CIBC Tech & Innovation Market Update – March 2023 – Volume 35

Diverse Office: Portrait of Talented Indian Girl IT Programmer Working on Desktop Computer in Friendly Multi-Ethnic Environment. Female Software Engineer Wearing Glasses Develop Inspirational App

Welcome to the official newsletter of CIBC’s Tech & Innovation Capital Markets Group

A curated monthly report to keep our readers abreast on relevant and recent developments within the Canadian tech ecosystem.


Headshot of Mark Usher

Special Announcement – Mark Usher

Effective February 28, 2023, Mark Usher was appointed Executive Managing Director, CIBC Innovation Banking, taking over from Mark McQueen’s pivotal tenure. Mark Usher joined CIBC Innovation Banking with the acquisition of Wellington Financial in 2018 and is a founding member of the Innovation Banking business. He brings more than 25 years of financial services and venture economy experience to this role, including deep relationships with many of CIBC’s existing clients and industry stakeholders. In addition, CIBC Innovation Banking has appointed Paul McKinlay, Vice-President and Head of US Originations, Amy Olah, Managing Director and Head of Canada Originations and Patrick Martin, Vice-President, Portfolio and Credit Solutions.

Canadian technology sector performance and valuationCanadian Technology Sector Performance and Valuation Chart

 

 
EV / NTM revenue multiples 1 LTM sector price performance 1
EV/NTM revenue multiples: High Growth Canadian Saas 4.9x, Mid Cap Canadian Tech 2.4x, Small Cap Canadian Tech 1.8x, Large Cap Canadian Tech 2.8x LTM sector price performace: Large Cap Canadian Tech: (12.9%), Small Cap Canadian Tech (32.4%), Mid Cap Canadian Tech (22.1%), High-Growth Canadian Saas (17.8%)

Source: FactSet and Pitchbook; as at February 28, 2023; in C$ unless otherwise noted.
1 Please refer to the end of the document for technology group constituents.

 

Canadian Venture Capital market update 2

$491M

(vs. $360M in Jan-233)
Aggregate deal value

36

(vs. 30 in Jan-23)
Number of deals

$18M

(vs. $23M in Jan-233)
Avg. deal value

Ontario

($97M / 18)
Most active province
by count ($ / #)

Québec

($216M / 7)
Most active province
by value ($ / #)

Software

(41% of funds raised)
Most active sector

2 9 deals with no announced value are omitted from deal value.
3 14 deals with no announced value are omitted from deal value.

 

Noteworthy Canadian deals

Company

Size

Sub-sector

Lead investors

Equisoft

US$125M

IT Services

Investissement Québec, the Government of Québec, EDC

Jobber

US$100M

Software

General Atlantic

Smile Digital Health

C$30M

Healthtech

UPMC Enterprise, 30 North Group

T&I @ CIBC

Deal Activity

Beaucron - Undisclosed , Valuation February 2023

Beauceron Security – Credit facility

CIBC Innovation Banking provided a growth capital facility to Frederiction-based Beauceron Security Inc., a cybersecurity SaaS platform that helps businesses of all sizes manage and monitor cyber risks. Beauceron Security plans to leverage the growth capital facility to continue building new features and products to further assist businesses in reducing their vulnerability to human-centric cyber risks.

LandTech, £10 million, Term Loan, CIBC Innovation Banking acted as Sole Provider, February 2023

LandTech – £10 Million Term Loan

CIBC Innovation Banking provided £10 million in growth capital financing to LandTech, a London-based proptech firm enabling property developers and property professionals to identify and assess off-market development opportunities. Landtech will use the funds to expand its suite of products to help its clients navigate the complex sourcing, assessment and buying process within the industry. Funds will also be used to support the firm’s recent expansion to the US market, with potential acquisitions on the horizon.

Read the full report on Business Wire.

 

Announcements

A red vector drawing representing Up and Down Arrows

Structured Equity-Linked Financing 101 – Evaluating trade-offs between dilution and structure in the face of a challenging finance market

CIBC Capital Markets hosted a one-hour virtual workshop providing expert insights on the structured finance market. Joining T&I’s Asha Soares, Executive Director, CIBC Capital Markets, were industry experts Kareem El Sawy, Founding General Partner, Arrow Capital, and Jonathan Ziebeth, Managing Director, Sixth Street Partners.

Watch the webinar here.

CIBC Office building

CIBC Technology and Innovation Conference 11.0 is approaching – Save the Date

The 11th update to CIBC’s Technology and Innovation Conference is scheduled to launch on May 24-25, 2023 at CIBC Square in downtown Toronto. More details to follow closer to the date.

This conference is by invitation only. Please contact your CIBC representative for more information.

 

Technology & Innovation in‘sites’ with CIBC Equity Research

T&I ‘Bits & Bytes’

 

A red vector drawing representing Climate Reporting

Race to zero – SEC set to increase the climate-related reporting

Last year, the SEC unveiled plans to standardize climate-related ESG disclosures, with final details expected in April 2023. The Scope 3 emissions (which include all indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain) disclosures are generating some discussion, with the SEC deciding between two options: 1) detailed reporting requirements; or, 2) a more open-ended standard that relies on materiality. While ESG advocates argue for detailed Scope 3 reporting, many corporates are concerned that restrictive Scope 3 rules will significantly increase reporting costs and add operational complexity. Despite comparatively strong ESG rankings, the tech sector has room to improve its Scope 3 disclosures, with our recent ESG report highlighting that only half of our tech coverage has environmental disclosures and only 30% have communicated net-zero commitments.

Read the full article here.

 

Tech activism rising – When times are tough, everyone’s a critic

With the global economy slowing down and tech valuations having come back down to earth, some investors are searching for additional ways to generate returns in the tech sector. In 2022, Bloomberg noted a 74% increase in activist engagement involving tech companies, with 32 tech sector shareholder activism campaigns registered in Q4/22 alone. While H1/22 tech sector activism mainly focused on hardware companies given supply chain challenges, recently the focus has shifted towards software firms. Most notably, multiple activist investors have built positions in CRM giant Salesforce, including a multi-billion dollar stake by Elliott Investment Management. Specific details of the activist campaigns against Salesforce haven’t been made public, but the company is facing a number of challenges including the departure of co-CEO Bret Taylor, a 10% reduction in headcount, and macro-related pressure on IT spending that has resulted in the company declining to provide 2024 guidance.

Read the full article here.

 

A red vector drawing representing Court

Regulating AI – Where do you start on regulating a fast-evolving tech?

ChatGPT has captured the public’s attention since its unveiling last November, surpassing Bitcoin to become one of the most Googled terms in 2023. The frenzy is leading to accelerated AI investments, with PE investing $2.65B in AI in 2022, up 70% Y/Y. However, regulatory and ethical questions remain. While ChatGPT is uncanny in its ability to provide encyclopaedic answers in a conversational format, it often provides falsely confident answers to opinion-based queries. AI technologies also have the potential to promote bias and misinformation, not to mention the myriad of other ethical considerations around its usage (e.g., the use of AI to generate your child’s homework).

Read the full article here.

 

A red vector drawing representing America

Q4/22 U.S. earnings Recap – An overview of large cap U.S. tech reporting

Q4 earnings from the U.S. tech giants have been generally well received by the market, as the overall demand environment remained resilient in the quarter with revenue in line with expectations. On profitability, earnings have skewed somewhat to the downside as inflationary pressures persist, leading to EBITDA that was on average 3% below Street. The global demand outlook and forward guidance have also been a focus of quarterly calls, with some management teams striking a cautionary tone while others see the environment improving. Another common theme in the quarter was layoffs, with the majority of Big Tech having announced workforce restructurings.

Similar to Q3, we saw outsized market reactions on earnings misses and beats. SNAP was down 14% post earnings, given worsening competitive headwinds and widening losses, while Meta opened up 20%, on the strength of better-than-expected revenue and a constructive 2023 outlook.

Read the full article here.

Recent technology news

“GPT is an unreliable information store”

While ChatGPT has mesmerized the internet with how well it can mimic human responses on virtually any topic, by design the platform and others like it, such as Bing Chat and Google Bard, have one detractor – factual accuracy. Whether it is from transformer architecture’s bias or erroneous decoding, their language models are very prone to AI hallucinations, a term coined to describe instances where the model seemingly makes up facts. In a world where misinformation can influence public health, political stability, and social cohesion, the detractor is a major one.

Read the full article at Towards Data Science.

“Even before the layoffs tech workers were quitting. Here’s why.”

What’s happened to the tech workers after they’ve been let go? Danielle Abril of the Washington Post has found they often leave the industry entirely and are finding fulfillment in pursuing their passion projects or lifelong dreams – whether it’s opening a skincare business, bartending, or writing their first fantasy novel.

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

“Yes, lab-grown is vegan”

The vegan community has not yet fully embraced lab-grown meats for the fact that they still contain animal products. As lab-grown meats become more available as cheap, eco-friendly protein options that offset animal consumption, it may change what it really means to be vegan.

Read the full article at Wired.

 
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CIBC Capital Markets Insights

Leverage leading insights and stay abreast of developments in the markets with CIBC Capital Markets Insights.

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Tech & Innovation Key Contacts

Roman Dubczak
Deputy Chair
Susan Rimmer
Managing Director And Head, Global Corporate & Investment Banking
Kathy Butler
Vice Chair and Head of CIBC Capital Markets – B.C.
Colin Ryan
Managing Director, Head of Technology & Innovation, Global Investment Banking
Daniel Lee
Managing Director, Technology & Innovation, Global Investment Banking
Adam Noily
Managing Director, Head of U.S. Technology & Innovation, Global Investment Banking
Rob Magwood
Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets
Emilie Bissonnette
Managing Director, Global Investment Banking
Frazer Wong
Executive Director, Technology & Innovation, Global Investment Banking
Mark Usher
Executive Managing Director, Innovation Banking
Paul McKinlay
Vice-President and Head of U.S. Origination, Innovation Banking
Amy Olah
Managing Director and Head of Canadian Origination, Innovation Banking

Canadian Technology Constituents

High-Growth Canadian SaaS – Ceridian, Copperleaf, Coveo, Descartes, Dialogue, Docebo, Kinaxis, Lightspeed, Magnet Forensics, Q4, Shopify, Thinkific

Large Cap Canadian Tech – Altus, Blackberry, Celestica, CGI, Constellation Software, Converge Technologies, Dye and Durham, Enghouse, Evertz Technologies, Nuvei, OpenText, Softchoice, Well Health

Mid Cap Canadian Tech – Absolute Software, Calian, Computer Modelling Group, D2L, E Inc., Payfare, Real Matters, Sangoma, TECSYS

Small Cap Canadian Tech – Alithya, Baylin Tech, BBTV, Blackline Safety, Farmers Edge, Kneat, Optiva, Pivotree, Quarterhill, Sylogist, Terago, Vecima, Vitalhub, WeCommerce

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