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Top 10 FinTech-Focused Venture Capital Firms in Canada

27/04/2023
(11 min)
Country Manager, USA & Canada

VC investment is popular across the globe, but one of the countries worth considering is Canada. Its favorable regulatory environment and a heap of VC funds create optimal conditions for the startup project’s smooth start. 

This article provides a comprehensive list of the Top 10 VC entities in Canada that specialize in startup financing, eliminating the need for you to search the Internet for interested VC funds for your startup. 

By reading this article, you’ll gain valuable insights into the Canadian VC landscape and be able to make informed decisions about funding your business.

 

Canadian Investment Market Overview 

As numerous analytical reports suggest, the Canadian VC system has experienced substantial growth in 2021-2022, even amid the recent economic downturn and post-COVID recession, causing many institutional and high-net-wealth individuals to slow down their investments in techs. 

However, despite these market challenges, the VC investment volume reached $14.7 billion in 2021, and 2022 was the second-highest year in deal volume in Canadian VC investment history (see Fig. 1).

Canadian venture capital volume, 2010-2022
Fig. 1. Canadian venture capital volume, 2010-2022. Source: PitchBook (CNW Group/KPMG LLP)

The FinTech sector attracted $7 billion in 2021 and $1.3 billion in 2022, signaling that venture capitalists in Canada are largely positive about this sphere. These figures look optimistic against a general 5x decline in VC valuations in 2022 and a 22% reduction in the number of deals.

Besides private venture capital, the country invests in early-round tech startups at the governmental level. For instance, the 2021 budget of Canada included the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCII) to encourage the setup of the competitive VC ecosystem in Canada. 

The VCII presupposed providing funds-on-funds streams of $350 million, life sciences streams of $50 million, and inclusive growth streams of $50 million. An earlier Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) adds to the VCII to form the government-led agenda of commitment to startup support. These figures explain why Canada is considered the third-best country in VC investment, according to the OECD ranking.

These figures explain why Canada is considered the third-best country in VC investment, according to the OECD ranking.

 

Venture Capitalists in Canada: Investment by Industry 

According to the CVCA 2022 Canadian Venture Capital Overview report, at present, the four key areas of VC investor attention in Canada are ICT, life sciences, CleanTech, and agribusiness (see Fig. 2).

Four key areas of the Canadian venture capital sector.
Fig. 2. Four key areas of the Canadian venture capital sector. The number of investments received from 2018 to Q1 2022. Source: Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association

Life sciences projects received a record $1.8 billion in 2021, showing the VC funds’ commitment to encouraging the therapeutic drugs and biologics sector. 

CleanTech investments attracted around $699 million in 2021 amid the GPs’ continued emphasis on attaining the ESGs.

Agribusiness ended 2021 with a total of $177 million in investment. Tech startups in this sector mostly specialize in advanced agriculture, natural and organic goods, and agribiotechnology. 

The leader in VC investment is still ICT, enjoying roughly two-thirds of all venture capital in Canada (see Fig. 3).

ICT investment activity, 2018-Q1 2022
Fig. 3. ICT investment activity, 2018-Q1 2022. Source: Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association

The cumulative attracted capital exceeded $4.1 billion across 205 deals in 2021, with a large share of investments in innovative software companies. 

Specialization of VC-invested startups ranges from software and services to the electronic and semiconductor industry, e-commerce, mobile technology, and telecommunications.

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Choosing VC Firms in Canada to Apply To

Now that you know that Canadian venture capital firms are still actively financing tech startups and continuing a stable funding path, it’s time to choose the companies that may be of help for your project. 

We have compiled a list of 10 top VC firms in Canada that you can consider for a funding application.

Our ranking was based on the following criteria: 

  • A company should be based in Canada.  
  • It should be interested in FinTech startup funding. 

As a result of extensive research and analysis, we have singled out the following ten companies: 

  1. Portag3 Ventures 
  2. Information Venture Partners
  3. BDC Capital
  4. OMERS Ventures
  5. Real Ventures
  6. Diagram Ventures
  7. Impression Ventures
  8. iNovia Capital
  9. The Holt Xchange
  10. Alberta Enterprise

 

Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in Canada 

Here is the detailed background data about each of the top 10 VC firms we’ve hand-picked for you.

#1 Portag3 Ventures

Portag3 Ventures.

Description: Portag3 Ventures is a CV firm focusing on early-stage financing for innovative technology companies. The VC fund operates in synergy with the FinTech venture builder Diagram Ventures to realize the CV strategy of its owner Sagard Holdings. To date, Portag3 Ventures is the largest VC fund in Canada, with an exclusive focus on FinTech startups. 

Website: www.portageinvest.com   

Founded: 2016 

Investment focus: financial services, FinTech, insurance, software. Total fund size: $50-100 million for average startup financing.

Portfolio: 

  • KOHO, a FinTech providing banking services in partnership with Peoples Trust.
  • Clark, a hi-tech insurance platform.
  • Integrate.ai, a federated machine learning and analytics platform.
  • Diagram Ventures, a component of the VC ecosystem at Sagard Holdings functioning as a venture builder.

#2 Information Venture Partners

Information Venture Partners

Description: Information Venture Partners is a VC firm headquartered in Toronto. It is dedicated to building world-class software companies and strengthening the financial services industry. The fund invests in early-stage B2B FinTech startups and enterprise-level SaaS companies in the USA and Canada. 

Website: www.informationvp.co 

Founded: 2014 

Investment focus: financial services, SaaS. 

Total fund size: $106.2 million

Portfolio: 

  • Adaptive Insights, a SaaS company specializing in cloud-based enterprise planning. 
  • Arteria, an AI solution for drafting, analyzing, and negotiating contracts. 
  • BigID, a New York-based data management company.  
  • Cinchy, an innovative dataware platform.

#3 BDC Capital

BDC Capital

Description: BDC Capital is one of the best-known VC investors in Canada, actively engaged in startup funding at any development stage. It focuses on technology-based startups and can assist with early-seed rounds and business expansion. 

 

The company has supported 400+ companies since its creation in 1975. It operates internationally, though with a strong focus on strengthening the Canadian business environment and financing SMBs. 

Website: www.bdc.ca 

Founded: 1975

Investment focus: financial sector, life sciences, telecommunications, IT, advanced technologies (series A, B, and funding round). 

Geographic focus: USA, Canada, and Japan. 

Total fund size: $605 million

Portfolio: 

  • Shoelace Learning, a smart gamified reading platform fitting the Canadian Grade 2-8 curriculum. 
  • Puzzle Medical Services, an outpatient monitoring system for patients with cardiovascular problems. 
  • Levr, an AI-based platform issuing business loans.

#4 OMERS Ventures

OMERS Ventures

Description: OMERS Ventures is a VC fund in Canada with global outreach focused on early-stage startup financing. It operates through three regional offices in Toronto, Palo Alto, and London. The company is currently the only direct investing platform with pension plan support.  

Website: https://www.omersventures.com/ 

Founded: 2011 

Investment focus: technology, financial software, data and analytics (series A, B, and seed rounds). 

Total fund size: $5-25 million in the average first investment.

Portfolio: 

  • DuckDuckGo, Internet privacy company.  
  • Tehama, a cybersecurity solution for remote workers. 
  • Solink, a cloud video surveillance provider for businesses. 
  • Shopify, an e-commerce giant.

#5 Real Ventures

Real Ventures

Description: Real Ventures has built a name for itself for comprehensive support of innovative ideas and daring startups in Canada. It’s currently the leading early-stage VC firm that works with game-changing ideas and contributes to Canada’s digital ecosystem. 

The company provides broader support for entrepreneurs via stage-specific mentorship and guidance services, networking opportunities, and vital resource access. 

Website: www.realventures.com 

Founded: 2007 

Investment focus: FinTech, software providers, science and engineering startups, data and analytics (Canada and the USA). 

Total fund size: $325 million across five funds; total valuation of $10 billion.

Portfolio: 

  • Nord Quantique, a second-generation quantum processor manufacturer. 
  • Axya, an innovative automation solution for manufacturing procurement. 
  • HALEO Clinic, an affordable online clinic dealing with sleep problems.

#6 Diagram Ventures

Description: Diagram Ventures is a venture builder that has built a unique ecosystem of partners to support advanced technology, financial services, insurance, and healthcare app creators in Canada. 

The company has a team of 600+ employees and has already exited 12 successful ventures with a cumulative market cap of $15 billion. 

Website: https://diagram.ca/ 

Founded: 2016 

Investment focus: Fintech, Web3, and ClimateTech. 

Total fund size: $1+ billion valuation crunch.

Portfolio: 

  • Collage, a comprehensive HR, benefits, and payroll software platform for Canadian SMBs). 
  • Breathe Life, an advanced platform for insurance distribution. 
  • Streaming Fast, a blockchain data streaming solution with excellent UI/UX parameters.

#7 Impression Ventures

Impression Ventures

Description: Impression Ventures is a VC firm based in Toronto, which specializes in the seed-round or early-round funding of financial and technological startups. 

The company focuses on late seed and early Series A investments ranging from $1 to $2 million in funding needs. High-growth startups should be able to demonstrate a complete product to secure Impression Ventures’ financing. 

Website: https://impression.ventures/ 

Founded: 2013 

Investment focus: financial services, FinTech, incubators. 

Total fund size: Not specified (total of 20 investments).

Portfolio: 

  • Wealthsimple, an online investment management platform.
  • Symend, a SaaS company delivering an innovative customer service solution using the patented Behavioral Engagement Technology. 
  • Brim Financial, a digital finance service; the only North American FinTech licensed for credit card issuance.

#8 iNovia Capital

iNovia Capital

Description: iNovia Capital is a VC fund working closely with tech startup founders to grow their projects into successful global companies. The company operates four active VC funds, two growth funds, and a continuation fund for ongoing business support. 

iNovia also provides valuable business insights and mentorship to encourage the business founders’ growth and development. 

Website: www.inovia.vc 

Founded: 2007 

Investment focus: data and analytics, financial industry, IT, and software 

Total fund size: $2.1 billion

Portfolio: 

  • Fabacus, a modular, cloud-based platform for brand licensing and data management automation. 
  • DarwinAI, an AI-enabled solution for quality inspection in manufacturing. 
  • CommerceBear, an AI platform for furniture producers.

#9 The Holt Xchange

The Holt Xchange

Description: The Holt Xchange is known as one of Canada’s most active VC funds for early-stage financing. The fund’s active interest lies within the financial services sector, and it currently supervises 39 high-growth FinTech companies with a global outreach. 

Website: https://holtxchange.com/ 

Founded: 2017 

Investment focus: financial technology, FinTech. 

Total fund size: Not specified

Portfolio: 

  • Asser Direct, a global financial services marketplace uniting financial sales agents. 
  • Manzil, a Shariah-compliant halal investment and financing platform. 
  • CreditScript, a no-code financial platform for revenue collection and payment automation.

#10 Alberta Enterprise

Alberta Enterprise

Description: The VC firm is based in Alberta, Canada, and specializes in seed and VC funding for early-stage tech startups. The company supports knowledge-based companies and prioritizes local businesses operating in ICT, life sciences, clean technology, and energy technology. 

Website: https://www.alberta-enterprise.ca/ 

Founded: 2008 

Investment focus: financial services, ICT.

Total fund size: $1.05 billion

Portfolio: 

  • Sprout, a B2B software startup.  
  • Evok Innovation Fund, a fund dedicated to accelerating the development of industrial decarbonization technologies in North America.  
  • PillarFour Capital Fund, a common VC initiative for supporting sustainable energy tech startups.

Create a Canadian FinTech Startup from Scratch with RNDpoint 

Before approaching any Canadian venture capitalist with a pitch, you need to ensure that your software idea is the best. That’s why it makes sense to partner with a software provider with deep expertise in FinTech development. 

Working with RNDpoint is a safe choice in this regard. We have over a decade of experience in finance/banking/FinTech and deliver superior loan origination systems, digital wallets, trading and BNPL apps, and digital payment solutions to international clients.

You can choose from various proprietary software at RNDpoint: ProcessMIX, ABLE Loan Origination Platform, and white-label e-wallet development solutions. This way, you enjoy 3x faster and 2x cheaper software engineering, which is a plus for any VC firm.

RNDpoint team also includes business consultants and analysts who can conduct your project’s discovery phase and prepare all required documentation: project map, service-level agreement, project estimation, infrastructure and software architecture, product backlog, MVP development plan, etc. So that you’re fully ready to approach VC funds on the right note.  

What’s more, RNDpoint has a regional office in Toronto, Canada, which specializes in collaboration with startups. 

Welcome to discuss your project details: 

Iryna Shmanenko,

Country Manager, USA & Canada

iryna.shmanenko@rndpoint.com

 

Final Word 

Canada has a highly favorable VC investment climate, dedicated to tech progress and support for promising startups with trailblazing ideas. 

You can attract funding for your project if you choose a VC fund for application wisely and work with reliable software providers. 

Good luck with your next startup!

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Iryna Shmanenko
Country Manager, USA & Canada
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