Kensington Capital Partners said Thursday it closed a fund of funds at C$306 million ($227.9 million). The target of the Kensington Venture Fund, which will invest in Canadian-based VC funds and technology companies, was C$300 million. Investors include BMO Financial Group, CIBC, OpenText Corp, Richardson GMP,Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group, Torstar Corp, and theGovernment of Canada.
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – March 3, 2016) – Kensington Capital Partners announced today the final closing of the Kensington Venture Fund after exceeding its target of $300 million in investor commitments. The Fund, which raised a total of $306 million, received its most recent commitments from a mix of wealth managers, private foundations, and individual investors.
“This is a great time to be investing in technology in Canada,” says Rick Nathan, Managing Director of Kensington Capital Partners. “Our significant talent pool, vibrant startup environment, and improved access to capital – through the Kensington Venture Fund and other funding sources – make Canada a great place to build a technology company and grow it to scale.”
The new wealth managers, private foundations, and high net worth individuals that most recently invested in the Kensington Venture Fund join a notable group of existing investors including BMO Financial Group, CIBC, OpenText Corporation, Richardson GMP, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group, Torstar Corporation, and the Government of Canada.
Focus on Central and Western Canada
The Kensington Venture Fund is a fund of funds investing in promising Canadian-based VC funds and technology companies; it will also pursue select investment opportunities in the United States. Within Canada, where Kensington has offices in Toronto and Calgary, the Fund pays close attention to Central and Western Canada, targeting investments in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia across key technology sectors and stages.
An active investor in Western Canada for more than a decade, Kensington Capital Partners has invested approximately $100 million in each of BC and Alberta from across its various managed funds. Kensington is continuing this focus with the Kensington Venture Fund, including as the lead investor in Vanedge II – BC’s leading venture fund – following a January 2016 investment.
Nathan adds, “Both of these markets are great places to invest. BC is home to many of Canada’s most successful and innovative emerging new companies, has a highly experienced talent pool that can benefit from better access to capital, and offers great proximity to Silicon Valley while providing a gateway to Asian markets. Alberta is the core of Canada’s energy sector, with many new opportunities emerging in related cleantech and energy technologies.”
Kensington attracts new investors
The Kensington Venture Fund launched in November 2014 following a lead investment from the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP), a $400 million strategy designed to increase private sector investments in emerging Canadian technology companies.
“The VCAP program was designed to attract new investors to the venture capital asset class, and is an important source of capital that will enable Canadian funds and companies to continue to drive the innovation economy. Kensington is proud to be actively building the Canadian venture capital market by attracting new investors and significant capital from those that are new to venture investing, as well as from a strong core of experienced technology sector veterans,” says Nathan. “Our Fund highlights the successful collaboration between Government and the private sector to finance the growth of Canada’s technology market. Many of the investors in our Fund have not previously invested in a VC fund. So we are not only providing these investors with opportunities to support emerging new companies across Canada, but we are also financing strong job creation in Canada’s highly skilled, high paying tech sector.”
To date, the Kensington Venture Fund has made investments in more than a dozen venture capital funds, including iNovia Investment Fund 2015, Georgian Partners II, Golden Venture Partners, McRock iNFund, Novacap TMT VI, OpenText Enterprise Application Fund (OTEAF), Whitecap Venture Partners (Whitecap III), and Vanedge II plus three other funds that have not yet been announced. The Fund has made direct investments in Blue Ant Media, Brightspark, Hubba, and TouchBistro. The Fund has also participated in a number of co-investments alongside its fund managers, and will continue investing to support a vibrant Canadian ecosystem.
About Kensington Venture Fund
The Kensington Venture Fund invests in promising venture capital (VC) funds as well as technology companies in the telecommunications, digital/social media, enterprise software, SaaS, mobile, data analytics, and e-commerce sectors. The Fund also invests in energy technology funds and companies, including those focused on cleantech, digital oilfields, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), digital mapping and imaging, smart grid, extraction tech, environmental remediation, and alternative energy. The Fund is primarily focused on Series A/B investments, while also assembling a diversified portfolio that includes both early- and late-stage investments.
About Kensington Capital Partners
Kensington is a leading independent Canadian investor in alternative assets. Founded in 1996, and with over $800 million invested to date in private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and hedge funds. Kensington’s active management approach and relationship based business has generated top quartile returns for investors. For more information, visit www.kcpl.ca.