Venture capital (VC) investments in the clean technology sector were a distant fourth to those in the information and communications technologies (ICT), life sciences and agribusiness sectors, according to data from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).
Released earlier this week, the numbers show that venture investments in cleantech reached $64 million in 21 deals. This pales in comparison to the ICT sector, which saw $1 billion invested through 180 deals. (It should be noted that there is some overlap between ICT and cleantech. For example, AddÉnergie Technologies, which secured a $13 million investment, is a firm that makes smart electric vehicle charging stations.)
Overall, 2016 first half investments hit $1.5 billion after the second quarter saw $683 million invested which built on the more than $840 million from Q1. This is almost 25% higher than overall VC investment in the first half of 2015 where it totaled $1.1 billion.
CVCA reported that while the clean technology sector didn’t fair well on the VC side, it shined in the private equity (PE) space where it took in $1.5 billion in 10 deals. Only oil and gas generated more PE investment at $2.6 billion.
In fact, of the top 10 disclosed PE deals in the first half of 2016, three of them were in clean technology companies. The major PE deals were: Services Matrec for $800 million; Capstone Infrastructure for $480 million; and TransAlta Renewables at $200 million.
The first half of 2016 saw a total of $6.1 billion invested through 173 deals, down nearly a third from the first half of 2015 where $8.9 billion was invested in 194 deals.
“Venture capital investment continues to rise in Canada,” Mike Woollatt, CEO at the CVCA, said in a statment. “On the top-end, we’ve seen a significant increase in the share of the amount invested in later stage deals (50%) compared to last year (38%), which is what Canada really needs to help companies scale and become world leaders.”