Alternative assets investor Kensington Capital Partners has been appointed by the British Columbia government to manage its new $100 million BC Tech Fund. Toronto-based Kensington, which closed Kensington Venture Fund at $306 million in March, also announced the opening of a new office in Vancouver. It will be led by Dr. Gerri Sinclair, the firm’s new managing director. BC Tech Fund will invest in local venture capital funds and companies based in IT, digital media, clean technology and life sciences sectors. It made a debut investment in Mojio Inc, a Vancouver connected car app platform. Mojio’s other investors include 500 Startups, Amazon, BDC Capital and Relay Ventures.
Kensington Capital Partners to Manage New $100M BC Tech Fund
Firm selected for its strong track record of venture capital and private equity investing in the Province
VANCOUVER and TORONTO – October 21, 2016 – Kensington Capital Partners today announced that it has been appointed by the Province of British Columbia to manage its new $100 million BC Tech Fund. The BC Tech Fund will invest in venture capital funds and emerging technology companies throughout the Province, across ICT, digital media, clean tech, and life sciences/healthcare. The news of Kensington’s appointment was released in Vancouver at 1pm PST today by The Honourable Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.
In addition to the BC Tech Fund, Kensington is also taking over the management of the separate, fully invested BC Renaissance Capital Fund (BCRCF), the province’s $90 million venture capital fund of funds program initially launched in 2007.
“The $100 million BC Tech Fund is the central component of the #BCTECH Strategy capital pillar, and a fulfillment of the tech sector’s call to help promising B.C. companies grow their businesses,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. “On all objective measures, Kensington Capital Partners was our preferred choice, and we’re very excited to have their venture capital expertise in the B.C. tech space. I’m confident that Kensington will lead BC Tech Fund investments to good returns for tax-payers and continue to grow B.C.’s tech sector.”
Kensington to Open New Vancouver Office; Appoints Tech Veteran to Lead BC Efforts
Kensington is opening a new office in Vancouver to lead the firm’s management of the BC Tech Fund, as well as its other investments in the Province, headed by newly appointed Managing Director, Dr. Gerri Sinclair. A Kensington advisory board member since mid-2015, Dr. Sinclair is a technology industry veteran with a storied career that spans 25 years across mobile and digital media technologies, entrepreneurial business, and government policy. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious business, entrepreneurship, and technology innovation awards; has served on several government and corporate boards; and is immersed in the BC province’s technology industry. In this new role, Dr. Sinclair will also be responsible for building out the Kensington team in the Vancouver office.
“I have had the pleasure of working with the team at Kensington in an advisory capacity, and it’s a tremendous honour to be appointed to this new role,” said Dr. Gerri Sinclair. “I look forward to applying my experience in the BC market to working with emerging companies and funds in the Province as a member of the Kensington team.”
Kensington History in BC
Kensington Capital Partners has invested more than $100M into BC over the past several years. The firm’s Venture Capital investments include BitStew, D-Wave, and Vision Critical, as well as two Vanedge Capital funds. In Private Equity, Kensington has invested in several funds managed by Parallel49 Equity (Tricor Pacific). Kensington’s Infrastructure portfolio owns and operates a power plant in the CrowsNest Pass near Sparwood, BC that supplies power to BC Hydro.
“We’ve always recognized the very high quality of technology innovation in BC, and we see tremendous potential for continued significant growth in the BC venture market,” says Rick Nathan, Managing Director of Kensington Capital Partners. “We are excited to be taking on the new BC Tech Fund mandate, which is a terrific platform to accelerate the future growth and development of the BC technology ecosystem.”
First Investment from the BC Tech Fund
Kensington has made its first investment from the BC Tech Fund in Vancouver-based Mojio, the leading open platform for connected cars. Mojio has been tapped as the cloud platform of choice by Deutsche Telekom for its pan-European deployment of connected car services. Completely scalable and hardware agnostic, Mojio provides all the elements needed for enterprise customers to quickly launch secure, branded connected car apps and services.
“While we’ve seen a resurgence in venture capital investments in this province, there is certainly growing demand for funding from growth companies like ours,” said Kenny Hawk, CEO of Mojio. “It’s an exciting time to be a BC-based technology company, and we are honoured to be the first investment from the BC Tech Fund. We look forward to working with the team at Kensington alongside our existing investment partners as we scale Mojio globally.”
About Kensington Capital Partners
Kensington Capital Partners is a leading Canadian investment firm in alternative assets, with over $1.1 billion invested to date in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and infrastructure. Founded in 1996, the firm is employee owned and fiercely independent. Alongside the launch of the BC Tech Fund, Kensington is opening a new office in Vancouver to complement current teams in Toronto and Calgary. Kensington’s active management approach and relationship based business has generated top quartile returns for investors, consisting of institutional investors such as pension and endowment funds, foundations, corporations, wealth managers and individuals. For more information, visit www.kcpl.ca.
Boulevard Public Relations
Photo courtesy of Mojio Inc