Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund (NVCF) announced last week that it has made a $10 million commitment to Vancouver-based Version One Ventures II, an early-stage fund which invests in North American consumer Internet, SaaS and mobile companies.
Version One Ventures invests primarily in seed and Series A rounds, with investments ranging from $500,000 to $1 million per company. The Fund primarily invests in companies with marketplace, platform and SaaS offerings that address large capital markets ($100 million+).
“We are pleased to be an anchor institutional investor in one of Canada’s most promising venture capital (VC) funds,” said Ian Carew, Director of Northleaf Capital Partners. “The investment in Version One furthers NVCF’s strategy of investing in best-in-class Canada-based venture capital and growth equity funds.”
In Budget 2012, the Government of Canada indicated its intentions to stimulate increased VC investment in early-stage firms by announcing a $400 million Venture Capital Action Plan. The NVCF, the first VC fund of funds established under the plan, was subsequently launched in January 2014 in collaboration with the Government of Ontario with an initial closing of $217.5 million in commitments.
The new Fund invests primarily in Canadian early-stage and mid-stage VC funds, as well as directly in Canadian companies, and is managed by Northleaf Capital Partners.
Last month, NVCG also participated in a $14 million Series C investment round for Cambridge, Ontario-based eSentire Inc. The company offers active threat protection solutions and managed security services. The round was led by Georgian Partners, with participation from NVCF, Edison Partners and Ventures Link.
Another recent investment by NVCG was a $10 million commitment in June to leading global healthcare VC manager Versant Ventures.
Last year, new venture capital investment in Canada reached a six-year peak with $2 billion invested, according to data released by Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) in partnership with Thomson Reuters. Of note, average deal size grew from $3.3 million in 2012 to $4.3 million in 2013.
On a sectoral basis, the information technology sector continued to attract the highest levels of investment with $1.1 billion secured. This represents 54% of all investments, as well as a 19% year-over-year growth. In addition, e-commerce companies raised more funds within the sector than software developers.
Other sectors which performed well in 2013 were cleantech and alternative energy, as well as biotech and life sciences.
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