Canada’s tech landscape is particularly ‘SaaSy’, boasting over 6,800 SaaS companies that are making waves in the global stage. Canadian-born brands like Shopify, Wave Accounting, Hootsuite, League, SkyHive, Vidyard, and Memi have become international ambassadors of the nation’s innovative SaaS spirit!
The SaaS sector’s projected growth trajectory in Canada is extremely exciting with revenues anticipated to surge past CA $9 billion in 2023 and forecasted to continue its climb with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.12% between 2023 and 2027.
Latest SaaS Investments in Canada
The latest investment news has also been a clear indicator of the nation’s escalating influence in the SaaS sector. Let’s take a closer look at Canadian SaaS investments in 2023:
- WaitWell: Calgary’s WaitWell; innovators in queue management software landed CA $1.5 million in seed funding to broaden its market reach. Founded amidst COVID-19 challenges, the platform offers a suite of services aimed at improving customer wait times and operational efficiency. The funding round, valuing the company at $8 million pre-money, was led by Toronto-based Graphite Ventures and Edmonton’s Accelerate Fund III.
- Snappy: Toronto’s Snappy; an all-in-one restaurant management software, secured an oversubscribed Series A, led by Texas-based Golden Section Ventures, to fuel its expansion in North America.
- Plum: Kitchener-Waterloo’s Plum landed over CA $8 million for its HR tech platform; helping large enterprises optimize talent placement by combining psychometric data with AI to enhance hiring quality, job fit quantification, and team development for organizations.
- Arteria AI: Arteria AI raised CA $46 million in Series B funding to support its go-to-market strategy and product development for the financial sector. Their AI software assists banks with document generation, collaboration, and analysis, providing structured data and real-time analytics from the start of the document life cycle.
- Ten Key Labs: Toronto-based Ten Key Labs raised CA $10.5 million in seed funding to launch Mantle, an equity management platform designed to aid founders with cap table management, equity distribution, and fundraising activities.
Why SaaS Startups Love Brampton
Brampton has very quickly built up a reputation for being the new beating heart of innovation in Canada. It’s a hot destination for Canadian and international startups. The city is already home to over 275 tech companies. Here’s why it’s been an absolute magnet for SaaS startups in particular:
Brampton is situated in the middle of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor – one of the largest tech clusters in the world after Silicon Valley – and is a geographical advantage not lost on global corporate giants like Google and SAP nor scale-ups like Faire, ApplyBoard, and Arctic Wolf, all of which have found their strategic offices within Brampton’s borders. SaaS companies are in an incredibly lucrative proximity to more than 15,000 tech companies and 5,000+ startups in this region.
2. Brampton Innovation District
Brampton Innovation District (BID) – an ecosystem of resources located at the heart of Downtown Brampton, was developed to support new tech creation. In this area, you will find 7 top startup incubators and accelerators, 4 universities, and 3 business support centres! Anything a SaaS business needs is right here – from infrastructure, talent, access to mentorship, funding, and so much more.
Brampton has 9,644 STEM degrees per 100,000 people in Brampton, and at least 21 post-secondary schools within an hour’s drive (that’s 30% of Canada’s university students at any given time). There is access to a total talent pool of 4.3 million people across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Is it any surprise that SaaS companies love being here?
Oh, and did we mention Brampton has one of the youngest populations in Canada – which means the city is naturally filled with youthful energy and fresh minds ready to join the workforce.
4. Government Support
The Canadian government, on a federal and provincial level, has various funding programs, tax credits, subsidies, and grants, available to start-ups located in Brampton. SaaS startups are eligible for many of these tech-specific benefits:
- FedDev Ontario offers up to 35% in non-interest repayable contributions for business scale-up and productivity projects ranging from $500,000 to $10 million.
- IRAP provides financial support for technology innovation to Canadian SMEs with fewer than 500 employees.
- OETF is a $250 million co-investment fund targeting high-growth Ontario companies in sectors like digital media and ICT.
- OIDMTC offers up to a 40% tax credit for the marketing and distribution of interactive digital media.
- SR&ED is a tax incentive program encouraging R&D in Canadian businesses.
- Strategic Innovation Fund provides financial aid for collaborative projects aimed at technology commercialization.
SaaS Startups From Brampton
The Brampton and greater Toronto region serves as the base for numerous leading SaaS firms such as:
SmartBuild, Freshbooks, Prodigy Games, TouchBistro, Altus Group, Maropost, Descartes Systems Group, OpenText, among others.
Resources for SaaS Startups in Brampton
In Brampton, budding entrepreneurs are welcomed by a hub of opportunity, where innovative resources and friendly guidance are tailored to support the journey from startup to star business. Here are some resources worth bookmarking if you’re a SaaS startup thinking about Brampton:
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada enhances Canada’s innovation and competitive marketplace presence.
- Ontario Centres of Excellence fosters industry-research collaborations to support ICT entrepreneurs.
- Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade offers business attraction, retention, and development services in Ontario.
- Research, Innovation, and Commercialization (RIC) Centre offers incubation facilities, training, and networking for technology startups.
- Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst – the National Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and Collaboration is located here. They even have Canada’s first-ever tech accelerator program supporting cybersecurity scale-ups!
- Sheridan College provides a reputable ICT program in Applied Science and Technology.
Want to Start a SaaS Business in Canada?
We are BHive, a startup incubator located in Brampton, Ontario. We offer international startups the tools, resources, and space to establish – and quickly scale – their businesses in Canada and North America. To apply to our Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program, click here!