VC & PE Canadian Market Overview // 2016 Year in Review


The CVCA’s VC & PE Canadian Market Overview report is Canada’s authoritative summary analysis of private capital investments, exits and fundraising activity relied on by government and private sector groups that drive the nation’s innovation.

Read this report if you are interested in:

  • Understanding most recent private VC & PE investment against historical context,
  • Identifying top trends in the private capital asset class,
  • Identifying hot spots for investments by sector and province,
  • Identifying most active investment firms.

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2016 Highlights

Venture Capital Highlights:

  • At $3.2B, 2016 VC investment exceeded 2015 by 41 per cent ($2.3B) and is the highest on record since 2001.
  • The average deal size was $6.1M, the highest since 1999 and 44 per cent higher than 2015 ($4.2M).
  • Large deals accounted for the surge:
    • Eleven $50M+ deals totaled $1B dollars, compared to only five $50M+ deals in 2015 totaling $335M.
    • Top 10 VC deals totaled in $984M; Waterloo-based Thalmic Labs Inc. deal was number one at $158M.
  • Ontario was home to $1.5B or almost half (46 per cent) of dollars invested, and another third ($1B) in Quebec setting high-water marks in InfoBase in both provinces.
  • ICT was the big sector winner with almost $2B invested in 330 deals, with six of the top ten 2016 deals being in this sector.
  • Life sciences was second with investments of $730M over 103 deals, with three of the top ten 2016 deals being in this sector.
  • Early stage companies received $1.6B (half of all VC investments) over 261 deals, up 29 per cent from last year’s $1.2B.
  • Opportunity for exits remained limited to acquisitions with 29 transactions totaling $521M, down 63 per cent from the $1.4B in M&A exits in 2015.

Private Equity Highlights:

  • Q4 was PE’s best quarter in 2016 with $4.1B invested over 137 deals, a 36 per cent increase over $3B invested in Q3.
  • Total investment in 2016 amounted to $13.7B (over 536 deals), dipping 40 per cent from $22.9B in 2015 (over 424 deals).
  • 32 $50M+ deals totaled $11B with the $1.6B acquisition of Toronto-based Trader Corporation taking the top spot.
  • Canadian mid-market sweet spot: $1.5B invested over 43 deals in the $20M-$50M deal size range, an increase of 41 per cent over the $1B invested (over 34 deals) in 2015.
  • $4.7B, a third of all dollars, was invested in Toronto-based companies (56 deals), followed by $3.2B in Calgary firms (over 38 deals) and $1.3B in Montreal (over 104 deals).
  • Oil and gas companies got $4.4B (32 per cent) of the funds invested, down 49 per cent from 2015.
  • Clean tech saw a 200 per cent uptick in investment with almost $2B invested in over 25 deals, driven by five $50M+ deals—the largest being the $800M acquisition of Montérégie-based Services Matrec Inc.
  • ICT companies received $2.5B (over 65 deals), up 352 per cent from the $556M in 2015 (over 59 deals).
  • M&A continued to be the primary exit vehicle for PE firms with 49 exits totaling $6.5B, down 44 per cent from $11.5B in the previous year.
  • Eight out of the most active top 10 PE investors were based in Quebec and contributed to 80-95 per cent of deals between $100k and $5M.

Read the Reports

VC & PE Canadian Market Overview Reports:

English Market Overview Report

French Market Overview Report

VC & PE Quebec Market Overview Reports:

English Quebec Report

French Quebec Report

Read the Media Releases

2016 Year in Review Canadian Media Releases:

English Media Release

French Media Release


Download the Full Media Kit

English Media Kit

Data Infographics (Eng. Only)