Quebéc-based institutional investment firm La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is committing $50 million in additional capital to seed funds within the province.
This new commitment will be managed by Montréal-based venture capital firm Teralys Capital, a private fund manager and fund of funds. With this new commitment, CDPQ aims to support the growth of new Québec startup managers and ensure they embrace best practices within their firms.
“This CDPQ initiative dedicated to local seed funds fits well with our desire to help expand entrepreneurship in Québec.”
“Without a rich and dynamic startup ecosystem, there is a risk of considerably fewer quality investment opportunities in the subsequent growth and maturity phases, especially in disruptive niches,” said Charles Émond, CDPQ’s executive vice president and head of Québec investments and global strategic planning. “It is therefore key to invest at the very start, when companies are created, and then monitor their progress over time.”
Over the last five years, CDPQ has upped its involvement in Québec venture capital funds, investing in seed funds like Anges Québec Capital, InnovExport, and Real Ventures. The firm said the approach gives it greater access to companies for direct investments, like it has previously done with Breather, Hopper, Dialogue, and AlayaCare. Last year, CDPQ made a $200 million equity interest totalling in Montréal-based Plusgrade.
CDPQ has existed since 1965, investing in companies and assets in a variety of categories, including equity markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and fixed income. As of June 30, CDPQ held $326.7 billion CAD in net assets and had invested a total of $219 billion in global markets.
“This CDPQ initiative dedicated to local seed funds fits well with our desire to help expand entrepreneurship in Québec by providing support with high added value,” said Éric Legault, managing partner at Teralys Capital. “We are proud of CDPQ’s renewed confidence, which over the last ten years has allowed Teralys Capital to build the largest Canadian investor specialized in innovation right here in Montréal.”
In recent years, Québec-based funds focused on early-stage investments have amassed significant capital, such as Panache Ventures closing its inaugural fund at $58 million, and ScaleUp Ventures closing a $100 million fund in 2017. Through this new capital commitment, CDPQ hopes to be a strong resource for Quebec’s seed-stage ventures.
Image courtesy CDPQ