Exits in Canada: April 2016

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After a strong March, April was a pretty tepid month for software exits in Canada. Highlights:

  • 11 deals announced (15 last month)
  • 2 deals had a disclosed value, the largest of those being $ 14M.
  • 3 of the companies were in Toronto, 2 in Ottawa, the rest were distributed
  • 2 of the 11 companies were VC-backed, the rest were either bootstrapped or had not raised any institutional funding
  • 5 of the buyers were Canadian, 3 were from the US, the rest were distributed
  • 5 of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 15 years (11 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 5 years (although there was one stealth company that may have been younger
  • Longest time to exit: 37 years!
  • All of the buyers were strategic. No private equity deals this month. Same as last month.

All in all, a pretty underwhelming month.

It was nice to see Toronto’s Wattpad show up as an acquirer having bought stealth company Anirobo.

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

 

Exits in Canada: March 2016

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March was the biggest month for software exits in Canada so far this year, with two significant deals announced. Highlights:

  • 15 deals announced (14 last month, 8 in January)
  • 4 deals had a disclosed value. The largest disclosed deals were Wind Mobile’s sale to Shaw Communications ($1.2B), GGY’s sale to Moody’s ($115M) and Bitstrip’s sale to Snapchat ($100M) – all amounts in USD
  • 8 of the companies were in Toronto, 2 in Vancouver, the rest were distributed
  • 4 of the 15 companies were VC-backed, 2 were private equity backed, the rest were either bootstrapped or had not raised any institutional funding
  • 10 out of the 15 buyers were Canadian. One was from the UK, one from Europe. The rest were American
  • 4 of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 11 years (4.5 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 2 years
  • Longest time to exit: 35 years!
  • All of the buyers were strategic. No private equity deals this month.

For those of us that follow the VC-funded startup space by far the biggest deal was the Bitstrips acquisition. Bitstrips was founded in 2007, originally as a comic maker. It later pivoted into a mobile avatar app and got massive traction. The company had raised $11M from Kleiner Perkins, Horizons Ventures and Allen Lau’s Two Small Fish Ventures.

The Bitstrips outcome is a perfect illustration of B2C companies. The outcomes tend to be binary. Most often they don’t work. But when they do, they work big.

Apart from that deal the only other notable one was Wind. All the others were modest, with nominal or no disclosed value.

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

Continue reading Exits in Canada: March 2016

Exits in Canada: February 2016

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As we get busier and busier with exit work at SurePath, I thought I’d share 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.

February was another month filled with mainly modest software exits in Canada. Highlights: Continue reading Exits in Canada: February 2016