Canadian venture capital investment hits record level in first quarter

Venture capital surged to a new record in the first quarter while private equity investment contracted modestly on the back of declining oil and gas activity, a new report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association says.

The value of venture capital investments made in Q1 surged to $838 million, nearly double the amount recorded during the same period last year. Growth was driven by large deals in British Columbia and Ontario, plus the $58 million investment made in Manitoba firm, Farmer’s Edge. That deal involved a group of companies led by Japan’s Mitsui & Co.

“The substantial increase in amount of VC investment in Canada offers a great reflection of the investment opportunities there are here right now,” said Mike Woollatt, chief executive officer of the CVCA in a statement. “VCs are seeing the value of Canadian entrepreneurial talent and making some big bets on the future.”

In total, there were 118 venture deals in the quarter, with Ontario companies generating the lion’s share of investments — $486 million. B.C. pulled in $207 million, while Manitoba racked up $69 million.

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