Flaherty's VCAP doing its thing with new IVP and iNovia fund announcements
When was the last time anyone had the chance to write about three different Canadian VC Fund closings in the same week?
As exciting as the news of the new Leaders Fund was (see prior post “New Leaders Fund just what Canada needs” Jan. 24-16), two other funds have had similarly great news of late. Information Venture Partners announced its initial $72.5 million close earlier this month. IVP is focused on fintech and enterprise software companies in Canada and the United States, and is led by three very experienced folks: Robert Antoniades, Kerri Golden and David Unsworth. (Sadly, it is noteworthy that IVP is one of the rare Canadian PE or VC funds with a female at the Partner level.)
For Montreal-based iNovia, its $175 million Fund IV close is a stellar uptick the team’s previous two $110 million funds. With a deal pedigree that includes names such as Lightspeed POS and Vidyard, it is no surprise that they were able to raise a meaningful uptick from their last outing. We’ve worked with them on two Montreal-based investments over the years, the MBO of Airborne Entertainment and BeyondTheRack.
It was a relief to see Northleaf commit $30 million of the prior government’s $400 million Federal Venture Capital Action Plan to these two firms. This is exactly what the late Jim Flaherty had in mind when he took the CVCA’s 2008-era advice regarding the creation of new Fund-of-Funds (see representative prior post “CVCA letters to Messers Flaherty, Clement and Ignatief” Dec. 26-08). I’m also delighted to see Northleaf support a first close below $75 million, as it did for IVP II. I always thought that the BDC’s rumoured $75 million minimum first close threshold was artificial. Many a good fund, such as Edgestone III, would still be around today if it wasn’t for slothful turnaround times and artificial fundraising thresholds. Perhaps prior mistakes have been learned, but in any event, the development is very positive.
With these two new closings — and more expected (Georgian?) — Canadian entrepreneurs are finally seeing the benefits of the three year old VCAP. And not a moment too soon.
Congrats to everyone involved.