Canadian venture capital firm turns to pension funds for cleantech expansion

BDC Capital is stepping up its efforts to attract institutional investors as partners, as the Canadian government-owned venture capital firm seeks to increase its presence in fast-growing industries such as clean technology.


A “sort of key theme that we are pursuing is also how to get other private sector funders to co-invest with us so that they benefit the ecosystem as a whole,” said Lally Rementilla, partner. Director of Intellectual Property at BDC Capital- backed financing fund. “For example, in the area of ​​clean technology and sustainability, the focus is on ‘How do we get public pension funds to come and invest with us?’ ”


BDC Capital, the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada established by the country’s government in 1944, has approximately C$5.7 billion ($4.4 billion) in assets under management, with approximately 1 .5 billion Canadian dollars available for deployment. The company invests directly in companies in fast-growing sectors such as agricultural technology and cybersecurity through its direct funds, as well as with investments in 110 third-party venture capital funds.


Canada relies in part on technology and innovation to help achieve ambitious climate change goals. The country has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and is already on track to reduce its emissions by around 36%, the report said. government in March before selling an inaugural green bond. The Government of Canada has been gradually adding mechanisms to meet its 2030 emissions target, including imposing a national carbon tax and providing a refundable tax credit to companies that invest in carbon capture and storage.


BDC Capital’s existing investments include long-term energy storage solutions provider Hydrostor Inc., which earlier this year secured a $250 million preferred equity financing commitment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Other portfolio companies include General Fusion Inc., which is developing a commercially viable fusion power plant.


“What we’re trying to do is develop a Canadian technology that will allow those technologies to be deployed in Canada and reduce the carbon footprint, and export that capability outside of Canada,” said the vice-president. -Executive President of BDC Capital, Jérôme Nycz, in an interview. “Reducing gas emissions is a key priority for the government.”


Among plans for the coming months, BDC Capital is looking to increase its allocation to cleantech investments and also plans to reopen a C$200 million vehicle focused on investing in women-led tech companies, a- he declared.


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