UPDATE 2-OMERS tech fund raises C$260 million from Cisco, Bank of Montreal

Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:19pm EDT
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(Adds context on previous funding)

By John Tilak and Euan Rocha

TORONTO Aug 17 (Reuters) - OMERS Ventures, one of Canada's biggest venture-capital firms, said on Monday it has raised about C$260 million ($200 million) for a second fund to invest mainly in early-stage technology companies.

Lead investors in the fund are Bank of Montreal, Cisco Systems and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), parent of OMERS Ventures.

The funding comes almost four years after OMERS Ventures raised C$210 million in its first round.

Investments in the Canadian technology industry have been gathering momentum in recent months, driven by a steady stream of funding and capital-raising.

Canadian venture capital investments soared to C$1.19 billion in the first half of 2015, a 33 percent increase from the first half of last year and the strongest first half since 2002, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

"This second fund validates the opportunities that OMERS and our partners, Cisco and BMO, see in the Canadian innovation landscape," OMERS Ventures Chief Executive John Ruffolo said.

The initial public offering of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc in May was one of the highlights in the Canadian market this year.   Continued...