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NACO Reports a 50 Percent Increase in Women Angel Investing in Canada

After 12 years of tracking investment data across the Canadian innovation ecosystem, the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) released key highlights from its Annual Report on Angel Investing in Canada. This year’s report highlights a record amount of investment, totaling $262.1 million. Over the past 12 years, Canadian angel investors invested a cumulative $1.38 billion, with $102.9 million invested in 2020 and $163.9 million invested in 2019. This report also tracks a shift in the women’s angel investing landscape. Women now comprise 27 percent of the members of Canadian angel organizations. This is a 13 percent increase from 2020 and an approximate 60 percent increase from 2019 and 2018.

With input from angel organizations and funds across the country, NACO’s Annual Report on Angel Investing in Canada tracks important trends in investment behavior and highlights the changing landscape of angel investing. This evidence-based report analyzes the evolution of angel investing within Canada’s innovation economy and informs program and policy development.

A shift in the angel investing landscape

“In 2021, we saw a wide-ranging shift from traditional modes of angel investing, with SPVs and early-stage funds contributing to a vibrant ecosystem. We also saw a conscious approach to breaking down systemic barriers for women and underrepresented entrepreneurs. It’s a year that reflects in many ways how our community is leading change in the broader economy,” said Claudio Rojas, CEO of the National Angel Capital Organization. “What happens in the angel community of today, affects the venture-capital community and the broader economy of tomorrow. While we have more work to do, I’m proud of what our network has achieved this past year.”

Angel investors fund emerging ventures in communities across the country, investing both locally and across regional borders along increasingly thematic lines. In addition to capital, angel investors provide invaluable mentorship and network access for entrepreneurs, often leveraging their own experience and knowledge to help entrepreneurs overcome otherwise challenging obstacles. Angel investors provide support at the critical early stages of a company’s lifecycle, paving the way for later investment from VC and private equity investors.

“Angel investment is a critical part of Canada’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. It supports start-ups in all sectors of the economy across the country,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. “This year’s NACO report shows incredible results are being achieved, in terms of both increased investments and a higher number of women now participating in angel organizations. I would like to congratulate NACO for their great work and leadership within the angel investor community.”

Investment from the federal government, coupled with support from local organizations and corporate partners has helped drive diversity across the angel landscape and has activated investment for equity-deserving groups and for founders in capital-constrained regions.

2022 NACO report on angel investing in Canada

Data reported last year by NACO highlighted the impact that economic uncertainty can have on angel investing, with angel investing activity closely mirroring the COVID-19 outbreak surges in 2020. The 2021 data paints a more positive picture showing a sharp increase in investment activity from Q1 to Q2, a slight drop in Q3 and a slight increase in deal activity in Q4.

“2021 was a phenomenal year for Canadian startups with the angel investor community making 635 investments, compared with 416 in 2020. These investments help create jobs and drive economic prosperity and innovation. Our priority at NACO is to sustain this momentum in the face of mounting economic pressures,” said Mary Long-Irwin, Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization. “We can look to successful programs like the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative or the BDC Capital Bridge Financing Program for inspiration as we work to develop new mechanisms to drive investment at the critical early stages of company growth, creating a strong pipeline of VC-ready, high-growth companies.”

This forthcoming 12th edition of the NACO Report on Angel Investing in Canada is authored by world-renowned researcher Colin Mason, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Glasgow.

Highlights from 2022 Report on Angel Investing in Canada – Claudio Rojas, CEO of NACO:

Highlights from 2022 Report on Angel Investing in Canada – Amanda Filipe, Director, National Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs:

Key stats

  • 50 percent increase in women angel investors over four-year average (2020: 24 percent, 2019: 17 percent, 2018: 17 percent, 2017: 14 percent). In 2021, women angel investor participation rose to 27 percent compared to 24 percent in 2020, an approximate 60 percent increase from 2019 and 2018.        
  • 53 percent increase in the number of investments with angel organizations facilitating 635 investments, compared with 416 in 2020. This is a 38 percent increase in the number of investments over the past four-year average.                                
  • Cumulative angel investment was $1.38 billion between 2010 and 2021 (inclusive).
  • The average amount invested per company in 2021 was $346,023.
  • There was a sharp increase in investment activity from Q1 to Q2, a slight drop in Q3 and a slight increase in deal activity in Q4.        
  • Central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) accounted for 67 percent of investments in 2021, 5 percent from Atlantic Canada, 27 percent from Western Canada, and 1 percent from Yukon.

About National Angel Capital Organization

National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) members have invested $1.38 billion into 2,000 Canadian companies. Incorporated in 2002, NACO is Canada’s professional association for angel investors and the only national platform for angel collectives and the innovation hubs that support Canada’s entrepreneurs. NACO’s national network includes 4,200 angel investors, 50 incubators and accelerators, and 45 angel groups.

Data collection partners and report contributors

More than 40 organizations and firms from across Canada’s innovation ecosystem supported the data collection, development and review of this year’s report.

  • Accelerate Okanagan
  • Angel One
  • Anges Québec
  • Backbone Angels
  • Bizfield Angel Network Ltd.
  • Bluesky Equities Ltd.
  • Brightspark Ventures
  • Canadian International Angel Investors Ltd.
  • Capital Angel Network
  • DealPoint for Syndicates
  • East Valley Ventures
  • Entrevestor
  • First Line Capital (Burlington)
  • Foresight
  • Genesis Centre
  • Georgian Angel Network
  • GIC Merchant Bank Corp
  • Golden Triangle Angel Network
  • GreenSky President’s Club
  • HaloHealth
  • Innovate Edmonton
  • InterGen
  • Island Capital Partners
  • Keiretsu Forum Canada
  • Killick Capital
  • Launch Ventures
  • Maple Leaf Angels
  • New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
  • Niagara Angel Network
  • Northern Ontario Angels
  • North Forge Technology Exchange
  • Ontario Capital Growth Corporation
  • Ontario Centre of Innovation
  • Pelorus Venture Capital
  • Peterborough Region Angel Network
  • Southeastern Ontario Angel Network
  • Southwestern Ontario Angel Group
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • Spark Angel Network
  • The51 Ventures Inc.
  • Two Small Fish Ventures
  • Valhalla Private Capital Inc
  • VANTEC Angel Network and E-Fund
  • Windsor Essex Capital Angel Network
  • York Angel Investors Inc.
  • Yukon Venture Angels
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