2015 was quite a remarkable year for Ottawa. The amount of VC money invested in Ottawa-based companies doubled from 2014, topping out at $142 Million. As one of Canada’s leading tech hubs with 1750 knowledge-based companies creating nearly 70,000 jobs, Ottawa’s high tech companies were less affected by the oil and gas crisis, the Chinese economic downturn and other economic turmoil in 2015. This reflected in the low unemployment rate in the technology sector along with the increase in VC investment in Ottawa’s start-ups.
The total amount of VC money in Ottawa in 2015 was boosted by multi-million dollar investments in GaN Systems, Corsa Technology, You.i Labs and Grafoid. Despite the fact that the number of companies and deals in 2015 was slightly lower than the previous year, both the average and median deal size increased significantly. Median deal size increased from $0.61 million in 2014 to $2.33 million in 2015. This indicates that Ottawa companies are expanding, which required more investment to scale up, and investors willing to invest more in the city.
Ottawa has a very diverse high-tech ecosystem. The capital invested in 2015 was spread across various industry verticals including: SaaS, Manufacturing, Mobile, Fin-tech, Clean-tech, etc. This means any high-tech company has an equal chance to successfully grow its business in Ottawa. In terms of the most active investors, the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Capital Angel Network and Wesley Clover led the way with 4 investments apiece in 2015. Shopify, an Ottawa success story, raised $150M and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under SHOP through the biggest IT IPO in Canada in 2015. The infographic below has more details of VC investment in Ottawa for 2015.
In 2016, the Market Intelligence team at Invest Ottawa will be publishing quarterly blogs recapping major investment activities in the Ottawa area and featuring technology trends for hot industries. For more in-depth information on technology market trends and investor profiles from providers like Forrester, Ovum, Datamonitor and Investor Dashboard, please visit our Market Intelligence webpage.
Long Dinh is an Investment Analyst with Invest Ottawa. In his role on the Market Intelligence team, he provides investment trend in various industries as well as identifies potential investors for start-up companies. Long is a recent MBA graduate from Sprott School of Business with another master degree in International Business in Melbourne, Australia. You can reach him at [email protected]