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Investing in venture capital funds means that Alberta’s early-stage tech startups and entrepreneurs will have access to the funding they need to help with the operational and administrative costs of growing their business.
As Alberta’s technology and innovation sector continues to grow in size and reputation, this investment by AEC into three venture capital funds – Builders VC Fund II, Yaletown Partners’ Innovation Growth Fund II and Amplitude Venture Capital – will ensure the sector plays a strong role in a diversified economy.
“Alberta continues to see exponential growth in venture capital investment, helping to solidify our province as a hub for technology and innovation. We are building on this momentum by ensuring Alberta startups, including those with expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies, have access to the capital they need to grow. This investment will help our economy rebound and diversify while creating jobs for Albertans.”
“Our investment into these three funds provides access to capital for Alberta tech companies to develop solutions that will modernize traditional industries as well as shape emerging ones. The funds have well-connected teams in San Francisco, Vancouver and Montreal, meaning an investment from them brings Alberta founders money as well as access to markets and mentors.”
AEC is investing approximately $12.5 million (USD $10 million) in Builders VC Fund II to support the growth of Alberta technology businesses focused on modernizing industries, including energy, real estate and construction, agriculture, health care and manufacturing.
“There’s an incredibly strong fit between Builders and Alberta as the province witnesses an explosion of innovation in food and agriculture, industrials and manufacturing with a rich pool of talented innovators and investment opportunities. It is deeply personally rewarding to see the growth in the quality of investment opportunities being led by Alberta entrepreneurs that represent amazing overlap with the sectors where we see the most opportunity for massively scalable businesses in sectors of focus for us at Builders.”
AEC is also investing $13.7 million in Yaletown Partners’ Innovation Growth Fund II to help Alberta industry-focused software, data and device technology companies scale up their business and attract future investment.
“With a presence in Alberta for over 10 years, we are pleased to see an increasing number of growth-stage companies being created in Alberta. Given the focus of Yaletown’s Innovation Growth Fund, we’re seeing companies with domain expertise from a variety of industrial sectors utilizing leading-edge technology to deliver unique solutions that help modernization and transform traditional industries. AEC’s presence and vision has been instrumental in helping to make this happen.”
An additional $5 million is being invested in Amplitude Venture Capital’s precision medicine venture fund to support the growth of life science, biopharma and digital health companies in Alberta.
“Alberta boasts a vibrant tech scene, a world-class medical school and a globally-renowned centre of AI excellence in Amii and, as Canada’s pre-eminent life sciences investor, we’re excited about the promise this province holds. We see the difference AEC’s leadership is making in fostering the development of Alberta’s tech sector and we’re proud to partner with them as an investor in our precision medicine fund.”
The investments are part of the government’s $175-million recapitalization of the AEC as a key priority of Alberta’s Recovery Plan to support Alberta’s technology companies and provide access to capital for early-stage companies.
Alberta Enterprise Corporation
AEC grows Alberta’s venture capital industry by investing in venture capital funds that finance early-stage technology companies. The corporation focuses on funds that have a strong commitment to Alberta – including a presence in the province. In addition to capital, AEC supports Alberta’s venture capital ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs and experienced technology executives who share a passion for building a bright and innovative Alberta.
Since its launch in 2008, AEC has provided $256 million in investment to 24 venture capital funds across the province. By investing strategically, AEC has leveraged these capital commitments to create access to more than $3 billion in capital for Alberta knowledge-based companies.
Builders VC is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing where technology meets new business models to modernize antiquated industries, including health care, agriculture, industrials and real estate. Its thesis involves applying technology and new business models to sectors where the percentage of IT spending versus revenue is minimal. In these sectors, there exists a significant gap between what is technically possible versus what is presently implemented.
Builders Fund II has recently invested in QuoteToMe, an Edmonton company digitizing the procurement and financial processes of the construction industry. Builders VC has previously invested in Veerum, Provision Analytics and Ambyint, three other Alberta-based companies.
Yaletown Partners is a leading Canadian venture capital fund manager that invests in the technologies digitally transforming traditional industries by prioritizing climate-resilient growth.
In 2017, Yaletown received the CVCA’s Venture Capital Deal of the Year award for its investment in BitStew, Canada’s largest venture financed exit of 2016. Backed by leading institutional investors, including pension funds, and a network of successful technology entrepreneurs, Yaletown has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
Past Yaletown Partners’ investments have supported the success of Alberta companies such as Circle Cardiovascular Imaging, Showbie and Chaordix.
Amplitude is a full-stack venture capital firm using a unique growth model to build Canadian companies with world-class management teams and scale companies to breakout potential. With more than $300 million under management and offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Amplitude applies a proven, evidence-based approach to investing in leading precision medicine companies.
Examples of Alberta-grown startups that have seen success following investments from other funds managed by Amplitude include Cytovax Technologies and Sembiosys Genetics. Amplitude also recently announced a partnership with AltaML, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company based in Edmonton, to leverage AI and machine learning in the biotechnology sector and identify investment opportunities, primarily in Alberta, and projects where the two companies can work together to create, build and grow a talent base.
- Alberta’s government has invested a total of $350 million in the AEC since 2008.
- For every $1 Alberta Enterprise Corporation invests, more than $4.50 is invested back into Alberta companies.
- As of September 2021, Alberta had already surpassed 2020’s record year for venture capital investment by 5.5 per cent for dollars invested and 20 per cent for deals.
- Alberta ranks as Canada's fourth-largest tech hub for invested dollars and deal volume, according to the Canadian Venture Capital Association Venture Capital Canadian Market Overview for Q3 2021, published in September 2021.