It appears that venture capital activity in the cleantech sector is headed for a down year. According to figures released by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) this week, there were 18 venture capital deals, totalling $84 million in the first half 2017.
Compared to previous years, 2017 (more on the first half 2017 numbers is HERE) is shaping up to be dismal performance for the cleantech sector. At $394 million, 2013 is the high water mark but since then annual VC activity has dropped considerably to $177 million in 2014, $138 million in 2015 but then rebounded a bit to $206 million in 2016.
The cleantech figures pale in comparison to the information and communications technologies (ICT) and life sciences sectors. The former continues to be the bread winner of Canada’s venture capital market, taking home 68% of all deals in the first half of the year with a total of $1.1 billion invested across 158 transactions. This compares to a 61% share in 2016, 58% in 2015, 64% in 2014 and 56% in 2013.
For the life sciences sector, it saw $344 million in venture capital committed through 52 deals.
On the private equity side, there has been a big uptake in the number of deals in the industrial and manufacturing and ICT spaces, while the oil, gas and power sector has taken a big hit. In the first half of 2017, there were 24 deals involving oil and gas companies or just 9%. This is a decline of 19% compared to PE deals for the sector in 2013.
Industrial and manufacturing companies led the way in the first six months of 2017 with 62 deals or 23%. This compares to 14% in 2013. The ICT sector had a 17% share of PE deals in the first half of the year, compared to 10% in all of 2013.
The cleantech sector was a bit player in PE in the first half of 2017 with only nine deals. The combined value was $433 million but much of this ($262 million or about 60% of the total) came from a single transaction involving Canadian Solar and Fengate Capital Management.