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British Columbia launches $90m venture fund of funds

The Canadian province has committed capital to six venture funds as it looks to spur economic development in the region.

The Canadian province of British Columbia has launched BC Renaissance Capital Fund, a $90 million (€56.6 million) venture capital fund of funds.

Its purpose is to develop anchor companies in the region and attract additional private venture capital and market expertise, according to British Columbia minister of economic development Colin Hansen.

“Attracting more private venture capital to British Columbia will help our most promising and innovative companies to grow and create jobs,” Hansen said in a statement.

Already fully committed, the fund of funds is a limited partner with US early stage technology investor Arch Venture Partners; Ontario-based seed stage technology venture firm Celtic House Venture Partners; San Francisco-based healthcare products investor Kearny Venture Partners; Silicon Valley-based technology venture firm VantagePoint Venture Partners; Vancouver-based early stage technology investor Ventures West Management; and San Francisco-based Walden Venture Capital.

The managers were selected for their history of pursuing investment opportunities in the province in the key technology sectors of clean technology, life sciences, information technology and new media. The committed capital can be structured over a period of up to five years.

The fund of funds refocuses a portion of the BC Immigrant Investor Fund. The fund receives and manages the provincial allocation of funds under its Immigrant Investor Program, established in 2001 to attract experienced business people to Canada.

Venture capital investment in Canadian companies totaled $2.1 billion in 2007, a 21 percent year on year increase, according to data from Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.