SVB reports Canadian tech startups drew record $16 billion in investment in 2021

Canadian tech almost tripled 2020’s funding numbers.

Venture investment in Canada’s tech sector exploded in 2021, according to a new Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) report.

SVB’s H1 2022 State of the Markets Report has found that Canadian tech startups saw over $16 billion CAD in venture capital (VC) investment last year. This figure crushes the $6 billion the ecosystem saw in 2020, when venture funding sputtered due to the pandemic, and is more than double the country’s previous high of just under $8 billion in 2019.

SVB found that a record 14 Canadian tech companies achieved unicorn status in 2021.
 

The report draws its findings from PitchBook data and SVB analysis. Its findings appear consistent with a recent report from the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA), which noted that this rise in VC activity has been fuelled by a shift towards late-stage investments, as firms have doubled down on their winners and sought to focus their efforts on helping them grow amid pandemic uncertainty.

According to SVB, $8.8 billion of this $16 billion in total investment came from 44 deals that were over $100 million in size, including Trulioo’s $476 million Series D round, Dapper Labs’ $440 million Series A round, and Clearco’s $440 million Series C round — 2021’s three largest deals according to the report.

In 2021, SVB found that a record 14 Canadian tech companies achieved unicorn status, most of which operate in the enterprise software space. In addition to Trulioo, Dapper Labs, and Clearco, this list of companies that reached a valuation of over $1 billion includes 1Password, Ada, Blockstream, Clio, Figment, FreshBooks, Hopper, Nexii, SSENSE, TensTorrent, and Visier.

Overall, the number of VC-backed tech deals increased 41 percent, with median deal size rising to $3.8 million from $2.7 million in 2020.

RELATED: With nearly $4 billion raised, BC tech “stepped into the spotlight in 2021

While Ontario, British Columbia (BC), and Québec saw the largest shares of this venture investment, respectively, SVB found that Alberta is starting to catch up, with 71 percent more deals in 2021 than in 2020.

As in the United States market, Canadian tech valuations also spiked—median valuations more than doubled from $11.7 million in 2020 to $26 million last year.

According to the report, Canada’s most active VC investors include BDC Capital, Golden Ventures, Garage Capital, Inovia Capital, Panache Ventures, Portage Ventures, Version One Ventures, Real Ventures, and Telus Ventures.

Feature image by Jp Valery via Unsplash.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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