Like so many things in 2020, Canadian venture capital activity didn’t pan out as expected.
When lockdowns swept the country in mid-March, venture-backed companies braced for investors to lock their coffers. Instead, government programs designed to buoy the economy helped push local capital into private Canadian firms at record levels—at least initially. By mid-year, private spending began to slow, falling 11 per cent below 2019 levels in the first nine months of 2020. Meanwhile, south of the border, an onslaught of tech companies were reaching record valuations or listing on public exchanges, offering sky-high returns—including for some Canadian investors.
Here’s a look at the highlights for Canadian VCs amid the chaos of 2020.