The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is making one big bet on healthcare technologies.
The BDC’s Venture Capital arm announced today that it has allocated $135 million in new capital to direct venture investments in innovative healthcare companies. The new, large investment brings the BDC’s total commitment to the sector to $270 million.
It’s a growing market, as the BDC mentioned in a release. With the new investment the BDC Venture Capital Healthcare Fund will “broaden its investment strategy”. The firm will invest in technology, products and services that aim to improve global healthcare productivity, efficiency and patient outcomes.
The BDC Venture Capital Healthcare Fund’s Dion Madsen said that all economies are struggling to maintain affordable and accessible healthcare systems, scouring the tech ecosystem to improve health systems and its delivery, all the while managing rising costs.
“Great investors typically look for industries that are undergoing massive disruption, and this is certainly true of the healthcare sector. We have never seen a better time to invest in the sector,” said Madsen. “With the widespread availability of wireless and mobile technologies, innovative molecular diagnostics and imaging technology, high-throughput genomic sequencing, and innovations in healthcare IT, the opportunity exists to radically transform healthcare delivery across the planet.”
The BDC plans to spend the $135 million specifically on innovative therapeutics and medical technology, diagnostics, health IT, mobile technologies and services, as well as robotics and automation. The fund will partner with Canadian and global investors, along with new players entering the healthcare industry—such as retailers, mobile computing and software firms, and insurers.
“This investment is just one example of the many ways BDC Venture Capital is making tangible, positive impacts on the Canadian venture capital ecosystem,” said BDC Venture Capital’s Jérôme Nycz. “The new money will be used to provide more Canadian technology companies with access to the capital required to develop and commercialize innovative healthcare technologies that tackle the unprecedented challenges—and opportunities—in delivering care efficiently and effectively.”
The new fund will be managed by a team has experience in both investing and exiting healthcare investments across North America. It will be made up of Dion Madsen, Senior Managing Partner in Vancouver; Gary Bantle, Partner in Calgary; Ela Borenstein, Managing Partner and Jean-François Pariseau, Partner, in Montreal. Amine Benmoussa, Associate Director in Montreal, will support the team. The team’s notable recent Canadian investment successes include Cytochroma, ViroChem, Gemin X and Tekmira.