In Q2, Waterloo Region’s tech ecosystem had 7 investments totaling $749.7M CAD from 13 investors. While this is the best funding quarter Waterloo Region has seen, it is due in large part to two deals, Applyboard’s $375M CAD Series D round and Faire's $314M CAD Series F round. Waterloo Region saw a 5364% increase in total investment and a 22% decrease in the number of deals compared to last quarter. If you look back to Q2 2020, this quarter has seen the total investment increase by 387% and the number of deals decrease 22%.
Also of note in Q2 was the Magnet Forensics IPO, the Archangel Network of Funds raise of $10M CAD as well as 2 Private Equity deals in Dejero Labs for $60M CAD and Axonify for $313M CAD.
In the first half of 2021, Waterloo Region is only 37% of the way to match the total deals in 2020 but has already surpassed 2020 in total investment.
While the first half of 2021 is above target for investment, there have been no Series A deals yet. On average it takes a startup 18 months to go from Seed to Series A. At first glance the 2020 Series A data looks to be confirming an uptick based on Seed deals in 2019 but upon looking deeper there are 24 companies who raised Seed capital over 18 months ago and have not yet raised Series A capital. Could the second half of 2021 bring some Series A deals or is there a gap in the ecosystem of companies making it to the next stage?
Founded in 2015, ApplyBoard offers software that helps international students apply to study abroad. The Series D round was led by Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board (OTPPB) through its Teachers Innovation Platform (TIP) with participation from Fidelity Management & Research, BDC, Harmonic, Index Ventures, Garage Capital, and Blue Cloud Ventures.
Founded in 2013, Tulip provides apps for retail store associates to allow them to look up products, manage customer info, check out shoppers, and communicate with clients. The startup’s clients include fashion, luxury, and retail brands Mulberry, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kendra Scott, Kate Spade, COACH, and Michael Kors. The Series C round was led by Arrowroot Capital with participation by BDC Capital and other undisclosed, existing Tulip investors.
Founded in 2014, SkyWatch builds infrastructure to connect satellite data operators and application developers with two different products: EarthCache, which provides satellite data for an application, and TerraStream, a data management platform for satellite data operators. The Series B round was led by Drive Capital with participation from existing investors BDC ICE Venture Fund, Golden Ventures, Space Capital, and Bullpen Capital.
The most active investor in Q2 was BDC Capital.
Aug 2, 2021