Montreal’s own Panache Ventures has announced the closing of its inaugural fund. The $58 million total surpassed the initial target of $40 million set for the fund in 2018.
“We’re honoured to have such an esteemed group of investors. Our investors have supported us every step of the way,” says Patrick Lor, Managing Partner at Panache Ventures. “Our mission is to invest in the most ambitious and creative Canadian entrepreneurs with disruptive, venture-scale businesses. The diversity amongst our portfolio is our core strength. In fact, our gender diversity stats exceed the national averages in venture capital,” adds Mike Cegelski, Managing Partner at Panache Ventures.
Following the fund’s first close in 2018, several prominent institutional investors joined the pan-Canadian investor syndicate including National Bank of Canada, TELUS Ventures, BMO Bank of Montreal, and BC Tech Fund, managed by Kensington Capital. The firm also welcomed a consortium of Yukon First Nations as a major investor, along with active support of the Government of Yukon.
“This investment will support our efforts to expand First Nations’ investments in the knowledge sector,” says Ben Asquith, the lead representative for the Yukon First Nations Investment Corporation. As the first-ever syndicate of Yukon First Nations to invest in a venture fund, this represents a significant milestone in the Canadian venture capital history.
Panache has been one of Canada’s most active seed stage investors, investing in 52 different startups, primarily in Canada.
Panache Ventures’ investment portfolio is well distributed across Canada with approximately 30% in Ontario, 30% in Quebec, 30% in Western Canada. “Panache Ventures was already quite active in the BC ecosystem, and is a true coast-to-coast investor with the opening of a Vancouver office,” says Gerri Sinclair, Managing Director at Kensington Capital.
Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec and the Yukon First Nations Investment Corporation are the major investors in the fund. Other investors include National Bank of Canada, TELUS Ventures, BMO Bank of Montreal, BC Tech Fund (managed by Kensington Capital), Round13 Capital, Watershed Partners, HopeTech, Mavrik Corp., and a group of angel investors, entrepreneurs, and other executives.
As the Canadian startup ecosystem matures, an increasing amount of capital is flowing to the scale-up stage. “While this is a welcome development, a gap has opened up in seed stage financing. We believe Panache Ventures can become the reference for seed stage investing in Canada,” says Prashant Matta, Partner at Panache Ventures.