Part of our national angst bemoans the lack of Canadian investors in Canadian Unicorns. I used to think that was a problem but lately I’ve come to think I was wrong. This new thinking was emphasized by a blog by Danilo Tominovic. Danilo has done a good job raising the issue but there appears to be a bit of data missing from the list in his blog. I can’t resist a good bit of research so here we go.
According to CBInsights, we have 19 Unicorns. That’s like 17 more than a couple of years ago so we’re heading in the right direction. These Canadian Unicorns have a total of 408 investors including duplicates. Most of these are institutional except primarily for Dapper Labs which has whack-load (116) of investors, most of them angels (shout out to Ashton Kutcher). I didn’t count Canadian Angels but I did count Canadian VCs and there are 37 Canadian VCs that made 52 investments in 85 rounds.
I guess the question is whether 52 investments out of 408 is a good result. On the surface it would appear that we don’t seem very supportive of Canadian companies but then you can look at it another way. It’s probably the ratio that one should expect. After all, an international firm should be getting funding internationally and given that Canada has less than 10% of the capital available internationally, we should expect that a successful international scaleup should have less than 10% Canadian funding. So having 13% of the investments isn’t doing too bad for now.
I love to make lists so I’ve made another one. Here are the Canadian VCs active in investing in Canadian Unicorns. I’ve included the nine firms with more than one investment for your edification and enjoyment.