Minister Ng announces new venture capital investments
October 24, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario
The Government of Canada is committed to creating a vibrant and sustainable venture capital (VC) industry in Canada. The result will be improved access to capital for innovative early-stage companies that create good jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced that up to $350 million will be invested in four venture capital funds-of-funds managers under the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). The four VC fund managers are:
These fund managers will now work to raise additional private sector capital so they can invest in other venture capital funds as well as directly investing in innovative firms. They are expected to create a total investment pool of around $1.4 billion.
Building on earlier venture capital investments, the renewed VCCI ensures Canadian businesses can continue to enjoy access to a globally competitive VC ecosystem capable of nurturing entrepreneurial talent and creating high-quality middle-class jobs. These investments will have a direct impact on Canadian communities, help in transforming new ideas into market-ready products and services, and unlock economic opportunities for Canadians.
The renewed VCCI requires all recipients to collect gender and diversity metrics. They must also implement policies and practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion principles internally—in building their portfolios—and in the broader VC ecosystem. This ensures that more firms owned by women and under-represented groups can access the capital they need to scale and grow—and strengthen the Canadian economy.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which manages VCCI, is Canada’s most active single VC investor, with over $6 billion in assets under management. BDC recently launched its $500 million Thrive Venture Fund and Lab for Women, the largest investment platform of its kind in the world.
“We are committed to helping innovative businesses and entrepreneurs get the investments they need to scale up, access new markets and succeed. Venture capital is key for these types of firms so they can create game-changing innovations and create good jobs for Canadians. The investments announced today will ensure not only a vibrant and strong VC ecosystem but also one that prioritizes inclusivity, gender balance and diversity.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
Together with investments from the private sector, the renewed VCCI is expected to inject around $1.4 billion into Canada’s innovation capital market.
The recipients announced today were chosen as a result of a rigorous selection process informed by a private sector selection committee of highly qualified industry experts, as well as experts at BDC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Previous venture capital (VC) programs have invested $761 million in VC funds and fund managers. Selected managers have raised over $3 billion to help Canadian companies start up and grow.
In 2021, Canada’s VC industry invested $14.7 billion across 752 deals, more than double the previous record set in 2019.
Canada is ranked third for VC investment according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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