Over the last few years the Canadian government has been making some big investments into the startup economy, the latest move has resulted in a new fund aimed at supporting startups. The Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund has been created as a private sector-led fund with majority investment from the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) who has put in an initial $217.5 million in commitments, of which $145 million is from institutional and corporate investors, and $36.3 million is from each of the Governments of Canada and Ontario. The Fund has an overall target size of $300 million.
Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund will invest in the early-stage and mid-stage venture capital funds, and directly in companies across Canada. Northleaf Capital Partners has been selected by lead investors to act as the general partner for the Fund, following a fair and competitive selection process led by the Venture Capital Expert Panel appointed by Minister Flaherty. Investment decisions will be made by Northleaf Capital Partners on market-based principles in order to maximize returns.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario have agreed to make a combined capital commitment of $1 for every $2 committed by private sector investors to the new Fund, up to a maximum of $50 million each. The Fund will seek additional investors to reach its target size and anticipates holding a second closing later in 2014.
The initial partners in the Fund are:
- BDC Capital Inc.
- BMO Financial Group
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- National Bank of Canada
- Ontario Capital Growth Corporation
- OpenText Corporation
- TD Bank Group