Canadian PE and VC investment divergent in H1 2018

BY Fraser Tennant

Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investment in Canada has been divergent in the first half (H1) of 2018, with activity trending downward and upward respectively, according to a new report by the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA).

In its ‘VC & PE Canadian Market Overview H1 2018’, the CVCA notes that $7.6bn was invested across 146 PE deals in Q2, bringing the year-to-date (YTD) total to $14.5bn across 288 deals. Much of this investment was due to two mega deals which made up 69 percent of total dollars invested. In comparison, mega deals made up 51 percent of dollars invested in H1 2017.

Further key findings in the Canadian PE investment space include a sharp drop in the number of exits in H1 2018, with only 41 exits ($10.5bn) compared to 152 exits ($11.5bn) in H1 2017.

“Canadian PE appears on pace from previous years, however on the dollar side it is increasingly driven by significant deals, suggesting the levels are a bit more tenuous,” said Mike Woollatt, chief executive of the CVCA. “In the absence of a few large deals, activity in the Canadian PE market is being driven substantially by smaller deals as activity shifts to categories with typically smaller deal sizes.”

Unlike PE, VC investment is on an upward trajectory and shows no signs of slowing for the remainder of 2018. Indeed, almost $1bn was invested over 166 deals in Q2, bringing the year-to-date (YTD) total VC investment to $1.7bn – 7 percent higher than H1 2017. Moreover, Q2 2018 is the third time since January 2017 where VC investment in Canada has surmounted $1bn.

Additional key findings in the Canadian VC investment space include an average deal size of $6m, which represents a 28 percent increase from the previous quarter and 13 percent higher than the average deal size in the five-year period between 2013 and 2017 ($5.3m).

“Innovation in Canada is enjoying the best VC investment climate in well over a decade,” continued Mr Woollatt. “We are consistently observing an increase in size and volume of deals at all stages, plus, a welcome resurgence in exits. We are bracing for 2018 to be another record year.”

Report: VC & PE Canadian Market Overview H1 2018

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