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.
CB Insights recently published its list of private, venture-backed technology companies with valuations over $1 billion. It identified 56 such companies, many of which will be familiar to those who follow the tech sector, including Uber ($17 billion), AirBnB, and Dropbox (both $10 billion) along with some upstarts that receive a lot less press. There is also a name on the list that will be familiar to those who follow the Canadian tech sector: Shopify was listed with a valuation of $1 billion.
We are of course pleased to see a Canadian company on a list like this but we were also a little perplexed by the absence of another well known Canadian tech company: Hootsuite. Shopify received its billion-dollar valuation following its $100 million Series C round of financing in December 2013, bringing its total funding to $122 million. Hootsuite has raised nearly $285 million in funding, including a $60 million Series D one month ago. That level of funding would point towards a billion-dollar-plus valuation given current market conditions, so we were surprised to see it excluded from this list.
Regardless of whether or not Canadian companies make it onto a list like this, we remain very pleased to see our country’s tech start-ups raising significant rounds of capital. This includes Desire2Learn, which raised an $85 million Series B this past August, bringing its total capital to $165 million; BuildDirect, which has raised over $62 million through four rounds of fundraising; and Vision Critical, which has raised $42.5 million to date. We hope that this trend continues and that it is a sign of good times ahead for Canada’s tech industry.