On September 20, the federal government reaffirmed its $50-million investment to help innovative businesses access the capital they need to expand. The investment is part of the government’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP).
The VCAP includes a commitment by the Government to invest in a few key high-performing venture capital funds with a substantial presence in Canada. In May, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the establishment of a private sector Venture Capital Expert Panel to provide advice and recommendations on the VCAP, including the selection of the high-performing venture capital funds to receive direct investment from the government.
Now, the panel has now selected four high-performing venture capital funds that have demonstrated strong investment performance and are aligned with the objectives of the VCAP. The projects selected are:
- a $15-million investment in Summerhill Ventures II, a fund focused on investment opportunities in the information and communication technologies sector;
- a $15-million investment in CTI Life Sciences Fund II, a fund focused on investment opportunities in the life sciences sector;
- a $10-million investment in Real Ventures Fund III, a fund focused on investment opportunities in the information and communication technologies sector; and,
- a $10-million investment in Lumira Capital II, a fund focused on investment opportunities in the life sciences sector.
“Canada’s long-term economic success in an increasingly competitive, knowledge-based economy will depend, in large measure, on the ability of our dynamic innovative firms to grow into global leaders that invest and create high-quality jobs,” said Flaherty. “Today’s investment will help ensure that Canada’s promising start-up businesses have the resources they need to grow, innovate and create jobs for Canadians.”
The Business Development Bank of Canada will provide support and advice to the government as it implements the VCAP, by providing independent expertise, undertaking due diligence, supporting negotiations with funds and other investors, and assisting in the deployment of VCAP investments.
The government’s investment in the four high-performing venture capital funds is contingent on satisfactory negotiations with the selected fund managers. It is the latest step in the VCAP, a $400-million strategy launched in January to help increase private sector venture capital investments in order to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The government is continuing to advance other key components of the VCAP, including establishing four private sector-led large scale national funds of funds.