On the heels of having been awarded stewardship of British Columbia’s provincial BC Tech Fund, Kensington Capital Partners has announced funding totaling $15 million for Vanedge Capital II, the continuation of Vanedge Capital‘s early-stage venture capital fund specializing in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cyber security, SaaS and digital media.
The investment by Kensington Capital Partners into Vanedge Capital II represents the first investment by the BC Tech Fund, a $100 million technology-focused venture capital fund launched in October 2016 aimed at developing BC’s tech sector, into a BC-based venture capital fund.
“We are very pleased to become an investor in Vanedge II and continue to strengthen our relationship with the Vanedge team,” said Gerri Sinclair, Kensington Managing Director. “Vanedge is a pillar of the BC venture capital ecosystem with a market leading track record of investment performance, working with promising BC technology companies to help them scale their businesses.”
Toronto-based Kensington Capital Partners opened a Vancouver office a month ago, staffed by Sinclair, to manage the BC Tech Fund.
“This is the second investment from our $100 million BC Tech Fund and part of Government’s plan to grow BC’s tech sector,” said Amrik Virk, B.C’s Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. “Kensington’s investment in Vanedge Capital II is the first investment in a tech fund and will in turn, provide investment in multiple B.C.-based tech companies, catalyzing economic growth, investment and jobs for the province.”
Overall, Vanedge has over $250 million in assets under management, close ties to Silicon Valley, and has delivered returns to limited partners through six successful exits of portfolio companies to acquirers like Intel, General Electric, Workday and Splunk.
“We are honoured to have the BC Tech Fund as a Limited Partner, and continue our long-standing relationship with the Kensington team,” said Paul Lee, Managing Partner, Vanedge Capital. “Our partnership with the BC Tech Fund will help us achieve the scale we need to build stronger, more successful companies.”
Lee is Vanedge’s founder, and serves on the Premier’s Technology Council, the UBC Sauder School Faculty Advisory Board and the Vancouver Public Library Foundation’s Campaign Cabinet.
The BC Tech Fund invests in emerging highly scalable technology companies to help develop British Columbia’s venture capital ecosystem.
“I spent 10 years as an entrepreneur building a leading technology company here in British Columbia. Regional investors backed me throughout that process, so when I looked to the next chapter of my career I wanted to do the same for other entrepreneurs,” said Moe Kermani, Managing Partner, Vanedge Capital. “Having the BC Tech Fund backing Vanedge will ensure more Canadian companies can compete on the global stage and build world-class technology.”
Kermani was Vice President of enterprise data storage solutions provider NetApp, before which he was president and CEO of storage virtualization software for cloud and object storage company Bycast Inc., which was acquired by NetApp in 2010.
Kermani holds several US Patents for his past technical work, and is a recipient of Business in Vancouver’s “Forty Under 40” and British Columbia Technology Industries Association Person of the Year award for 2011.