.  These transactions include:

Zafin, which is based in Vancouver and makes relationship banking software, raised $15 million in growth equity capital from Kayne Partners, bringing its total funding to date to $20 million.  This capital will allow the company to expand its line of software products and to increase its international sales and marketing efforts.

Scribble, the Toronto-based content engagement and publishing platform provider, raised $12 million in Series C venture capital funding from existing investors Rogers Venture Partners, Summerhill Venture Partners, Georgian Partners, and Export Development Canada as well as new investor Waterloo Innovation Network.  This capital will allow the company to open overseas offices as well as to make further acquisitions following its purchase of CoveritLive earlier this year.  This investment brings Scribble’s total capital raised to date to almost $24 million.

REGEN Energy, the Toronto-based provider of electricity demand management systems, raised $12 million in Series B venture capital from existing investors BDC Capital and NGEN Partners as well as new investors EnerTech Capital, Export Development Canada, and an American utility company.  This capital will help the company expand the commercialization of its SWARM Energy Management system that helps commercial and industrial users to significantly reduce their electricity consumption.  The company has now raised a total of $25 million in capital through five rounds of fundraising.

Hubub, a social community and content platform that is also based in Toronto, raised $5 million in equity capital from Bell Media.  The company’s platform is currently in beta and a full release is expected sometime this month.  It has now raised a total of $14 million in capital.

These companies have managed to attract significant amounts of capital that will hopefully allow them to commercialize their software and hardware platforms well beyond the Canadian market.  They join other Canadian companies that have recently raised later stage rounds of equity capital funding in the eight-figure range from existing investors here in Canada as well as new investors from the US and overseas.

This is a very welcome development in the Canadian tech landscape.  Where previously companies such as these would hit a funding wall and have to be acquired by large foreign buyers at an early stage or else become irrelevant because they lacked the capital required to expand their sales and marketing beyond our borders, now they have a chance to become successful, internationally recognized technology leaders, acquirers of emerging competitors, and much larger acquisition targets themselves or candidates for substantial initial offerings in the public markets.

They are also increasing their headcounts, purchasing new equipment, and occupying larger office and industrial spaces.  This is certainly welcome news, and not just for those of us who work in or provide services to the Canadian technology community.

Posted in: M&A News, PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Frank & Oak Raises $15 Million in VC Funding

Montreal-based menswear designer and online retailer Frank & Oak has raised a $15 million Series B round of venture capital.  The investors include Greenoaks Capital, Investissement Quebec, Rho Canada Ventures, Real Ventures, Version One Ventures, Lightbank, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments as well as several individual investors. The capital will be used for sales and marketing, expanding the company’s headcount, building out its website and eCommerce platform, and opening several small physical retail locations and “pop-up shops.”

To read more about this transaction, click here.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Fresh Capital for FreshBooks

Congratulations to FreshBooks on its impressive $30 million round of venture capital funding.  The round was led by Oak Investment Partners with participation by Atlas Ventures and Toronto-based Georgian Partners.  The company plans to use the money to fund its international expansion and to grow the headcount at its Toronto office by 350 employees, which is fantastic news for the local tech community.  This is yet another sign that Canadian companies are increasingly able to attract the sizable rounds of venture capital needed to help propel them to international prominence and generate sales that allow them to compete with the biggest names in tech.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

The Changing Nature of Venture Capital Investment

Once upon a time, VC investors would put money into a startup in a Series A round and the capital would be used to help build a product and prove its viability.  If successful, a Series B round would help get that product to market and the startup to the point of being able to generate revenue.

Those days are apparently over.  So says TriplePoint Capital’s Ben Narasin in an article in TechCrunch.  In today’s startup environment, Seed rounds are being used to build products and Series A rounds are used to get them to market.  This is due in part to the decreasing costs involved with getting a new technology built and off the ground.  It also means that VC investors are looking at putting money into companies when they are much further down the road to success (or failure).  This has made the bidding on Series A rounds more competitive for VCs because they are investing in technologies that are more fully baked, which could be helping to fuel the increase in startup valuations that has been observed in recent years.

Read the full article here.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Big Numbers for VC Investment in Canada

The numbers are in and they look pretty good.  Over the past year Canadian companies raised over $1 billion in venture capital financing.  This is a very encouraging sign for the health and viability of Canada’s technology sector.  We are not only starting innovative companies, we are increasing able to get them the funding they need to grow and prosper.

There are some interesting insights in the latest figures.  The volume of deals grew in almost every category of investment, with strong growth in the number of investments from Seed/Angel rounds through to Series C venture capital financing, a category that grew by 33% from the preceding year with an average deal size of over $16 million.

Most impressive was the tremendous growth in the amount of Series E and later stage financing, which grew by over 200% from the previous year with an average deal size of $21.3 million.  This is a crucially important category because these deals provide the capital that companies require to make the leap outside of Canada or North America, gain international attention, and become leaders in their respective industries.

There were five large and noteworthy deals in this category that received a large share of the attention and capital this past year: Hootsuite, Shopify, Enerkem, Anaergia, and Wattpad.  Collectively, these companies raised over $400 million or 40% of the total venture capital during this period.  While it might be troubling to see such a small number of companies capturing such a large share of the venture capital investment in Canada, these companies are poised to become emerging tech powerhouses and we should be encouraged by the fact that they were able to raise significant amounts of capital to help them in this process, especially with so much of it being provided by large, well known VC firms outside of Canada.

We at Q1 Capital are very pleased by these numbers and what they mean for the growth prospects of Canada’s tech community.  For more insight into the numbers, please click here.

Posted in: PE/VC News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 2 of 4 1234