2017 Was a Banner Year for L-SPARK

As we reflect back over the last year, it’s easy to see why this was a banner year for L-SPARK. Our portfolio has grown to thirty-six companies with a total investment raised of $16.8M and six out of our seven companies in the current cohort have come from outside of Ottawa (Toronto, Montreal and Fredericton).

Our mentors have been busy with our entrepreneurs and they’ve collectively put in over 7,500 hours this year. To help them get through, we also ordered over 117 sandwiches for our Lunch and Learn events and vended over 5,567 coffees this year.

We also had our largest selection day panel to date and welcomed judges from across the entire industry. Our events — SaaS North, SaaS Showcase and Cottage Pitchfest as well as our many lunch and learn events — saw over 2,665 attendees and we held over 325 meetings during our SaaS Roadshow.

On the topic of SaaS North, the event saw a 30% increase in attendance, 100% increase in exhibitors and we heard from over 90+ amazing and insightful speakers.


Key Launches in 2017

This year, L-SPARK released Voice of the North — a digital publication focused on producing and sharing valuable SaaS-focused content — and saw a reach of 1,138,342 and 5,124,872 impressions. With just 70 articles published this year to a community of 10,000 people, we’re excited to see where it goes in 2018.

We also released the Voice of the North Video Playbook. This collection of videos, on SaaS related topics, offers the opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s brightest from anywhere. It’s the perfect compliment to the written articles on Voice of the North.

Finally, we released the State of SaaS 2017 report, which features important metrics that we gathered, with the support of the CVCA, about the SaaS industry, venture capital investment and what the major deals look like across the country.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Total investment in Canadian SaaS companies by Canadian investors: $1.02B
  • Total number of deals: 100
  • Investment including US firms: $743.1M
  • Approximately 30% of deals were led solely by Canadian investors
  • Average deal size: $10.8M


L-SPARK’s Predictions for 2018

The L-SPARK team has put their heads together to make some predictions for 2018. We’ve also compared our notes from last year to this year and noted those below!

Here’s where we see the company going next year:

  • 2 Series A Rounds
    • Last year we projected 30% of the portfolio would raise Series A rounds but instead, we have 8% of the portfolio falling into this category
  • 10 Seed Rounds
    • Last year we projected that 8 companies would close their seed rounds for a projected total of $4M and the actual was 10 companies for a total of $6.03M
  • Investment growth of $20M
    • Last year we projected that we’d have an aggregate of $24M in raised investment and the actual was a total of $16.8M.

Here are our predictions for the SaaS industry in 2018:

  • Canadian investment and deals up 30%
  • Average deal sizes to increase to over $15M
  • Sectors to watch: Cyber, FinTech and AV
  • US investment presence to hit $1B

Have predictions of your own to share? Share them on social media and be sure to tag us in your posts! We’d love to see what you think about the state of SaaS for 2018 so we can compare notes at the end of next year.