Panache Ventures, a seed-stage venture firm, has closed its debut fund at $58 million, beating its initial $40 million target. The fund’s investors include Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec, National Bank of Canada, TELUS Ventures, BMO Bank of Montreal and BC Tech Fund, managed by Kensington Capital. In March 2018, Panache announced it had raised $25 million in the first close of the fund. Panache has offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
Montreal, Quebec: Today, Panache Ventures announced a final close of $58 million in its inaugural fund, surpassing the initial $40 million target, signalling confidence in the firm’s team, investment thesis and portfolio. Since launching in 2018, the fund has invested in 52 technology startups across Canada and selectively in the US. With offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, Panache Ventures is the only national venture capital platform that focuses on seed stage investments.
Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and Investissement Québec are major investors that have supported Panache Ventures from its beginnings. Following the fund’s first close in 2018, several prominent institutional investors joined the pan-Canadian investor syndicate including National Bank of Canada, TELUS Ventures, BMO Bank of Montreal, and BC Tech Fund, managed by Kensington Capital. The firm also welcomed a consortium of Yukon First Nations as a major investor, along with active support of the Government of Yukon.
As the first-ever syndicate of Yukon First Nations to invest in a venture fund, this represents a significant milestone in the Canadian venture capital history. “We are excited to support the Yukon First Nation Investment Corporation investment in Panache Ventures to help Yukon start-ups access local capital and mentorship opportunities that will grow Yukon’s tech sector,” says Ranj Pillai, Deputy Premier and Minister of Economic Development, Government of Yukon.
“This investment will support our efforts to expand First Nations’ investments in the knowledge sector,” says Ben Asquith, the lead representative for the Yukon First Nations Investment Corporation.
“We’re honoured to have such an esteemed group of investors. Our investors have supported us every step of the way,” says Patrick Lor, Managing Partner at Panache Ventures. “Our mission is to invest in the most ambitious and creative Canadian entrepreneurs with disruptive, venture-scale businesses. The diversity amongst our portfolio is our core strength. In fact, our gender diversity stats exceed the national averages in venture capital,” adds Mike Cegelski, Managing Partner at Panache Ventures.
Panache Ventures’ investment portfolio is well distributed across Canada with approximately 30% in Ontario, 30% in Quebec, 30% in Western Canada and 10% in Atlantic Canada, reflecting the country’s regional strengths in startup activity.
“Panache Ventures was already quite active in the BC ecosystem, and is a true coast-to-coast investor with the opening of a Vancouver office,” says Gerri Sinclair, Managing Director at Kensington Capital.
As the Canadian startup ecosystem matures, an increasing amount of capital is flowing to the scale-up stage. “While this is a welcome development, a gap has opened up in seed stage financing. We believe Panache Ventures can become the reference for seed stage investing in Canada,” says Prashant Matta, Partner at Panache Ventures.
Panache Ventures continues to be recognized by the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association as one of the most active investors in Canada. “Panache Ventures is a key player in the Canadian venture capital ecosystem, and we’re excited to work with the entire team and help support the growth of leading technology businesses across the country,” said Andre Salvi, Head of Technology & Innovation Banking Group, BMO Bank of Montreal. The firm has invested in exceptional founders who are redefining industries and building on Canada’s strengths in artificial intelligence, fintech, healthcare, proptech and B2B software. “Our founders represent who we are as a firm. Their ambition will positively change the way people will work and live,” says David Dufresne, Partner at Panache Ventures.
About Panache Ventures
Panache Ventures is Canada’s most active seed stage venture capital fund, with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Panache is led by a team of experienced operators with a strong investor track record, years of institutional VC experience and an extensive network in Canada, in Silicon Valley and worldwide. The fund has a founders-first philosophy, a commitment to diversity and strategically co-invests with angel investors and top venture capital funds.
Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec and the Yukon First Nations Investment Corporation are the major investors in the fund. Panache Ventures is also proud to have the involvement of National Bank of Canada, TELUS Ventures, BMO Bank of Montreal, BC Tech Fund managed by Kensington Capital, Round13 Capital, Watershed Partners, HopeTech, Mavrik Corp., and a significant group of Canada’s top angel investors, entrepreneurs, and executives as Limited Partners.