Ventures West closes C$250m venture fund

The Toronto firm’s eighth fund is the largest private venture capital fund ever raised in Canada.

Toronto-based venture capital firm Ventures West Management has announced the close of its eighth fund on C$250 million ($192 million; €150 million).

According to a press statement, the new entity is the largest private venture capital fund ever raised in Canada. Fund 8 will invest in early-stage companies in the biotech, communications, energy technology and IT sectors. The fund, which closed in November 2003, has already made three investments: NeuroAxon, Novadaq Technologies and GaleForce Solutions.

Ventures West closed its last fund in 2000 on C$235 million.

Investors in the new fund include OMERS; University of Toronto Asset Management; Teachers’ Private Capital, the private equity arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

According to the statement, the new fund will invest in between six and eight companies a year, with a total commitment of between C$5 million and C$15 million for each deal.

Ventures West is one of Canada’s veteran independent venture capital investors. Since its inception in 1968, the firm has raised eight separate fund totaling more than C$700 million and has invested in more than 130 companies.

The last major fund to close in Canada was in April, when TD Capital, the private equity arm of TD Bank Financial Group, closed Canada’s largest mezzanine fund ever on C$500 million ($381 million; €308 million), bring the capital managed by the private equity division to approximately C$2.6 billion.