Top Q1 Canadian VC deals draw more than $416 mln


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Canada’s top 10 first-quarter venture-capital financings drew more than $416 million from investors, more than double the $191 million that went into the top 10 deals a year earlier.

That estimate is based on the following PE Hub Canada list of the largest disclosed financings announced between January and March.

It has been compiled in advance of the broader VC market reports expected in coming weeks from the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association and Thomson Reuters.

1) Zymeworks (Vancouver)

Biotherapeutics company Zymeworks received about $87 million (US$61.5 million) in a Series A mezzanine deal in January. The round was led by BDC Capital and Lumira Capital and was joined by Eli Lilly, Celgene, CTI Life Sciences Fund, Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, Perceptive Advisors, Teralys Capital, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund, Brace Pharma Capital and Merlin Nexu, among others.

2) Blockstream (Montréal)

Blockstream, which operates from San Francisco and Montréal, raised more than $76 million (US$55 million) in a Series A financing in February. The bitcoin and blockchain technology startup was backed by Horizons Ventures, AXA Strategic Ventures and Digital Garage, as well as repeat investors. The latter include Real Ventures, which led Blockstream’s seed round in 2014.

3) Farmers Edge (Winnipeg)

Farmers Edge, a provider of precision agriculture and data-management solutions, received $58 million in a follow-on investment. Existing backers Mitsui, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Osmington led the round, which was announced in January. The company is also backed by Avrio Capital.

4) Vidyard (Kitchener, Ontario)

Vidyard secured about $50 million (US$35 million) in a Series C round in January. It was led by Battery Ventures with contributions from repeat investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Omers Ventures, iNovia Capital and SoftTech VC.  Vidyard specializes in video-analytics software for sales and marketing activity.

5) Indochino (Vancouver)

Online custom-menswear retailer Indochino picked up $42 million in a strategic investment by China’s Dayang. The deal was announced in March. Venture-backed since 2008, Indochino has an investor list including Acton Capital Partners, Highland Consumer Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Version One Ventures.

6) Diablo Technologies (Ottawa)

Diablo Technologies, a provider of memory-technology solutions, garnered a bit more than $27 million (US$19 million) in a Series C financing in January.  The round was led by new investor Israel Cleantech Ventures with participation from repeat backers Battery Ventures, BDC Capital, Celtic House Venture Partners and Hasso Plattner Ventures.

7) eSentire (Cambridge, Ontario)

Cybersecurity and threat-detection platform eSentire effectively matched Diablo with its raise of about $27 million (US$19.5 million). The follow-on round was announced in February. Edison Partners and Georgian Partners led the investment. They were joined by Cisco Investments, Northleaf Ventures Catalyst Fund and Information Venture Partners.

8) ESSA Pharma (Vancouver)

ESSA Pharma closed a private-placement deal that gave it gross proceeds of nearly $22 million (US$15 million). The round, announced in January, was led by new investor Clarus Lifesciences. Existing investors, including Deerfield Management, also participated. ESSA is a developer of small-molecule drugs to treat cancer.

9) Hopper (Montréal)

Hopper, a mobile application that uses big data to predict and analyze airfare, secured $16 million in March. BDC Capital led the follow-on financing and was joined by repeat backers of the company, Omers Ventures, Accomplice and Brightspark Ventures.

10) Librestream Technologies (Winnipeg)

Librestream Technologies pulled in $11 million in a follow-on investment led by Emerald Technology Ventures. Announced in March, the round attracted other investors, including BDC Capital. Librestream is a provider of mobile video-collaboration solutions used in a range of industries.

Two startups also topped up previously-announced deals in Q1 2016. Toronto-based advocate marketing software specialist Influitive increased its Series B round to $38 million, while Toronto-based online financial-tools provider Wave increased its Series C round to $22.1 million.

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