White Star Capital raises $230 million, will invest in 20 new companies


White Star Capital, an early-stage venture fund mostly based in Montreal, is raising US $180 million to help international startups go global.

The group’s “oversubscribed” second funding round will look to invest between $1 million and $6 million in around 20 new companies and has already invested in eight, according to Reuters.

The fund was cofounded by Eric Martineau-Fortin and Jean-Francois Marcoux (the former co-founder of mobile game publisher Ludia). Christian Hernandez Gallardo (a former Facebook executive) heads up White Star’s London operations. Christophe Bourque, previously of Tandem Expansion Fund, also joined the Montreal office.

According to Reuters, among the companies to receive backing are Canadian financial technology firm Borrowell, German insurance technology company Clark and British digital health company Echo, it said in a statement. Whitestar has also invested in Montreal-based startup mnubo.

White Star has also invested in “disruptive commerce” models Vention (Canada), Meero (France), and Butternut Box (U.K.), and in digital health companies Echo (U.K.) and Dialogue (Canada), as well as data-as-a-service company Unacast (US).

Since 2014 it has backed 26 companies and said it would continue to focus on companies that use data as a competitive advantage and which it can help grow internationally. White Star’s first fund of $70 million closed in 2015 and the VC has backed around 26 startups to date.

Among investors to back the second fund were large institutions including Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Fonds de solidarite FTQ, as well as funds including Swen Capital Partners and companies including Veolia.

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