It’s that time of year again- the time where I once again look back at the year that has been to report on where we stand as a region on the state of tech financing.
Last year, in my third installation in finance updates I reported that companies in the Edmonton region had together raised more than $118 million in 2022. This year, I’ve been able to track a whopping $209 million in venture capital raised – more than any other year on record.
Beyond the impressive growth, what’s really exciting to see is that the Edmonton region is bucking the global trend. At the same time that global VC funding is decreasing, funding in the Edmonton region is increasing. According to Dealroom, total VC investment decreased to $320 billion in 2023 – down from $514 in 2022 and a decrease of 38%. On the other hand, Edmonton region numbers have increased by 69% between 2022 and 2023.
Similarly, it looks like the story for Canada as a whole is very similar. Based on the most recent available data from the CVCA, total VC investment amount is expected to decrease in Canada for 2023.
As always, the numbers I am tracking fluctuate as new information becomes available. In the graphic below you will notice that the number for 2022 has increased to $124 million – that’s because numbers that were previously not publicly available have now been included. I’ll continue to update numbers for the years that I’ve been tracking this data with the most up-to-date information I am able to find.
Figure 1, Value of Select Raises in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region by Year ($CAD Million)
It’s important to remember that these numbers only represent a fraction of the overall financing that went to Edmonton region companies. These numbers represent VC funding specifically and only include publicly available data. If we expand this dataset, the number would be significantly larger. As you can see in Figure 2, the total number of deals increases when we expand the dataset.
For example, in 2023, if we look at total number of deals including mergers and acquisitions, sale of shares, crowdfunding, licensing deals and other non-venture capital financial instruments, the number is quite impressive. Local companies saw ~$3.3 billion in deals (over and above the $209.4 million). For total funds raised, this is the second-best year on record after 2021.
A few notable transactions include:
Figure 2, Deals Identified in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region by Type and Year
Of the 39 venture capital raises identified in the region in 2023, valuation data could only be found for 28 of those deals. Over time some of this data will likely become public – increasing the $209.4 million value reported here.
The single biggest deal in 2023 was Jobber, who completed a Series D round of $134 million. But that is not the only local company that had reason to celebrate last year. Excluding Jobber, the average raise in the region in 2023 was $3.1 million with at least ten companies raising more than $2 million. Three other noteworthy raises that occurred last year were:
Like last year, companies representing diverse economic sectors contributed to the overall increase in funding – this includes companies in all five of Edmonton Global’s priority sectors (life sciences, food & agriculture, global logistics, clean energy, artificial intelligence & technology).
Figure 3, Number of 2023 Deals in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region by Month and Sector
There are a few additional deals worth noting that have special significance for the Edmonton region despite the companies not being headquartered here:
I am also tracking a number of outbound and inbound acquisitions that I believe are significant. Notable inbound acquisition deals include:
Notable outbound acquisitions include:
Finally, it was also good to see the positive trend in the region of funds raising funds continue in 2023. Notable examples include:
2023 was another exciting year for business in the Edmonton region with the single best year on record for venture capital investments and the second-best year for other capital raising instruments. The strength of the business landscape in the Edmonton region is evident in the local companies’ ability to raise capital across various industries and sizes.
Despite challenges faced by national and international counterparts, companies in the Edmonton region successfully secured funding. The ongoing interest from foreign entities in acquiring local businesses underscores the region’s consistent capability to develop enterprises that provide globally relevant value. I’m optimistic about the future of the Edmonton region and look forward to continuing to track financing activity throughout 2024 and report back again in 2025 with another update.
If you want to learn more about tech financing in the Edmonton region or want to chat more with me on this topic (or any other topic in my DYK series), reach out using the form below
Jeff Bell is the Director of Research and Business Intelligence at Edmonton Global. His knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep – and when a question arises, he enjoys digging deep into the data to provide solid defensible research that can inform strategy.
Reach out to Jeff if you know of an innovative business that should be tied into his network.