In light of Canada Day today, we used CB Insights to dig into Canada’s tech ecosystem. While Canada might not be known as a first-rank tech startup breeding ground, it’s home to well-known public tech companies such as Blackberry (once producer of the top-selling smartphone) and Shopify.
To visualize the depth and breadth of Canada’s tech scene, we used CB Insights data and analytics to create a periodic table of tech in Canada, focused on private tech companies and investors. The table includes VCs, accelerators, and angels. It also lists funded private companies in select industry categories that are particularly prominent in Canada, along with notable exits of Canada-based private companies.
The 126 companies and investors on the table were pulled from analysis using CB Insights data around funding, company momentum as captured by our Mosaic algorithms, and recent investments in the space.
We expect that this list will change over time as new entrants emerge and gain prominence and others falter, exit, and are removed. If you believe someone should be added, please leave a comment with your rationale.
Navigating the periodic table of tech in Canada:
The top part of the table lists private investor-backed companies in select industries, as well as notable investors in Canada. The bottom two rows of the table outline notable exits of Canada-based companies.
We broke Canadian tech down into the following categories:
This category encompasses the most active venture capital firms investing in Canada. The list includes VCs like BDC Capital and OMERS Ventures, among others.
This category includes Canada-based incubators and accelerators such as Montreal-based FounderFuel.
Corporate Venture Capital Firms:
This category counts angel groups that are based in Canada and includes Anges Quebec and The Accelerate Fund, among others.
Among the industry categories we selected are a few, including e-commerce & fintech, that have seen a large amount of deal activity in Canada.
- E-commerce – startups here include home-improvement products marketplace BuildDirect, which raised an $43.5M Series C in December 2014 led by Mohr Davidow Ventures, BMO Capital Markets, and OMERS Ventures.
- Fintech – this category encompasses digital banking startups as well as point-of-sale payment startups like Lightspeed POS, which raised a $61M Series C in September 2015 from Accel Partners and several others.
- Ed Tech – this category includes Desire2Learn, an ed tech startup that has built a learning platform. Desire2Learn raised an $85M Series B in August 2014 from Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Graham Holdings, Four Rivers Group, Aurion Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and OMERS Ventures.
- Frontier Tech– this category includes Aeryon Labs which raised a $45.9M Growth Equity round in October 2015 by Summit Partners.
- Analytics – companies in this section span business intelligence, data, & analytics and includes social media analytics unicorn Hootsuite in the category. Hootsuite raised a $25M Series C II in September 2014 from Accel Partners, Fidelity Investments, Insight Venture Partners, OMERS Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank.
- Cybersecurity – this category includes Verafin which provides fraud detection and anti-money laundering software to the enterprise. Verafin raised a $55M Growth Equity round in November 2014 led by Spectrum Equity.
- Health Tech – startups in this category include digital health startup LEAGUE, which raised a $25M Series A in June 2016 led by OMERS Ventures.
- Real estate tech – real estate information company Real Matters is the most well-funded company in the category, and has raised over $127M in total disclosed funding.
- HR tech – startups here include Visier which provides workforce analytics and planning solutions to the HR market. They are the most well-funded company in the section and raised a $25.5M Series C in June 2014 from Foundation Capital and Summit Partners.
- Social – the category includes Kik Interactive, the messaging unicorn that counts more than 275 million registered users. Kik Interactive has raised over $115M to date from investors like RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures, among others.
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