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Job creation data in the Atlantic Canadian Tech Ecosystem for Q1 2022

Ukraine

After a long build-up of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border, Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.  While there were warnings of this invasion, it sent shockwaves through the international community.  Shortly after this invasion, a number of international sanctions took place against Russia and have resulted in a mass exodus of companies and assets from Russia.

COVID

On the COVID-19 front, the omicron variant continued to spread causing additional strain on many already over capacity healthcare systems. In addition, China took a hard stance with full-out lockdowns across many of their cities with a zero-COVID policy.

Global Ripple Effects

These macro events have caused a number of ripple effects across the global economy. For example, decreased manufacturing capabilities and increasing oil prices (e.g. transportation costs) are fueling a number of supply chain problems and rising costs. These effects, plus monetary policies over the past couple of years, are causing inflation to hit record highs, which is leading many central banks to fight it by increasing interest rates.

Warren Buffet once said “Interest rates are like gravity in valuations. If interest rates are nothing, values can be almost infinite. If interest rates are extremely high, that’s a huge gravitational pull on values.”

Many entrepreneurs who launched their businesses in the last decade have only experienced an environment of low-interest rates, which has led to high valuations.  As interest rates rise, investors will begin moving away from high-risk assets into safer havens. 

This is why there has been a pullback in venture capital in Q1 2022 and there will be a continued pullback as interest rates go higher…  If you look around at the sentiment across venture capital investors in Q1 2022, most are saying to prepare for the worst.

Some entrepreneurs reading this may feel they need to hit the panic button. On the other hand, some entrepreneurs may think this environment doesn’t necessarily affect them. The only advice I have to those in either of those camps is to continue creating products/services that delight your customers and manage your cash obsessively. Do this, and you’ll weather any storm.

Atlantic Canadian Technology Ecosystem Performance in Q1 2022

With everything going on in the world, how did the Atlantic Canadian technology ecosystem perform in Q1 2022?  It doesn’t appear there was any pullback in the region.  In fact, there was a large increase in jobs across the startup ecosystem in Atlantic Canada throughout Q1 2022.  The number of jobs increased by about 478, bringing the number of those employed by the sector to 13,298. 

Of the companies that I’m tracking 29% hired employees, 47% had no change and 24% had less staff than the previous quarter. Much of the job growth came from companies that announced large raises in 2021.

Funding News

In addition, there was some big funding news out of the region in Q1 2022:

We release jobs data each quarter for Atlantic Canada. If you’d like to receive future job data from the industry, please subscribe to our newsletter, by clicking here.

Top Atlantic Canadian Tech Employers in Q1 2022

Sorted by net new jobs created:

  • Verafin
  • Meta
  • Vid Cruiter
  • Dash Hudson
  • Novonix
  • Mysa
  • CarbonCure Technologies
  • Biovectra
  • Sonrai
  • iWave
  • SpryPoint
  • Mariner Partners
  • ShoeLace (previously EyeRead)
  • Skin Fix
  • Carbide (previously Securicy)
  • Colab
  • Milk Moovement
Quarterly portfolio updates - Q1 2022

It’s time for our quarterly portfolio updates!

Investment News

As of March 2022, our portfolio company 3D Planeta has changed their name to Terris. They’re still the same innovative and diverse company that they’ve always been – with a brand name to better reflect their vision as the new era of earth intelligence.

In late January, our portfolio company Proof was acquired by Daylight Automation. Proof’s co-founders, Ben Sanders and Wesley George, took on leadership roles at Daylight as vice president of business development, and vice president of solutions engineering, respectively. Congratulations!

In January, our portfolio company TrojAI announced they secured $3 million in seed funding, and we’re proud to be a part of that. TrojAI’s team works on increasing protection against security threats to AI platforms.

Event & Award News

In February, our portfolio company Carbide won two distinctions in the 2022 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards! Carbide won the GOLD award for “Best Compliance Solution” and the SILVER award for “Best GDPR Compliance Solution.”

New Job Openings

Keep an eye on our blog for more quarterly portfolio updates throughout the year.

It’s a pretty good time to be an entrepreneur in Atlantic Canada. A decade ago there were only a couple of firms investing in startups. Now, however, there are over a dozen firms based here. Let’s take a look at these VCs in Atlantic Canada.

NBIF logo

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (est 2003) is an independent, private organization focused on venture capital and research funding. They help New Brunswick innovators solve globally relevant problems through research, solid advice and access to capital.

Website: www.nbif.ca

Innovacorp logo

Innovacorp (est 1995) is Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization. They work to find, fund and foster innovative Nova Scotia start-ups that strive to change the world. Early stage investment is at the core of their business model. They also give entrepreneurs access to world-class incubation facilities, expert advice and other support to help them accelerate their companies.

Website: http://innovacorp.ca

BDC Capital logo

BDC Capital exists to help turn great ideas into great companies. And similarly, great companies into engines of jobs, growth and wealth creation. In fact, they are Canada’s largest and most active venture capital investor.

Website: https://www.bdc.ca/en/bdc-capital/

Build Ventures logo

Build Ventures (est 2013) is a Venture Capital firm that provides early stage capital to emerging Atlantic Canadian technology companies. The company is managed on behalf of its Limited Partners by Patrick Keefe and Rob Barbara.

Website: http://www.buildventures.ca

Concrete Ventures

Concrete Ventures (est 2018) finds great ideas and founders in Atlantic Canada that are ready to build massively scalable businesses and work with them to grow their businesses.

Website: https://concrete.vc/

Sandpiper Ventures vc

Sandpiper Ventures (est 2020) provides a platform where women investors and founders can radically disrupt the venture capital environment.

Website: http://sandpiper.vc/

East Valley VC

East Valley Ventures (est 2011) is a community of innovative entrepreneurs in the business of transforming early stage ideas into successes. They help passionate Atlantic Canadian founders launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.

Website: http://www.eastvalleyventures.com/

Killick Capital

Killick Capital Inc. (est 2004) is a leading Atlantic Canadian Private Equity firm, dedicated to partnering with Atlantic Canadian businesses and Global Aerospace businesses. Specifically, they focus on identifying and funding investments with the potential for substantial growth, long-term value creation and capital appreciation.

Website: http://www.killickcapital.com/

Pelorus VC

Pelorus Venture Capital Ltd. (est 2015) is a Venture Capital fund focused on Newfoundland and Labrador. They invest in pre-seed innovation companies with founders who disrupt and develop their bold ideas.

Website: https://www.pelorusvc.com/

Island Capital Partners

Island Capital Partners is an early stage venture capital fund that is in the business of investing in high potential Prince Edward Island entrepreneurs and startups.

Website: https://www.peislandcapitalpartners.com/

Tidal Venture Partners

Tidal Venture Partners is a pre-seed to seed + fund focused on the emerging ecosystem of Atlantic Canada. They back small teams with high potential, who have detailed plans for achieving larger, later stage milestones. They are interested in bold ideas backed by action.

Website: https://tidalventurepartners.com/

Cape Breton Capital Group

Cape Breton Capital Group  (est 2022) is one of the newest VCs in Atlantic Canada. They invest in early stage startups and support succession planning of businesses in Cape Breton.

Website: http://www.capebretoncapital.com/

LongShot Capital

LongShot Capital (est 2021) invests in early stage tech companies that are raising rounds of $300k-$1M. They invest with other angels, strategic and VCs, but they do not lead.

Website: http://www.longshotcap.com/

NPC

Natural Products Canada (est 2016) is a not for profit focused on Canadian natural product innovations that can replace synthetic products to benefit people, animals and the planet. They provide a one-stop shop for strategic insights, programs and services to anyone looking to participate in Canada’s natural product industry.

Website: http://naturalproductscanada.com/

Additional VCs in Atlantic Canada:

Are there any VCs we missed? Let us know in the comments.