Amplitude Ventures closes $263 million for second precision medicine VC fund

Amplitude has already made four investments from Fund II.

Montréal-headquartered investment firm Amplitude Ventures, which focuses on the health and life sciences sectors, has closed $263 million CAD for its second precision medicine venture capital (VC) fund. 

The firm says it currently has over $500 million in assets under management.

Amplitude said the new fund enables it to continue investing in new precision medicine companies, a field that exists at the intersection of tech and healthcare. Amplitude says its investment strategy will remain largely the same with Fund II, which will focus on biology and artificial intelligence (AI).

Amplitude’s second fund is backed by existing investors BDC Capital, RBC, Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction, Teralys Capital, and Venture Ontario. The fund has also added new limited partners NorthLeaf Capital Partners, InBC, Finchley Healthcare Ventures, and the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI), which is administered by BDC Capital under its Life Sciences Stream.

InBC, a $500-million strategic investment fund created by the Government of British Columbia in 2021, announced it contributed $10 million to Amplitude’s second fund in November 2023. 

“We have been an early investor in companies leveraging AI to fuel drug discovery and have built a team of company builders, venture partners, and venture associates who are well positioned to drive Amplitude’s powerful investment strategy,” Amplitude co-founder and partner Dion Madsen said in a statement. “With Fund II, we will continue to leverage our strategic investors to support our portfolio companies and accelerate the progress of their innovation to benefit patients and their families.”

Amplitude has already made four investments from Fund II, and plans to lead or co-lead funding rounds  for 16 to 18 companies in total over four years. The fund will make initial investments of $5 million and up to $30 million total per company. Amplitude’s Fund II portfolio already includes Palo Alto, Calif.-based biotech company Evommune, San Diego-based biotech company Tentarix Biotherapeutics, Vancouver-based Reverb Therapeutics, and Vancouver-based antibody-discovery company Evolved Therapeutics

RELATED: InBC invests $29 million into 4AG Robotics, Clarius Mobile Health, Pender, Amplitude Ventures

Amplitude Ventures is a spinout of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and is led and founded by the former healthcare investing team at BDC Capital, Madsen and Jean-François Pariseau. The firm closed its first fund in 2021, saying it surpassed an original target of $200 million CAD but did not disclose its end-total at the time. The Globe and Mail recently reported that the first fund closed with $204 million. 

BDC notably provided the largest capital commitment to the first fund in 2019 and is considered a “cornerstone” investor in that fund. With an investment period of five years starting in November 2019, the first fund’s thesis was based on supporting three regional clusters in Canada’s precision health ecosystem: next-generation imaging and intelligent medical devices in Toronto, AI and machine learning in Toronto and Montréal, and targeted and cellular therapy in Vancouver.

Amplitude said its first fund, which it ceased making new investments out of in 2022, is generating “top-quartile” returns relative to peers of similar size and vintage. 

Among its notable investments from Fund I is Repare Therapeutics, which had a strong public market debut in 2020 but has since dropped to ten percent of that initial value on the market. Last March, Amplitude continued its support of portfolio drug discovery company Congruence by contributing to its $20-million Series A extension. Another one of its portfolio drug discovery companies, Valence, was acquired by American biotech company Recursion for $63.4 million CAD last year. 

For its first fund, Amplitude sought out very early-stage companies, ideas, or projects focused on precision health and invested in them with the goal of building out companies that could achieve scale. For its second fund, Amplitude has brought in German drug discovery and development company Evotec and an undisclosed life sciences global contract research organization as strategic partners to help pull together additional development capabilities necessary to accelerate innovation from idea to initial public offering.

The firm says it currently has over $500 million in assets under management, and that the new fund provides the financial resources needed to accelerate the creation and launch of more companies in what Pariseau described to BetaKit as a “vibrant” and consistent Canadian life sciences ecosystem.

Pariseau pointed to Abcellera, Abdera, and StemCell as emerging global leaders in the space, as well as the multi-billion dollar exits that took place over the past year, like Bellus Health, Inversago, Fusion, and Chinook, as evidence of the strength of the country’s life sciences sector. 

“We have been able to support our companies through both the high volume of capital raising during 2020–22 and through the tougher fundraising environment of 2023 because we built strong syndicates for our companies and have an at-scale fund that can provide sufficient catalyzing capital to build broad [intellectual property] and strong management teams,” Pariseau said. “With this new fund, we are increasing our ability to start and grow strong companies and support them through their growth phase.”

UPDATE (05/29/24): This story was updated to include additional information and commentary from Amplitude Ventures’ Jean-François Pariseau.

Feature image courtesy Amplitude Ventures.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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