Angel investing in Canada topped $1 billion from 2010 to 2019, finds a report from the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO).
In 2019, angel investors put up $163.9 million across 299 investments — the highest dollar amount reported since 2010 — up 14.8% from 2018 and bringing the 10-year investment total to $1.02 billion. The previous annual record was $162.2 million in 2017.
The number of investments in 2019, however, was significantly lower than in the previous three years (583 in 2018 and 505 in 2017).
“This reflects a significant increase in the mean size of investment, but a decline in the median size of investment compared to the previous two years,” the NACO report said.
Follow-on investments (subsequent investments in the same entity) accounted for 45% of 2019 deals, up from 36% in 2018.
Angel investment activity was concentrated in Ontario and Quebec last year (86% on a dollar basis), with Western Canada accounting for 13% and Atlantic Canada for 1%.
Women made up 17% of the members of Canadian angel groups in 2019 and 2018, up from 14% in 2017.
“This report demonstrates the important role that angel investors have had in the development of the innovation ecosystem, marking a new milestone with $1 billion invested in support of Canada’s entrepreneurs by our members,” said Claudio Rojas, CEO of NACO, in a release. “To emerge from the economic crisis, Canada needs to activate angel capital by an order of magnitude or risk losing a generation of entrepreneurs.”
The report made four recommendations for increasing angel investment: co-investment initiatives, tax incentives, securities regime exemptions and support for a non-profit angel group network.