TORONTO – May 3, 2023 – Brightspark Ventures, one of Canada’s most experienced venture capital (VC) firms, today announced the first close of its Brightspark Canadian Opportunities Fund II (BCOF II), with firm commitments of $75 million. With a target of up to $120 million, BCOF II represents Brightspark’s largest VC fund to date. Investors in the new fund include leading Canadian institutional investors, including Desjardins Capital, Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction, Fonds québécois d’amorçage Teralys financed by CDPQ and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC as investor, with banking support by RBCx), as well as individual investors and family offices from the Brightspark network.
“After investing with Brightspark in four portfolio companies, we have built a strong and trustworthy relationship over the years,” said Marie-Hélène Nolet, Chief Operating Officer at Desjardins Capital. “We are thrilled to lead the first close LP syndicate with a $10 million commitment in Brightspark Canadian Opportunity Fund II to support one of Canada’s high performing early-stage funds. This commitment dovetails well with our direct venture capital strategy to invest alongside seasoned teams active in the province of Quebec. We are eager to do more deals with Brightspark over the coming years.”
Brightspark continues to earn top-of-market returns for its partners through the firm’s sound and disciplined approach to investing in exceptional entrepreneurs. Brightspark remains committed to its investment thesis, which continues to be based on the pillars of discipline, people and leadership, strong proprietary technology, huge markets, and business models that its team understands and have mastered.
A storied history backing Canadian tech companies
In 2020, Brightspark capitalized on investment opportunities in the Canadian technology market by raising $65 million for Brightspark Canadian Opportunities Fund I (BCOF I). From this fund, Brightspark has invested in 12 companies across Canada, including: DrugBank, Elevate Farms, Optable, and Potloc.
“Investissement Québec’s support for start-ups with strong potential has grown considerably in recent years, and our partner investment funds are a big part of that,” said Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec. “We are proud to renew our confidence in Brightspark today by investing in BCOF II, a fund geared specifically to companies in the technology industry, a key sector of our economy.”
BCOF II is now Brightspark’s fourth traditional institutional VC fund with a standard venture investing structure. This fund is complementary to the firm’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) investing model, which has invested in 21 Canadian tech companies representing a current cumulative value of $150 million. Brightspark’s unique SPV investment model, with over 500 active Canadian investors, continues to invest alongside BCOF I and II.
With this closing, Brightspark now has over $500 million under management in Canadian tech companies.
Brightspark’s investment strategy for BCOF II remains consistent: it focuses primarily on pre-Series A opportunities in early stage, “swing for the fence” technology companies throughout Canada, with a particular emphasis on those with superb leadership, market redefining value propositions, and unique intellectual property. Brightspark is one of the few Canadian VCs leading investment rounds at this investment stage.
“Throughout the past 20+ years, we have worked hard to deliver returns that outperform the market. We are grateful to work with BCOF II investors who trust our experience, believe in our instincts, and share our vision. Based on our experience, we know that times of financial turmoil like the current economic climate have traditionally resulted in some of the best returns for our investors,” said Sophie Forest, partner at Brightspark Ventures. “We are also more bullish than ever on early-stage Canadian tech startups, and are proud to support them through our exceptional, multi-generational team that brings together decades of experience with a fresh perspective.”
“We are in a unique position to double down on our proprietary deal flow and to partner with early-stage tech founders building world-changing companies,” said Eleonore Jarry, partner at Brightspark Ventures. “The world is facing important challenges that ambitious entrepreneurs can turn into significant ventures. We feel like we are in the center of a storm of new opportunities and our entire team is excited to work with the new generation of great Canadian companies.’’
Brightspark is a top performing Canadian early-stage venture firm, actively investing in exceptional entrepreneurs since 1999. Partnering early with founders and providing capital and support for the long-run, the firm invests in transformational technology companies coast-to-coast across Canada from its offices in Montreal and Toronto. Brightspark manages over $500M across traditional VC Funds, as well as a syndicate investment model open to individual and non-institutional investors. For additional information, visit brightspark.com