Ottawa snags final spot in latest Canadian top-10 VC rankings

Canadian money

After dropping off a list of Canada’s top cities for venture capital funding earlier in 2021, Ottawa sneaked back into the mix when the latest rankings covering the first nine months of the year were compiled.

The National Capital Region finished 10th in CPE Analytics’ latest study of the Canadian VC scene released Wednesday with a total funding haul of $85 million from January to the end of September. 

All of that fresh equity was generated by data protection software startup Rewind, which annouced a US$65-million series-B raise in September.

While biotech firm Turnstone Biologics – which was founded in Ottawa and still has a significant R&D presence here – received $80 million in new funding in July, the company is now headquartered in the U.S. and its round was not included in CPE’s report. 

T.O. leads way

That puts Ottawa well behind frontrunner Toronto, which once again led the country with $3.7 billion in total VC funding from 135 deals through the first three quarters. 

Vancouver was in second spot at $2.28 billion from 98 financing rounds, with Montreal ($1.5 billion from 64 deals), Kitchener ($528 million, 11 deals) and Calgary ($385 million, 68 deals) rounding out the top five.

Quebec City ($262 million, 11 deals), North Vancouver ($217 million, one deal), Saskatoon ($188 million, nine deals) and Fredericton ($135 million, six deals) occupied spots six through nine on the latest list.

The report marks a bit of a bounceback for Ottawa, which had been a fixture on the top-10 list for several years until it found itself out in the cold when CPE released its first-half rankings for 2021. 

But such lists often fluctuate dramatically from quarter to quarter since a small number of big-ticket deals can significantly alter the composition of the top 10. 

That’s certainly the case for Ottawa, which is bound to figure prominently when CPE unveils its final 2021 rankings early in the new year. A flood of VC transactions in October and November added nearly $600 million to local companies’ coffers, led by online health-care platform Fullscript’s $300-million raise.

Meanwhile, Ottawa’s LaBarge Weinstein LLP once again made the top-five rankings of national law firms catering to VC deals.

The Kanata-based firm helped close 12 financing rounds worth a total of $409 million through the first three quarters, good for fourth place on the list.