Canadian VC begins 2017 strongly as top Q1 deals take $400 mln

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Canada’s top 10 first-quarter venture-capital financings drew close to $400 million from investors.

While that’s down 19 percent from the $490 million raised by the top 10 deals a year earlier, it far exceeds the first-quarter results of other recent years. In Q1 2015, for example, the top 10 deals took $191 million.

The estimate is based on PE Hub Canada’s list of the largest financings announced from January through March, supplemented by Thomson Reuters data. The list is headed by PointClickCare, which accounted for 2017’s first deal sized above $100 million, Visier, Inocucor Technologies and Fusion Pharma.

The numbers suggest the Canadian market is starting off the year with gusto, despite a widely expected pullback in activity on the part of most North American VC funds.

Q1 2017 trends also show continuity with a key theme of last year’s venture deal-making in Canada: large rounds. VC invested hit $3.7 billion in 2016, a 15-year high, due to a record concentration of cash in financings of $10 million-plus, $20 million-plus and $50 million-plus.

As reported by PE Hub Canada last October, 2016’s large deals, and especially those backing startups, helped reverse a historical pattern of underfunded tech companies.

1) PointClickCare Technologies (Toronto)

Healthcare-software company PointClickCare Technologies in February postponed an initial public offering to raise about $111 million (US$85 million). The follow-on deal was led by Dragoneer Investment Group with participation from JMI Equity, which has backed PointClickCare since 2011.

2) Visier (Vancouver)

Last month, workplace-intelligence-solutions provider Visier secured more than $60 million (US$45 million) in a Series D financing. Sorenson Capital, a new investor, led the round. It was joined by Foundation Capital, Summit Partners and Adams Street Partners, which invested in the company’s Series C in 2014.

3) Inocucor Technologies (Montréal)

Inocucor Technologies, a producer of sustainable biological crop inputs, netted $38.8 million in the initial close of a Series B round in March. TPG ART, a late-stage venture affiliate of TPG, led. Existing investors Cycle Capital Management and Desjardins Innovatech also signed on, as did Closed Loop Capital.

4) Fusion Pharmaceuticals (Hamilton, Ontario)

New biopharma company Fusion Pharmaceuticals in February pulled in about $33 million (US$25 million). Johnson & Johnson Innovation–JJDC led the Series A and was joined by HealthCap, TPG Biotech, Genesys Capital and FACIT. Fusion develops targeted radiotherapeutics for treating cancer.

5) Microbion (Vancouver)

Microbion also took about $33 million (US$25 million). The late-stage deal, announced in January, was done by a health-sciences fund recently launched by Canada’s Quark Venture and China’s GF Securities. Microbion specializes in treatments for resistant and difficult-to-treat infections.

6) CSDC Systems (Toronto)

In January, CSDC Systems, a provider of software to local, state and federal governments and agencies, closed a $30 million (US$22.5 million) investment. The funding came from a single source, U.S. venture capital firm BuildGroup.

7) Top Hat (Toronto)

Interactive cloud teaching platform Top Hat also raised about $30 million (US$22.5 million) in Series C funding. The February round was backed by new investor Union Square Ventures, as well as repeat VCs Georgian Partners, Emergence Capital, iNovia Capital, Golden Venture Partners, Version One Ventures and SoftTech VC.

8) Exact Imaging (Toronto)

Exact Imaging announced a $21.5 million Series C financing in January. The round was co-led by Lumira Capital and Vesalius Biocapital with participation from new investors, including PMV, and existing investors, including iGan Partners. Exact develops systems for prostate imaging and biopsy guidance.

9) Wealthsimple (Toronto)

Online investment manager Wealthsimple in January wrapped up a $20 million follow-on investment. Portag3 Ventures, an affiliate of Power Corp and Wealthsimple’s majority shareholder, accounted for the funding. The company is also backed by Impression Ventures.

10) MineSense Technologies (Vancouver)

In February, MineSense Technologies, a provider of data analytics for the mining industry, netted $19 million in additional financing. Aurus Ventures led the round. It was joined by Caterpillar Ventures as well as Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, Prelude Ventures and EDC, which are repeat investors.

Photo courtesy of tankist276/iStock/Getty Images