INSIGHT INTO QUEBEC’S VENTURE CAPITAL AND PRIVATE EQUITY MARKET FOR Q3 2023

November 2023

PERSISTENT UNCERTAINTY WEIGHS ON INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES IN QUEBEC’S CAPITAL MARKET

This quarterly activity report on Québec’s private equity industry is presented by Réseau Capital and its Center of Expertise and produced in collaboration with the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA). This report details venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investments in Quebec for the third quarter of 2023 and overviews private investment in Québec companies by investment type, activity sector, funding stage, and investment size.

Since the beginning of the year, venture capital and private equity investments totaled nearly $4.29B through 375 deals. The first three quarters of 2023 has significantly decreased in investments compared to 2022.

In venture capital, with 101 deals and $1.19B invested, there is a gradual slowdown in both the number of deals and the amounts invested since the beginning of the year. Despite a slight easing of investments in startups and CleanTech in the last quarter, investments remain significant since the beginning of 2023.

For private equity, the number of deals has declined by over 33%, while the amounts invested have decreased by 42% compared to the same period in 2022, with 274 deals and $3.10B invested. The year 2023 is characterized so far by small-scale investments, with 62% of deals being investments of $5M or less.

The current economic situation continues to impact the markets and investment capital activities in Canada and Quebec, both for venture capital and private equity activities.

Venture Capital Highlights

  • During the third quarter, both the number of rounds and the amount invested continued to decline, totaling 26 deals amounting to $198M.
  • Since the beginning of the year, Quebec accounts for 20% of venture capital deals and 22% of the amount invested at the national level, securing its position as the second leading province, following Ontario.
  • Q3-2023 in Quebec is marked by a significant decrease in early-stage funding rounds, with only 3 deals totaling $43M.
  • Despite a loss of momentum in Q3-2023, early-stage investments in Quebec amount to $612M, representing 51% of the amount invested since the beginning of the year in the province.
  • The average size of VC investments in Quebec stands at $11.87M, which is higher than the national average of $10.91M and nearly on par with the Ontario average of $11.92M, but slightly lower than the British Columbia average of $12.33M.
  • The ICT sector maintains its dominance with 46 deals totaling $624M, accounting for 46% of the deal counts and 52% of the amounts invested.

 

Private equity Highlights

  • Since the beginning of the year, Quebec has registered investments of $3.10B through 274 deals. After achieving record transaction volumes in 2021 and 2022, the return to pre-pandemic levels (Q3-2020) is becoming more evident.
  • Quebec represents 57% of Canadian private equity deals, surpassing Ontario (25%) and British Columbia (10%), and accounts for 53% of amounts invested.
  • The largest PE deals in the last three quarters that can be disclosed are those of Nemaska Lithium ($250M), Lion Electric ($188M), EquiSoft Inc., and Workleap (formerly GSoft), each representing $125M in investments.
  • The average size of amounts invested per deal since the beginning of the year is $11.32M per deal, placing Quebec behind Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.
  • The Industrial and Manufacturing sector continues to attract a sizeable number of deals (69 deals totaling $394M), but it’s the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector that leads in terms of the amount invested (42 deals totaling $514M). The Business Products & Services sector and the Consumer Goods & Services sector have generated sustained activity.