Ottawa continues to climb the rankings for VC secured by local firms

venture capital (VC)

Ottawa companies brought in $252 million across 37 venture capital deals in 2022, a drop from $396 million the previous year but enough to place Ottawa sixth among Canadian cities in total VC funding, according to a new study.

That’s up one spot from last year’s ranking of seventh and a jump from 11th place in 2020.

Across Canada, VC disbursements reached $9.425 billion over 708 financings last year, a 33 per cent decrease from 2021 but still the second-best year since 2017, according to the 2022 Canadian Venture Capital Report compiled by CPE Analytics.

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The majority of investments were made by U.S. and international investors, with Canadian investors accounting for $3.49 billion or 37 per cent of the total.

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver once again led the way among 66 cities with companies that secured VC funding, with $2.49 billion, $2.10 billion and $1.73 billion, respectively.

According to Richard Rémillard, the data show a continuing over-concentration of VC investment in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, which together accounted for 86.7 per cent of all VC investment dollars.

“This situation poses a challenge for government policymakers and their regional development efforts — namely how, or even whether, to promote venture capital investment outside of those three provinces,” said the president of Rémillard Consulting Group in a news release.

The report showed that early-stage companies brought in the biggest haul, raising $5.66 billion, while growth and late-stage financings accounted for $2.21 billion and seed/pre-seed stage financings raised $598 million.

Companies with 0-49 employees raised the most funding of any size of company, at $6.17 billion, the report stated.

“It is notable that 65.4 per cent of all venture capital investment dollars went to the smallest companies, which suggests that scaleups received comparably less support, thus continuing a pattern of underfunding for medium-sized firms,” commented Rémillard.

Among sectors, ICT companies raised $5.13 billion or 54 per cent of total disbursements, while cleantech companies secured $1.97 billion, more than the $1.14 billion raised by biotech companies.

“Another feature revealed by the data is the 20.9 per cent contribution of cleantech, which bears watching in light of the federal government 2023 budget, which committed significant policy support to cleantech,” said Rémillard.

The report includes equity and quasi-equity direct investments in companies, but excludes private equity transactions and financing by foreign-headquartered or -domiciled companies with Canadian subsidiaries. As a result, the report doesn’t tell the whole story of how investment capital is helping grow Ottawa’s tech ecosystem.

In terms of fundraising by investors, 48 Canadian VC funds raised $4.74 billion in 2022, with $3.568 billion of that amount raised by private VC investors.


Toronto, $2.485 billion, 164 deals

Montreal, $2.1 billion, 86 deals

Vancouver, $1.731 billion, 113 deals

Calgary, $746 million, 77 deals

Waterloo, $292 million, 12 deals

Ottawa, $252 million, 37 deals

Quebec City, $245 million, 15 deals

Mississauga, $208 million, 17 deals

Victoria, $201 million, 10 deals

Kitchener, $138 million, 14 deals

Saskatoon, $126 million, 18 deals 

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