Canadian Venture Capital Had Some Big Wins in Q1 of This Year

Ahh Q1- the fresh new beginnings of the year, when the snow melts and the Maple Leafs’ playoff hopes shatter before our very eyes.


But in venture capital, Q1 also gives us a glimpse into how the year may play out in terms of performance. (Of course there’s always huge outliers that end up changing the entire year’s numbers, like when Hootsuite raised $165 million in Q3 of 2013, thus rendering the first half of the year relatively unpredictable).

Anyways, PE Hub has released a short list of some of Canadian venture capital’s biggest wins in the first quarter of 2014 thus far. In May, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and research partner Thomson Reuters will publish their full report on Canadian venture capital deal-making in Q1.

1) Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (Edmonton, Alberta)

Aurinia is a pharmaceutical company focused on the nephrology (treatment and study of kidneys) market, raised US$52 million. The deal was led by venBio, New Enterprise Associates, Redmile, RA Capital, Great Point Partners and Apple Tree Partners, with the participation of existing investors Lumira Capital, ILJIN Life Science and Difference Capital.

2) Clementia Pharmaceuticals (Dorval, Québec)

Clementia secured $22.5 million in a Series A financing round, led by OrbiMed Advisors, with participation from existing investor BDC Venture Capital. Venture-backed since 2012, the startup is engaged in the development and commercialization of treatments for rare diseases.

3) Clio (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Clio, also known as Themis Solutions, raised $20 million in a Series C financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors Acton Capital Partners and Point Nine Capital, and first-time backer Version One Ventures, also joined the round. Clio provides a suite of cloud-based management tools for the legal industry.

4) Zymeworks (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Zymeworks, a platform for developing protein therapeutics to treat various types of cancer, raised a private placement totaling $15 million. The investors were new and and existing private shareholders. Venture-backed since 2009, Zymeworks’ backers include Advanced Biotechnologies Venture Fund and CTI Life Sciences Fund.

5) Geodigital International (Hamilton, Ontario)

A provider of geospatial information management solutions to utilities and other sectors, Geodigital raised US$11.3 million. The source of the investment was not identified. Geodigital has been a portfolio company of NGP Energy Technology Partners and other firms since 2010.

6) Slyce (Toronto, Ontario)

Slyce secured $10.75 million in its latest financing, led by Beacon Securities. Other investors in the deal included PI Financial, Salman Partners, Harrington Global and AlphaNorth Asset Management. Venture-backed since 2013, other backers of the startup include Podium Ventures. Slyce is a visual product search platform targeted to retail businesses.

Video: What Will Slyce Do With $11 Million?

7) Zenith Epigenetics (Calgary, Alberta)

Zenith, a developer of new drugs through its proprietary epigenetics platform, obtained US$8 million in seed funding from Eastern Capital and NGN Capital. The startup emerged in 2013 as the result of RVX Therapeutics‘s spinout from Resverlogix, a Calgary-based life sciences company that is also backed by NGN and other investors.

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