March 27, 2019 /BetaKit/ –  I (Mark MacLeod) was in Ottawa recently to present my thoughts on the state of the Canadian SaaS industry. The fact that 500 people showed up on a Wednesday night says a lot about the state of our ecosystem. Canada is ‘SaaSy’. I don’t need to look at the stats in order to know that our ecosystem is thriving and that SaaS companies represent the largest portion of startups in our country. Nevertheless, look at stats is exactly what I did. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of Canadian SaaS.

To prepare for this talk, I looked at SaaS venture funding since 2017 as well as exits (mergers, acquisitions, and buyouts) in 2018. A look into this deal activity reveals many things.

Venture Funding

VC funding is the logical place to start. After all, this is how many startups get going. Also, we place a lot of attention on VC (I would argue far too much attention, but that’s another topic for another time…).

The trends here are surprising. I had expected deal count and dollars to be up significantly in 2018. After all, the headlines for funding in the US are bigger than ever. However, deal count was down 5 percent from the prior year. Capital invested was down 15 percent.


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