Investor interest in Waterloo Region’s tech ecosystem remains hot following a record-breaking year in 2021.

A new report from found that CDN$157.2 million was invested in area tech companies through 11 deals in the first quarter of 2022.

The dollar value is 968 per cent more than in Q1 2021, while the number of deals increased 10 per cent. Compared to Q4 2021, the number of deals rose by 57 per cent although the total dollar value dropped by 73 per cent. 

Last year, tech companies in Waterloo Region attracted a record-breaking CDN$1.4 billion in investment. 

The report’s first-quarter total of CDN$157.2 million doesn’t capture all of the Q1 investment in Waterloo Region companies. For example, it doesn’t include a US$325 million raise by Waterloo-based cybersecurity company eSentire. That’s because currently doesn’t track private equity, secondaries or debt, said CEO and Founder Rob Darling. The eSentire deal, which catapulted the company into unicorn status, involved Warburg Pincus LLC selling some of its existing stake in eSentire to private-capital firm Georgian of Toronto and to the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Deal highlights from Q1 include:

Axelar’s CDN$44.4 million Series B raise. The Waterloo-based company, which provides a decentralized network that connects multiple blockchains, became a unicorn with this deal and is now valued at more than $1 billion.

Kognitiv raised CDN$31 million. Launched by veteran founder Peter Schwartz in 2008, Kitchener-based Kognitiv supports collaborative commerce through peer-to-peer trading networks. 

DOZR’s CDN$27.5 million Series B round. Founded in 2015, the Kitchener-based company provides an online marketplace for the rental of heavy equipment.

RouteThis Inc. raised CDN$25 million through a Series A round. Launched in 2017, RouteThis provides Wi-Fi network diagnostics and troubleshooting tools for internet service providers (ISPs) and the makers of smart-home devices.

RideCo Inc. raised CDN$20 million in a Series A round. The Kitchener company develops rideshare transit software and works with transit agencies to provide customers with an on-demand rideshare service through a mobile app.

IntelliCulture secures CDN$1.7 million in seed funding. Founded in 2018, the Waterloo company makes crop-management software for the farm industry.

Hyivy lands CDN$1.1 million in pre-seed funding. Launched in July 2019, Hyivy is developing a “smart pelvic rehab system” that includes a multi-therapy vaginal wand, a patient app and clinician software.