MaRS Study: Toronto startups with women, foreign founders less likely to raise funding

MaRS Toronto

Last December, the MaRS Data Catalyst team published a study investigating the ethnic and gender diversity of Toronto startups. The study showed that, while ethnically diverse, female participation in Toronto startups at a founder level failed to exceed 33%.

The Data Catalyst team has published new information from the new study, which surveyed 597 startups in Toronto and the surrounding region supported by MaRS’ venture services, in order to better understand the demographics of funding and revenue.

MaRS Data Catalyst survey

According to the study, startups with foreign-born founders saw difficulty raising funds, with 59% of ‘only foreign’ founders failing to report or reporting zero funding, compared to 43% for ‘all Canadian’ founders. The funding disparity was also apparent at high levels of funding, with 27% of ‘all Canadian’ founders reporting funding greater than $500,000, compared to 16% for ‘only foreign’ founders.

Startups with female founders faced similar difficulties. The Data Catalyst study states that “especially at the higher levels ($500,000 or more), male founders raise significantly more funding by proportion than female founders.”

MaRS Data Catalyst

The new report also breaks down Toronto startup revenue and funding by sector, showing HealthTech to be the most dependant sector with 32% of those surveyed operating on funding rather than revenue. CleanTech had highest percentage of companies with revenue, at 47%, as well as the largest segment with both funding and revenue, compared to HealthTech and ICT startups.

Those interested in reading the MaRS Data Catalyst study, which was independently administered by KPMG, can do so via the link below.

MaRS Data Catalyst Report

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.