Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Canada’s sizzling technology sector has driven more venture capital funding in the first six months of the year than all of 2019, with U.S. funds making a significant contribution to the total investment value.

Venture funds poured $7.5-billion into Canadian companies in the first half of 2021 in 349 financing rounds, according to market data company Refinitiv. The top 10 financings made up more than a third of the overall investment value. Vancouver-based Trulioo, an identity verification company, topped the chart with a $476-million round led by TCV, a venture firm based in Menlo Park, Calif.

B.C. ‘unicorn’ stampede continues as Trulioo inks $394-million financing

NBA Top Shot creator Dapper Labs secures $305-million in funding

“The quality of opportunity is better than it’s ever been in the last 20 years,” said John Albright, co-founder of Relay Ventures, a Toronto-based venture fund that invested more than $11-million in the first half of the year. “The teams are great, the tech is great, the [mindset] of building a global company instead of a Canadian company is well understood. It’s very exciting.”

Story continues below advertisement

Twenty financings were over $100-million, including a $250-million round for fintech giant Wealthsimple, and a $385-million round for Dapper Labs, a blockchain company that specializes in creating collectible non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Canadian tech companies have benefited from a low interest rate environment, with lots of private capital searching for investments outside of stocks and bonds. Not all of that money is domestic: U.S. funds invested $3.3-billion in the first half of the year, more than the $2.6-billion supplied by domestic funds.

The Business Development Bank of Canada was the most active domestic fund, participating in 36 rounds and investing $206.5-million. The Canadian Business Growth Fund contributed $153.8-million in the same period, followed by Montreal-based Innovia Capital. Innovia had the period’s largest fundraising, closing a $560-million growth fund in March.

Companies based in Ontario and British Columbia attracted the most investment, capturing $3.4-billion and $2.4-billion, respectively. Ontario’s total is double what it saw in the first half of 2020, and B.C. tripled its total from the same period last year. Quebec raised 911.6-million over 85 financings.

Mr. Albright expects the technology sector’s red-hot run to continue, especially with pandemic restrictions easing across North America as vaccination rates continue to rise. A return to in-person meetings could help to strengthen relationships and make due diligence easier.

“We couldn’t be busier, and the problem is we can’t travel,” he said. “I think we’ll be hopping on planes, in the fall, even.”

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies