Dealmakers and investors, for the most part, aren’t a fan of uncertainty and risk, two things that the coronavirus pandemic and interest rates had in spades throughout 2022. However, Ottawa saw a flurry of Mergers & Acquisitions and financing transactions last year. In 2022, both private equity firms and corporations made multiple acquisitions in the city. These acquisitions were part of their growth strategies and aimed at expanding their reach and market share. The city also attracted investment from venture capital firms and private equity funds, which has helped in the growth of startups and small businesses. Overall, the M&A and financing activity in Ottawa in 2022 has been robust, reflecting the strong economic conditions in the city and the growing importance of the region as a hub for technology and financial services.
Acquisitions in Ottawa:
- Assent Compliance, a company focused on supply chain sustainability management, raised $350 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion in a funding round led by Vista Equity Partners. This marks one of the biggest funding rounds in the history of Canadian software companies and solidifies Assent’s status as a unicorn, with a valuation of over $1 billion.
- The merger between Smart & Biggar and IPH Limited was the next largest transaction, worth $259 million. This partnership provides Smart & Biggar with access to a network of intellectual property experts spanning 25 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as ample resources for improving their IP service delivery to clients in Canada.
- The third largest transaction by value was the acquisition of i-Sight Software by Resurgens Technology Partners, a software-focused private equity firm, for $115.4 million. This was a platform investment in i-Sight, which is a leading provider of case management software for HR, compliance, and corporate security departments within mid-sized and large organizations.
Other notable transactions included:
- The acquisition of CADlink, provider of software for the sign making, digital printing, and CNC machining industries, by Siris Capital. Siris Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, acquired CADlink as an add-on to its EFI Fiery business. EFI Fiery is a leading digital front end and workflow software for the printing industry.
- The acquisition of Label Innovation by Morgan Stanley in October 2022. Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services firm, acquired Label Innovation as an add-on to its AWT Labels & Packaging division. AWT Labels & Packaging is a provider of label and packaging solutions for the healthcare, personal care, and consumer goods market.
- Fully Managed, a managed service provider (MSP), announced its merger with Telus in January 2022. The estimated value of the transaction was $102 million.
There were many venture investments in the city as well.
The list of early-stage investments mentioned includes a diverse range of companies across different industries. Here are some of the noteworthy transactions:
- Trexity, provides on-demand, same-day delivery services for retailers and businesses.
- Noibu, provides automated error detection and monitoring for e-commerce websites. Their platform helps businesses identify and fix website errors that can lead to lost sales and revenue.
- CryoStasis: a medical technology company that is developing a new approach to cryopreservation
- Fieldless Farms: an agricultural technology company that is developing a new approach to vertical farming.
Some of the larger investments made by VCs in the City have gone to companies like DistillerSR, FigBytes, Lytica, and Corsa, all of which raised more than $10 million in equity.
- Field Effect Software, a Canadian-based cybersecurity company, received investment of $30 million from both Edison Partners and Tiny Capital. The company provides a suite of cybersecurity solutions to businesses, governments, and individuals to protect their networks, data, and digital assets.
- DistillerSR provides a web-based platform for researchers to streamline the systematic review process. They raised $15.5 million in funding round, led by Pender Ventures Thomvest Ventures with participation from Export Development Canada.
- FigBytes, a sustainability reporting software company that helps organizations measure, report, and improve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, raised $14.5 million in a funding round led by Quantum Energy Partners.
- Lytica, a supply chain analytics software company that helps manufacturers optimize their procurement and inventory management, raised $13 million from Resolve Growth Partners and York IE.
- Corsa, a network security company that provides software-defined security solutions for cloud, data center, and enterprise networks, raised $10 million from Roadmap Capital.
Debt has also been utilized by companies to secure financing, with notable examples being Fullscript, Solace, and Mitel Networks, which raised significant amounts of $121.14 million, $55.60 million, and $44.86 million, respectively.
The city saw a significant influx of investment from private equity firms, venture capital funds, and corporations, all seeking to expand their reach and market share. From the major funding rounds to the various acquisitions, the city’s deals showcased a diverse range of industries, including software, cybersecurity, agriculture, and healthcare. The 2022 transactions in the city were a clear indication of the growing investment interest in the area, and it is likely that there will be more transactions in the future.