2016 Year in Review: A Look Back at the Top BC Tech Industry Stories of 2016Thursday, December 22, 2016
Point Grey Research, Inc. was acquired by FLIR Systems for $253 Million in one of the biggest M&A deals of 2016
Vancouver, BC, December 22, 2016--(T-Net)--We should really call 2016 the 'Year of the Deal' - that's how big the impact of all the major new M&A (merger and acquisition) and financing announcements were on our local BC tech industry in 2016.
We had major M&A activity, major new financings, substantial new VC funds being raised (and invested), substantial signs of growth (everywhere), BC tech companies pretty much taking over the Vancouver commercial real estate market (now at 42.7% of overall commercial office space according to some reports), and a number of companies being recognized for excellence in a large number of areas and sectors.
So let's start with mergers and acquisitions.
Thanks to the low Canadian dollar, exceptionally low interest rates (thanks to central bankers worldwide with their ongoing ZIRP and NIRP policies), and the rapidly growing size and value of some of BC's best emerging homegrown tech companies, countless local tech companies were acquired over this past year (mostly by larger US companies), and some for major amounts.
Some of these companies are staying in BC (with new corporate owners and/or brand names), while others may be leaving our fair city or Province, or being integrated into operations elsewhere.
By our count, T-Net reported on over 65 substantial acquisitions of (or by) local BC tech companies in the past year (fiscal 2016), for total acquisition amounts exceeding $7.5 Billion (in the aggregate).
Here are the top 5 M&A (merger and acquisition) deals we reported on in 2016:
Editor's Note: But wouldn't it all be better if we had a strong Canadian dollar and WE were the ones doing more of the acquiring, instead of hollowing out our senior management teams and headquarter capabilities in BC? Weren't we competing just fine with a dollar at par? Hint hint Mr. Poloz?
And while M&A deals took centre stage in 2016, and while the IPO market for tech companies was not (quite) as red hot in 2016 as the prior two years (14 tech IPO's were completed in 2016, vs 28 in 2015, and 62 in 2014), there were definitely a substantial number of local tech companies raising significant amounts of Series-A, B, Seed and other rounds of funding in 2016.
T-Net alone reported on over 100 BC tech company financings in fiscal 2016, with gross capital raised by BC tech companies exceeding $800 million this year (a few of these were also raised on public markets).
Here are the top 5 BC tech industry (private) financing deals we reported on in 2016 (three companies tied for 4th and 5th spot at $20 million raised each):
We should also add that a number of publicly traded BC tech companies (espcially biotech and Life Sciences companies) also raised significant amounts of financings via private placements and public offerings in 2016 (for even larger amounts in some cases).
Examples of these include:
What is equally exciting (and perhaps important for the industry) is the significant amount of new private venture capital being raised in 2016 to invest in the local BC tech industry down the road.
A large number of existing VC investors loaded up and raised (or are in the process of raising) significant new funds, and there are a number of new investors or funds also setting up shop in 2016 (including $100 million from the BC government), all of which may bode well for future growth of our industry in 2016 and beyond.
Experts are expecting the IPO pipeline to open up further with more tech IPO's in 2017 which has also good downstream effects.
Here are some of the major new VC deals and new Funds raised that we reported on in 2016 (in no particular order):
A lot of company specific growth and industry-wide growth also occurred in 2016, reflected by a number of companies hiring significantly (see T-Net Careers section), companies growing in headcount size, and companies moving into larger and impressive new office spaces.
Here are some of the major growth stories we reported on in 2016:
And last but not least, a significant number of BC tech companies (and individuals) were recognized and honored with major awards in 2016.
Here are some of the major award announcements we reported on at T-Net this year (and some of the companies and individuals making serious waves in the BC tech industry this past year):
Just in case you didn't think anything happened in 2016 !
Stay tuned with T-Net - we've got you covered again all year coming up in 2017 (T-Net's 20th year anniversary will also be coming up on Oct 1, 2017).
The theme for 2017 - continue to grow and think big (or bigger) both personally, and at the corporate level - Vancouver and BC are really starting to grow into their own. We can really see and feel the difference at T-Net from 10 years ago, and its pretty amazing to behold overall when you think about it big picture.
But watch for pitfalls and black swans also. We live in a crazy ZIRP and NIRP world (since 2008-2009 financial crisis) of massive goverment debt, low interest rates and easy money concocted out of thin air by central bankers (that could easily end badly at any time), completely insane housing prices (up 30% in one year?), and we also have a brand new US president and Republican administration coming in January, and who knows what that might all bring. So stay vigilant and focused while we try to continue to grow as a major tech hub and ecosystem.
2016 was a good year for the tech industry in BC all things considered, and we hope to see more continued industry growth as we move along now into 2017.
Seasons greetings to you and yours from T-Net, and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
The T-Net Team
Editor's Note: If we missed anything really major in our above-noted year end summary of major announcements (compareable in size and importance to other listed items), or if you notice any errors, just let us know and we'll try and add it (or fix it).
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