Techopia Live: Breaking down Capital Angel Network’s 2018 investments

Ottawa’s angels were in a blessing mood in 2018. Capital Angel Network’s Jennifer Francis and Nolan Beanlands dropped by Techopia Live this week to discuss the local organization’s investment activity over the past year and why Ottawa’s startup scene might be seeing a bit of a “boom.”

CAN, a group of local angel investors active in the Ottawa scene, collectively invested $4.1 million across 28 companies in 2018 – its most active year yet, and up from $3.3 million across 20 companies in 2017. All but one of its 2018 investments were in Ottawa-based startups.

Sixteen of those rounds were initial investments in local companies such as Advanced Symbolics, Desk Nibbles, BluWave-ai and The Growcer. The remainder – the likes of Ottawa’s MindBridge AI, Raven Telemetry, ThinkRF and Relogix – were follow-on investments from CAN’s angels, often as parts of larger rounds with other funds. Cumulatively, these 28 companies have raised a total $50 million.

Nolan Beanlands, CAN’s executive director, says it’s a testament to the expertise of the organization’s angels that they place bets on promising companies and help guide them through their next rounds of investment.

“Our angels are definitely smart money. Our angels get involved in their investments,” he told Techopia Live.

CAN chair Jennifer Francis says the increased volume of investments this past year reflects not only more activity from the group, but a “booming” period in Ottawa’s tech community. The cries from the region’s CEOs that they can’t attract investors to Ottawa have largely soothed, and the city’s startups appear ready to capitalize on freshly available cash.

“We hear less often now that there’s no money in Ottawa, that you have to go somewhere else to go raise money,” she said.

“We went through a few doldrums for several years but I think we’re out of it. I think there's a lot of buzz, a lot of excitement about the tech community in Ottawa and a lot of companies getting to that stage where they’re ready to raise. And we’ve now got the money in the room to fund them.”

To hear more about Capital Angel Network’s 2018 investment activity and why SaaS firms are such attractive bets for investors, watch the video above.

Initial investments:

  • Advanced Symbolics

  • Athletica

  • BlackBox

  • BluWave

  • CoHealth

  • Desk Nibbles

  • EVE

  • Flight Office

  • FreeBees

  • GoFor

  • Noibu

  • RVezy

  • Spiderwort

  • The Growcer

  • Transparent Kitchen

  • Welbi

Follow-on:

  • Cliniconex

  • Crypto4A

  • Eirsen

  • Food Cycle Science

  • Klashwerks

  • MindBridge AI

  • MyDoma

  • Raven Telemetry

  • reDock

  • Relogix

  • Rewind

  • ThinkRF