MLA Mark Smith

MLA Mark Smith

MLA Mark Smith: Venture capital in Alberta 2020

On March 24, 2021, the Canada Venture Capital and Private Equity Association released their annual report. It affirmed what Alberta’s government has said for months: that for venture capital in Alberta, 2020 was a record-shattering year. Notably, 2020 saw significant investments in Edmonton and Calgary, in particular.

This is excellent news for the province of Alberta, especially when compared to the rest of the country. Nationwide, Canada’s venture capital investment was down 29 per cent in 2020. In comparison, Alberta’s venture capital investment doubled, with $455,000,000 in deals.

This investment is extremely positive for Alberta’s economy. Jobber, Symend and Neo Financial, all Alberta-based companies, have announced that they raised record amounts of funds this past year. These significant levels of venture capital investment demonstrate the momentum of growth in our province’s tech and innovation sector, helping get Albertans back to work as we continue to respond to the economic challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alberta Enterprise Corporation played an important role in the majority of the venture capital investments made last year. These investments, coupled with recent announcements from companies such as mCloud and Infosys stating that they are moving their operations to Alberta, means technology companies and innovators are starting to notice that Alberta is a good place to invest and run their operations.

2019 and 2020 were both record years for venture capital in Alberta. With this pattern of growth, the provincial government’s recapitalization of Alberta Enterprise Corporation, and new policies that encourage innovation and investment right here in our province, we have built a strong foundation to ensure 2021 is another strong year for our tech and innovation sector. This is truly a turning point for diversification and growth in our provincial economy.

Albertans are resolute, and every single one of us is determined to ensure Alberta’s economy rebounds from this pandemic stronger than ever before. Last year’s capital venture investment numbers and recent company relocations demonstrate that our plan to grow and diversify our economy is working, and we are doing everything we can to emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic in an excellent position.

In 2020, Alberta’s venture capital investment doubled with $455,000,000 in deals.

2020 was a record-shattering year for venture capital in the province, building upon 2019’s record year. While the country’s venture capital investment was down almost 30 per cent last year, Alberta’s doubled with $455,000,000 in deals. Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) played a critical role in 53 per cent of the venture capital investments made last year. With two incredible years for Alberta’s tech sector, the recapitalization of AEC and new policies that encourage innovation and investment, there are some much-needed signs of hope for Alberta. Our province has built a solid foundation to ensure 2021 will be another historic year for this sector and a turning point for economic growth.

— Mark Smith, MLA for Drayton Valley – Devon