A big announcement has already been made at the Canadian Fintech Forum happening in Montreal right now and it’s barely even started.
La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) and Desjardins Group have announced the creation of a new fund specifically for investment in the fintech sector as well as artificial intelligence and finance.
The fund will operate independently and is expected to have a maximum size of $75 million. La Caisse and Desjardins have pledged to invest equal amounts totaling $50 million, while other institutional investors have already expressed interest in joining before the first closing, expected to be by the end of the year.
“With its high concentration of talent in information technology and the robustness of its financial industry, all the pieces are in place for Québec to see the emergence of a first-rate FinTech industry. We strongly believe that this new fund will foster the development of new technology solutions that will significantly improve business processes and operational efficiency,” said Pierre Miron, Chief Operations and IT Officer at la Caisse.
La Caisse and Desjardins have also shown a willingness to provide the companies the fund invests in with data that will need to be handled as privileged and highly confidential.
— CDPQ (@LaCDPQ) October 10, 2017
“This new fund is very timely. Not even two weeks ago, the Brookfield Institute ranked Montréal in first place in Canada for its concentration of jobs in the high-tech sector. This support for FinTech will enable our financial sector companies to be world-class pioneers, particularly with regard to customer experience and competitiveness with the giants that are moving into our industry,” said Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.
The fund, which has yet to be named, will make share capital investments in companies developing technology affecting investments, payments, client acquisition and retention, data analysis, deposits and loans, security or insurance. Prospective companies need to prove that they have experienced entrepreneurs on their team, an adaptable business model, and a competitive product already generating interest in and targeting large markets.
La Caisse and Desjardins will appoint a manager for the fund soon. In the meantime, the sponsors will create a technology advisory committee made up of information technology and finance sector leaders.
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