The Road Ahead for Canadian Venture Capital
Mark Skapinker is one of the board members at NowPublic and one of our esteemed investors. I love it when he goes on a rant about the VC market in Canada. People should sit up and listen. He is usually never wrong (except of course, when we disagree on things...and then I am always right.) :) Great stuff.
So, word is out that the Canadian VC industry is in crisis. Investments in funds and consequently portfolio companies is down dramatically, particularly in Ontario.
For those of us who have been at this for a while, this is no surprise. We have watched the industry shrink around us, particularly in Ontario. Today, Brightspark is about the only seed/early stage private VC fund remaining in Toronto. We have watched the Labour sponsored funds being decimated, other funds unable to raise monies or fleeing the market, the fund investor market shrink progressively over a number of years. As I have spoken about in other posts, the Quebec market is holding its own because of the positive moves made to encourage outside funds to move there and establish a strong base. Meantime the Ontario effort has been to keep spending lots of dollars on Mars (great building by the way, but the absolute wrong way to create an industry) and we still hear talk of the $90 million coming for the VC industry – soon to be too little too late.