Image for post
Image for post
Sherlock Reviews My 2019 Predictions

Canadian Venture Capital and Startup Predictions for 2019: An Update

At the beginning of each year, I look backwards and forwards on trends shaping the Canadian technology startup industry. It is mid-year, I have a bit of recharging time before I start my new role at Wittington Investments so I thought I would review how my technology startup predictions from six months ago are shaping up.

Canadian StartUp Financing Environment

As I first reviewed what I wrote six months ago, I noticed that I was significantly wrong on my predictions of exits for 2019; but at least I’m wrong in a good way. I predicted one significant exit for the year, and sitting here halfway through the year we already have three — Lightspeed (USD$1.1 billion), Intelex ($570 million) and Wave ($405 million). Given the significance of these and other exits during the year, I wrote a leaderboard companion piece to this comparing exit values over the last decade or so.

Related to the above, six months ago I thought that 2019 would see two new venture capital firms announce formation and fund-raising. Well, little did I know at the time that I would be part of one of them as Wittington Investments gets more serious about venture capital. As well, Eva Lau’s Two-Small Fish Ventures announced formation as a formal fund. And Radical announced its first fund. Tick the box on this one.

As it relates to funding of Canadian startups, I felt that total funding would drop, and that we would continue the trends of growth in later-stage investment and drop in early-stage investment. Data from CVCA for Q1 and my quick scan of Q2 deals seems to suggest that I may be partially right for the year — total venture funding is growing (Q1 alone saw an almost 50% increase over the previous year, Q2 seems about flat), and the late-stage venture and growth-equity rounds continue to increase (the amount of investment between each for 2018 was about equal, whereas in year-to-date 2019 later-stage investment is about 50% higher). I’m doing 50/50 on my new funding predictions.

Canadian Financing Environment Score: 3 out of 4

Technology Trends

My various technology predictions for the year included:

  • No Apparent Next New Innovation Platform — With VCs investing widely in robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, virtual reality, bitcoin/blockchain, quantum computing, internet of things, healthtech, foodtech, cleantech, proptech, synthetic biology .. it’s still not yet clear to me which, if any, are the transformational platform(s) the way mobile and social have been in past decade.

Technology Trends Score: 5 out of 9

International Trends

My predictions for international trends for the year include:

  • an expectation of some high profile IPOs in the U.S., yet overall a similar total number of IPOs. The Uber, Lyft, Beyond Meat and Slack IPOs have been very high profile, and the overall pace of IPOs has been flat so I may prevail on that prediction.

My international trend predictions thus far seem like a mixed bag.

International Trends Score: 1 out of 3

So, long story short, it looks like I am on track for a score of 9 out of 16 for my 2019 predictions. The year of course isn’t over and I’ll revisit these in more detail at the end of 2019 for a full accountability.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store