Despite more deals, Ottawa VC funding down in 2017

Canadian companies secured a record $2.7 billion in venture capital this past year, though Ottawa firms brought less to the table, according to a new report


Ottawa firms raised $79 million in a total of 20 venture capital deals last year, according to PwC Canada and CB Insights’ annual MoneyTree Canada Report.

That’s good enough to put the city in the top five for money raised, after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Waterloo. Ottawa did edge out Waterloo for total number of deals.

But despite securing three more deals than the year before, Ottawa firms’ total venture financing was down 29 per cent in 2017.

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Perhaps local companies stumbled at the finish line: Ottawa was hampered by a rough Q4 that saw only three deals worth a total of $8 million. Compare that with Montreal, where firms secured $325 million in the fourth quarter alone. (All figures in USD.)

Indeed, Montreal and Vancouver led Canada to raise a record $2.7 billion in venture capital in 2017, a seven per cent increase year-over-year.

Ottawa, Waterloo and even Toronto all saw their total deal values drop, while Montreal and Vancouver increased by 64 and four per cent, respectively, raising a combined $1.2 billion.

Last year’s VC value was among the lowest in recent years for the capital. After a massive series-C round from Shopify led local companies to raise $177 million in 2013, the city’s firms captured only $66 million in 2014. Ottawa firms would bounce back slightly the following years.

In terms of sectors, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and fintech were all big Canadian winners in 2017. Mobile and telecom firms also did well – bringing in $434 million, an increase of 66 per cent over 2016.

Canadian cities by total VC deal size, 2017: (In USD)


$800 million – 63 deals


$779 million – 115 deals


$372 million – 51 deals


$182 million – 16 deals


$79 million – 20 deals


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