BDC Capital has announced the launch of its follow-up $135 million BDC Capital Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology (ICE) Venture Fund II, which will invest in 15 to 20 new high-impact Canadian cleantech and energy firms capable of demonstrating global potential and scalability.
BDC Capital’s ICE Venture Fund I was launched in 2011, which invested in 18 firms over a five-year period, including quantum computing pioneer D-Wave Systems, IoT software provider Bit Stew, both of Burnaby, B.C., Kanata-based data center power management provider Ranovus, Dartmouth-based CO2 utilization company CarbonCure, and Ottawa power conversion innovator GaN Systems.
“This new fund carries on our successful model of investing in highly scalable, capital-efficient ventures,” says Tony Van Bommel, Senior Managing Partner of ICE Funds I and II. “We seek to bring Canadian technologies to the world and accelerate resource efficiency, while targeting significant investment returns. Our existing fund has invested in all regions of the country and includes some of Canada’s most successful venture-backed companies.”
BDC Capital is the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada, with more than $2 billion under management, serving as a strategic partner to Canada’s most innovative and high potential firms.
The ICE team now has $287 million under management.
“Our goal is to intensify our support for innovative Canadian entrepreneurs who are leading the way in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” says Jérôme Nycz, Executive Vice President, BDC Capital. “Our first ICE fund demonstrated strong performance against international peers in a market that is a key target industry for the government of Canada.”
The Capital Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology Venture Fund II will invest in late seed, Series A, with some select Series B firms also considered, envisaging an initial five-year investment period, followed by a five-year harvest period during which exits are anticipated.
The launch of the fund arrives shortly after the federal government announced the acceleration of its plan to phase out coal-fired electricity across Canada by 2030, with 90% of electric power generation free of greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage the development of cleantech solutions in general.
The four provinces remaining that burn coal to generate electricity, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, will be required to transition to carbon emission capture technologies or simply shut down their coal-fired plants.
Darmouth’s CarbonCure Technologies is in the semi-finalist running for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition, which will award a $20 million prize for developing a breakthrough technology that can convert the largest quantity of CO₂ into high net value products.
Finalists will be announced in December 2017, before eventually handing out a grand prize in March 2020.
In 2014, BDC Capital co-led a $24 million Series B funding round for Kanata-based Ranovus Inc., along with OMERS Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, Azure Capital Partners and the venture capital arm of the federal government’s Export Development Corporation.
Last year, Ranovus collaborated with Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. to develop standards relating to wavelength division processing, enabling data to be streamed at a rate of terabits per second over a single fiber.