Atlantic Canadian startups attracted a mere $10 million in venture capital in the third quarter, down from a whopping $135 million in the previous quarter, according to data released Tuesday by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.
The industry association released its quarterly data report amid a continued stream of mega-deals by startups in Western and Central Canada, but a marked slowdown on the East Coast.
The CVCA data shows that Nova Scotian startups raised $9 million in the third quarter, bringing their total for the first nine months of the year to $51 million. Newfoundland and Labrador companies raised $1 million in venture capital in the most recent quarter and $3 million over the first nine months.
Though New Brunswick's startups have led the fundraising through the end of September with a total of $126 million, virtually all of their venture capital was raised in the first six months. The province's total did not change in the third quarter.
The CVCA reported "N/A" for the total in Prince Edward Island, meaning the Island's startups have not raised enough capital so far to register.
CVCA reports do not break down venture capital activity by quarter, but Entrevestor has calculated third quarter values by subtracting the first-half totals from those for the first nine months.
Though the region's VC totals were weak in the third quarter, it's already obvious they will be much higher by the end of the year due to some big raises in the fourth quarter. St. John’s-based Mysa Smart Thermostat recently closed a $20.3 million Series B funding round, and CoLab Software, also headquartered in the NL capital, raised a US$17 million (C$21 million) Series A funding round.
And New York- and Fredericton-based cloud security company Sonrai Security closed a US$50 million Series C funding round, though that funding might not be included in the CVCA year-end total. The association has previously categorized Sonrai as a New York company, thus omitting it from Canadian data.
The CVCA also does not track funding raised by startups via public markets. The result is that Dartmouth-based META’s record-breaking June listing on the NASDAQ, during which it raised US$160 million at a valuation of more than $2.7 billion, is not included in the data.
Halifax continues to lead the Atlantic provinces in terms of number of deals, but also saw its performance dip in the third quarter. With 22 deals so far this year and eight in the July-September period, more Haligonian startups have raised funding than those in Kitchener-Waterloo, Edmonton or Ottawa. But the eight deals in the third quarter were only worth a combined $6 million, compared to $42 million in the first half.
Atlantic Canada’s middling performance is in contrast to a national VC ecosystem that continues to post strong totals. Nationally, startups have raised $11.8 billion to the end of September, $3.5 billion of which was from 174 deals in the third quarter.
“Move over doom and gloom: investment in Canada’s startups has never been stronger,” wrote CVCA Chief Executive Kim Furlong in the report. “The ecosystem defied fears of slowing down in investment due to the pandemic and as we shift into recovery, there continues to be spectacular growth for venture capital investing.
“As we move into the tail end of the year, all signs point to the investment environment increasing in momentum.”