OMERS' tech fund raises C$260 million from Cisco, Bank of Montreal

Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:14pm EDT
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TORONTO Aug 17 (Reuters) - OMERS Ventures, one of Canada's biggest venture-capital firms, said on Monday it has raised about C$260 million ($198.56 million) for a second fund to invest mainly in early-stage technology companies.

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

The funding comes as investments in the Canadian technology industry have been gathering momentum, with a steady stream of funding and capital-raising in recent months.

The initial public offering of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc earlier this year was one of the highlights.

OMERS Ventures invested in Shopify before its IPO in May, and was one of the big winners from that offering. Shopify's shares were priced at $17 in the United States in May and have doubled in value since then.

"The closing of the fund is a positive signal for Canada's tech sector, and shows the strong interest of private capital in partnering with innovative technology entrepreneurs," John Ruffolo, chief executive of OMERS Ventures, said in a statement.

($1=$1.31 Canadian) (Reporting by John Tilak and Euan Rocha; Editing by Peter Galloway)