Atlantic Canadian startups booked a solid $64 million worth of capital raises in the first quarter of 2022, according to data released Tuesday by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.
It was the best fundraising quarter since last spring, with Atlantic startups raising $41 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 and a mere $10 million in the July-September period.
In the most recent quarter, Nova Scotia led the region with $42 million distributed among six deals — one of the province’s best ever first quarter results, tied with 2019. Meanwhile, four New Brunswick startups, all information technology companies, raised a combined $19 million, and two Newfoundland and Labrador life sciences businesses raised $3 million between them.
The Atlantic data reflects a national trend of strong funding numbers, with startups raising $4.5 billion across 196 deals, marking the country’s second best first quarter after last year’s. But a national trend of mega deals worth over $50 million continues to pass Atlantic Canada by, with none of the 17 national examples happening east of Quebec.
“The rise of investment in this region signals an increasing amount of investable companies in Atlantic Canada,” said the CVCA.
The CVCA report, titled the 2022 Venture Capital Market Overview, did not include data for Prince Edward Island, signalling a dearth of VC activity in the province.
The Market Overview is being released amidst a period of concern for the venture capital industry, with rising interest rates, geopolitical risk and a recent implosion in cryptocurrency prices raising the spectre of potentially tight-fisted investors and falling valuations in the coming months.
Earlier this month, corporate data and news company Crunchbase reported that globally, venture capital figures have been in a slide since November of 2021, with April representing the weakest month for funding in a year.
“Many Canadian [general partners] and entrepreneurs have only known growth markets and they will need to prepare for investing in a time of turbulence,” wrote CVCA CEO Kim Furlong in an introduction to the report.