Inovia Capital raises new $560 million fund

Inovia Capital is raising a new fund worth $560 million ($450 million USD) in order to support more mature companies beyond the startup stage. The fund is called Inovia Growth Fund II.

The firm now manages over US$1.5B in capital. Just two years ago, in February 2019, Inovia previously raised a $400 million fund, its Growth Fund I.

The firm now has investments in companies that spans the development of a business – from early stage, to growth stage, to post IPO, including its most notable investment, Lightspeed, the point-of-sale and commerce company that went public in a nearly $400 million public offering on the NYSE and TSX last year.

INovia also previously invested in San Francisco’s AppDirect, cofounded by Montrealer Nicolas Demarais, which has raised a total of US $430 million.  In its first growth fund, Inovia also invested in Sonder, AlayaCare, Symend, Hopper, AppDirect, Forward, WorkJam, and Snapcommerce.

It’s primary partners are Chris Arsenault, Dennis Kavelman and former Google CFO Patrick Pichette (who also chairs Twitter’s Board of Directors). They’re mostly focusing on Canadian companies with its new fund, but will also invest in the U.S. and EU, where Inovia has offices.

Most of the limited partner investors (LPs) in the new fund also had money in the first Growth Fund.

Arsenault told Techcrunch that, compared to ten years ago in Canada, “we’re definitely on another level now” in terms Canadian investors continuing to support Canadian-focused funds that fuel Canadian companies.

“The majority of our LPs are Canadian, and I take it to heart that it’s important to create patterns of success, so that people can look towards models and either replicate or adapt to their own situation,” Arsenault said. “I think that we need more success stories that people can look at and say, ‘I can do the same thing, or I can do better.’ And the fact that our LPs came back with us, and when you look at, you know, what Georgian [Partners] is doing, and what Novacap is doing, and what OMERS Growth – this is nothing like the VC ecosystem and industry that I was in 10 years ago

Interestingly, Arsenault also noted that the firm wouldn’t have been able to raise the new fund had the pandemic not struck. However, being stuck at home and in an office for so long meant the team wasn’t on the road as much, leaving them more time to create.

“We had the New York Stock Exchange IPO for Lightspeed, we had a dozen transactions of acquisitions where our portfolio companies are doing the acquiring,” he told Techcrunch. “I don’t know how we would have done what we’ve done, had we been traveling and had a normal life.”

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