Exits in Canada: January 2016

Screenshot 2016-02-05 08.05.07

As we get busier and busier with exit work at SurePath, I thought I’d begin sharing some of the data that we track. We work primarily with SaaS, e-commerce and marketplace companies. But we track activity across the entire software spectrum.

January was a pretty quiet month for software exits in Canada. Highlights:

  • 8 deals announced
  • No deal had a disclosed value
  • 4 of the companies were in Toronto, 2 in Montreal, 2 in Vancouver
  • 2 of the 8 companies were VC-backed
  • 1/2 of the buyers were from the US, 1/2 were Canadian
  • Only 1 buyer was public
  • Median time to exit: 7 years
  • Shortest time to exit: 1 year
  • Longest time to exit: 24 years

What we saw in January is pretty typical. Most of the press covers VC and venture-backed companies. But this is actually a small minority of the software universe. So, it comes as no surprise that most of the deals were not VC-backed.

While we are all shooting for home runs, the reality is that most exits are quite modest in nature. That was the case in January with all but one of the deals being private to private (bought by a privately held buyer, often for a mix of cash and shares). The fact that no deal had a disclosed value also suggests most deals were modest in nature.

I will report on these each month. If you’re interested in seeing the underlying data, I keep it here.

  • Vasant Kumar

    Hi Mark,

    What happens in the background during a lot of these modest deals? It seems like it’s in the interest of all parties (founders, investors, employees) to put together some kind of deal at the end of one company’s runway.

    Are these acquisitions success stories? Or are they bailouts?


    • http://startupcfo.ca/ Mark MacLeod

      I don’t have all the stories here. And what I do know is not public. All i can say is that there are no big wins here. This is pretty common