Tuesday, October 19

BlackRock Eyes Canadian Tech by Backing Venture Firm Inovia’s Fund

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(Bloomberg) — The maturing Canadian technology sector has caught the eye of the world’s largest asset manager.

BlackRock Inc.’s private equity unit is one of the lead investors in a new “continuation fund” set up by Inovia Capital, the Montreal-based firm said Thursday.

Inovia will use the $334 million it raised to invest more capital in nine growth companies already in its portfolio, helping those businesses bridge the gap “between the time horizon of funds and the time horizon of building global companies,” it said in a statement.

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Nine portfolio companies were singled out, including AlayaCare, a software provider for the home-care industry, and Vidyard, a platform companies use to host and record marketing and sales videos.

Other investors in the continuation fund include Boston-based HarbourVest Partners, also a co-lead. Inovia, which counts Twitter Inc. Chairman Patrick Pichette among its partners, now has $1.9 billion under management.

Long known for creating technology companies that were sold at an early stage, Canada is now producing more tech firms with the financial strength to stay independent, led by Shopify Inc.

Canadian venture capital investment reached a record C$8.3 billion ($6.7 billion) in the first half, boosted by the C$750 million funding round for online brokerage Wealthsimple, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

Inovia didn’t disclose the size of the contribution by BlackRock’s Secondaries and Liquidity Solutions, that group’s first investment in Canada.

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