Venture capital flowing into Ottawa dries up in final half of 2019: MoneyTree report

funding

Despite a strong start to the year for Ottawa companies raising venture capital, the second half of 2019 saw a sharp decline in funding for local firms, according to the latest MoneyTree Canada report.

The analysis, complied by PwC and CB Insights, found that Ottawa companies raised a cumulative $15 million in the second half of 2019, an 89 per cent decline from the same period in 2018. (All figures in USD.)

The drop should come as no surprise as H2 2018 included a roughly $120-million raise from Assent Compliance. The report notes, however, that even with Assent’s massive series-C round stripped from the total, numbers were still down 46 per cent year-over-year.

Following a banner first six months of 2019 that saw Ottawa companies such as MindBridge Ai, Fullscript and Solink raise venture capital, the second half featured few noteworthy deals. The lone standout was a late-year raise from Kanata-based Corsa Security, which topped up its fundraising with $8 million in financing from Roadmap Capital.

The MoneyTree report notes that H1 2019 saw a larger share of higher-value, expansion-stage deals, while the second half consisted more of seed and early-stage rounds.

In total, Ottawa-based companies raised $119 million in VC funding this past year, a decrease of 22 per cent from 2018 figures. While the overall volume was down, total deals were up to 21 compared with 18 a year earlier.

Elsewhere, startups in cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver had little issue raising venture capital in 2019. Toronto companies raised a cumulative $1.3 billion across 175 deals, Montreal firms secured $931 million over 74 deals and Vancouver companies scored $924 million through 72 deals.