OMERS Ventures closes $300 million third fund

OMERS John Ruffolo

OMERS Ventures has closed its third fund, confirming $300 million in commitments.

OMERS Ventures currently has $800 million of assets under management, and the OMERS Pension Plan co-invested alongside co-investors BMO Financial Group, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, Sun Life Financial, TD Securities, and The Wafra Group.

“Raising Fund III was a tremendous success that speaks to the strength and stability of the Canadian tech community,” said John Ruffolo, CEO of OMERS Ventures. “When we launched in 2011, the ecosystem was starved for venture capital and corporate participation. Six years later, our third fund is oversubscribed, complete with strategic investors and corporate partners. We are proud to operate on a ‘Canada-first’ mandate,’ and are ready to meet new companies and deploy the next $300 million into the innovation economy.”

OMERS’ plan to raise $300 million was reported as early as January 2016. OMERS is currently investing in 35 companies across North America, including Vidyard, Vision Critical, Hootsuite (which recently launched a funding program of its own), and Nudge. OMERS says its portfolio companies have raised an additional $1.2 billion in capital, and created over 5,000 jobs.

The VC firm raised $260 million from Cisco and the Bank of Montreal in August 2015.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome our strategic investors and corporate partners. The wide variety of institutions participating in this latest fund underlines what we at OMERS Ventures have always believed,” said Damien Steel, Managing Director, OMERS Ventures. “That is — by working together with like-minded investors, we can help Canadian innovators and our thriving technology ecosystem to scale up.”

Across Canada, there’s been a noticeable push among Canada’s banks and funding institutions to support the country’s burgeoning tech ecosystem. Canadian banks recently announced the creation of a $1 billion Business Growth Fund, and the big five banks are among multi-million dollar supporters of the AI-focused Vector Institute.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor.