Cymax's $33m deal tops list of B.C.’s biggest venture capital investments: CVCA

Cymax CEO Araash Fasihi  

A $33-million investment in e-commerce company Cymax is B.C.’s largest capital venture deal completed through the first three quarters of 2015, according to report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

The CVCA’s November 12 report determined 61 venture capital deals involving B.C.-based companies have been announced so far this year, totalling $290 million.

Last year was more vibrant for the West Coast, however, as local firms managed to raise $339 million in venture capital by the end of Q3.

The $60 million raised in 2014 by Vancouver-based Hootsuite is nearly double that of the Cymax deal.

Cymax’s $33-million investment was raised primarily through BDC Capital and PlentyOfFish founder Markus Frind, who sold his online dating service earlier this year for US$575 million.

He told Business in Vancouver in July he was making a $21-million investment in Cymax as part of a strategy to focus on mid-stage companies as opposed to early-stage tech firms. Cymax specializes in buying and selling furniture online as well as software development.

But the CVCA report found most investors across Canada aren’t following Frind’s lead.

“There’s a trend toward early-stage investing which has captured the majority (52%) of investments at $843 million to date. Early-stage investing captured 33% of total investments in 2013 and 40% in 2014,” the CVCA said.

Across Canada, $1.6 billion in venture capital has been raised so far this year with Ontario ($708 million) and Quebec ($484 million) outdoing third-ranked B.C.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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