UPDATE 1-HarbourVest closes Canadian venture capital fund to new investors

Tue Apr 5, 2016 6:27pm EDT
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(Adds details from Business Development Bank of Canada)

TORONTO, April 5 (Reuters) - A Canadian plan to encourage private investment in the country's venture capital industry raised more than C$1.35 billion ($1.03 billion), a government bank for entrepreneurs said on Tuesday, after the last of four funds closed to new investors.

Private equity investor HarbourVest Partners said its C$375 million ($285 million) fund, mostly dedicated to investing in venture capital funds that back Canadian companies, had been oversubscribed by the limited partners that account for two-thirds of the fund.

The remainder of the HarbourVest Canada Growth Fund was provided by BDC Capital Inc, a subsidiary of the federal government-backed Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which operates at arms length.

The HarbourVest fund is part of a plan launched by Canada's former Conservative government in early 2013 to match and attract private-sector funding for local startups.

That plan leveraged C$400 million of government cash to bring in more than C$900 million from private investors, which the BDC said had been invested in nearly 100 Canadian companies via the four funds.

HarbourVest said it has so far funneled cash to Canadian funds run by Avrio Ventures, Genesys Ventures, Georgian Partners, Golden Venture Partners, Information Venture Partners, Inovia Capital, and McRock Capital, and invested directly in Intelex, a Toronto-based environmental and health and safety software company.

It has also backed Battery Ventures, Index Ventures, and Spark Capital, three U.S. fund managers who invest in Canada.

The three other funds that the government promoted to investors are the Teralys Capital Innovation Fund, the Kensington Venture Fund and the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund. ($1 = 1.3178 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Paul Simao and Fiona Ortiz)