Canadian venture-capital-backed companies raised US$1.65 billion over 240 deals in the first six months of this year, according to the MoneyTree Canada report from PwC Canada and CB Insights.

That was a 15 per cent decrease in deals from the 281 deals that took place in the first six months of 2018.

Venture capital investment in Canadian companies is down 13 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, said the report released on Wednesday.

Sabrina Fitzgerald, national tech sector leader for PwC Canada
Sabrina Fitzgerald
National tech sector leader for PwC Canada

“Deal count and total funding were down in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. When combining the natural ebbs and flows of the Canadian venture market, with a tempered decline in deal count and funding, Canadian innovation continues to represent a solid investment to the venture community,” said Sabrina Fitzgerald, national tech sector leader for PwC Canada, in a news release.

“After unprecedented highs in 2018, this year has seen less funding and fewer deals for Canadian companies. Investment in Canadian startups is down 13 per cent and deal activity is down 15 per cent in the first half of this year, compared to the first six months of 2018,— said Anand Sanwal, co-founder and CEO of CB Insights.

“This decline contrasts with global activity, which saw both funding and deal activity climb. The really bright spot for the Canadian ecosystem is the seed-stage where deals increased significantly, now making up 49 per cent of deal share. In addition, less-active regions, such as Waterloo and Ottawa, saw a strong start to 2019. Investor interest in early-stage startups and in startups outside of the popular Toronto and Vancouver should pay dividends in the future.”

The report said Toronto and Vancouver continue to lead in the first half of 2019 as Toronto-based companies raised $555 million across 90 deals and Vancouver-based companies raised $355 million across 40 deals. Montreal followed with $206 million raised over 38 deals. Waterloo and Ottawa round out the top five markets with $131 million raised across 15 deals and $122 million raised across 11 deals, respectively.

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