Blockchain has reached the global stage, captivating the attention of today’s leaders and promising to drive fundamental change across multiple industries. Analysts predict the technology will generate over $3 trillion in business value by 2030, reflecting the huge potential of blockchain across all industries.
Canada’s vibrant blockchain ecosystem is experiencing a meteoric rise, positioning itself as a global hub. It is now home to both leading research and internationally recognized talent. To evaluate the Canadian ecosystem, we compiled a robust database of 200+ startups, VCs, and blockchain related entities. Our comprehensive analysis covers funding, maturity, and focus area of the startup community.
Here are some highlights on the Canadian blockchain ecosystem:
1. Explosive but Slowing Growth
Between 2013–2017 nearly 200 blockchain entities (e.g. Startups, VCs, Incubators) have entered the Canadian ecosystem, growing at a CAGR of around 54%. In 2017 alone, a surge of 90 companies entered the market correlated to the rise of cryptocurrencies, and a record number of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). In 2018, however, the growth has slowed with only 26 companies entering the market to date.
2. A Country-Wide Movement
The Toronto-GTA corridor houses the majority of blockchain activity, accounting for roughly 45% of company volume. Other major Canadian blockchain hubs include Vancouver (20%) and Montreal (10%).
3. A Entrepreneurial focus on Fintech …
Roughly 32% of Canadian blockchain companies are concentrated in Fintech focus areas such as Payments & Banking, Trading, Exchanges, and Wallets. 21% are focused on non-financial Value Exchange, such as Data, File Storage, Content, Supply Chain, and Marketplaces. The growth of the landscape has given way to new professional services entrants, seizing the opportunity to capitalize. Research, consulting firms, legal services, and startup accelerators now make up 17% of the market.
4. … With Investors Betting on Fintech and Developer Tools
Fintech investment accounts for 22% of funding by volume. However, as the blockchain ecosystem evolves, questions around scalability and interoperability remain. It is no wonder why startups focused on developer tools and the building blocks for decentralized applications have attracted nearly 18% of Canadian investments. Not far behind in funding are Sovereignty (Identity, Security and Governance) focused companies at 13%.
5. A Strong Investment Climate
Of the 200+ Canadian blockchain companies included in our research, 35% have been able to secure and disclose funding, indicating a significant ability to accelerate growth. Canadian blockchain companies have raised $8MM CAD on average. By comparison, the typical Canadian startup raised $11MM CAD on average in 2017. This signifies that investments in blockchain startups are attractive and are already approaching par with the Canadian average.
6. Landscape of Funding
For companies that have disclosed funding information, 46% have raised via seed capital, 10% have raised post-seed private funding, 18% have reached an IPO, 23% have completed an ICO, and 3% have acquired exit funding (e.g. buy-out).
7. Growth in New Funding Options
ICOs have shown to be a hot topic in the Canadian ecosystem. 8% of all blockchain entities have conducted an ICO, raising an estimated total of $190MM CAD over the last two years.
8. Signs of Struggle …
Out of the 200+ blockchain companies that have entered the Canadian market, nearly 15%have folded or discontinued operations. Given the nascency of the blockchain scene as a whole, this failure rate signals that while blockchain investment and activity continues to grow there are still real challenges in commercializing solutions and delivering returns on investments.
9. … But Stories of Success
Many successful blockchain companies have foundational roots in Canada. Industry titans such as Ethereum, Aion, and ConsenSys play a major role in the blockchain economy on a global scale. This demonstrates the importance and impact of our Canadian blockchain community, and speaks to the great talent within our borders.
10. A Mature and Growing Ecosystem
13% of firms are still in the research and development stage, 17% have in-flight betas or pilots, and 55% of firms have a market ready solution or service (the remaining 15% of entities have folded). With over half the entities already offering market-ready solutions or services, the Canadian ecosystem is developing at a rapid pace with firms able to access sufficient capital and talent to grow. Fintech solutions (including Payments & Banking, Exchanges, and Trading) appear to be most mature, accounting for 14% of all active solutions.
Canada now has the established talent pool, capital, and resources to further position itself as a global blockchain hub. Our ecosystem is poised to continue growing at a formidable pace, creating many opportunities for investors and enthusiasts alike.
Note: The list is based on our own research and opinions and may be missing companies. If you’d like to add or recategorize companies, please reach out! All rights reserved for the infographic above.