Two investors from BDC Capital have left the Crown corporation to join Canadian venture capital firms.
In recent weeks, Meryeme Lahmami and Siddartha Krishnan separately announced via LinkedIn posts that they have stepped down from their respective roles at BDC. Lahmami has joined as principal at Pender Ventures, while Krishnan is taking on the role of managing partner at Blue Vision Capital.
Lahmami is a former associate at BDC’s Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund team, while Krishnan comes from BDC Capital’s Industrial, Clean and Energy (ICE) Technology Venture Fund where he served as partner.
BDC Capital launched the WIT Venture Fund in 2017, with Lahmami initially joining BDC in 2020. Since its inception, BDC claims that the $200 million WIT fund has made an impact on over 5,000 women entrepreneurs with more than 30 companies in its portfolio, including Canvass Analytics, BlueDot, Bridgit, and FinnAI.
As a woman entrepreneur herself, Lahmami founded BioMindr in 2016. BioMindr developed sensors using RF technology to measure bio-signals like hydration, heart rate, and glucose levels. She was also a mentor at Techstars and Founder Institute.
Prior to working at BDC, Lahmami was an investment manager at Montréal-based MEDTEQ, a pan-Canadian healtech investment organization.
In 2016, Lahmami was named head of the Montréal chapter for We Are Wearables, a community focused on driving innovation and adoption in wearable technology.
Now at Vancouver-based Pender Ventures, Lahmami said that she aims to “continue to expand [the VC firm’s] presence in eastern Canada and back the next generation of incredible founders in healthtech and B2B software.”
Led by Maria Pacella, Pender Ventures is the venture capital arm of diversified asset manager PenderFund. Pender Ventures recently invested in Evidence Partners’ $20 million CAD investment round earlier this month. It also added Isaac Souweine, formerly of Real Ventures, as a partner in June. Pender is in the process of raising its second fund, with a target of $100 million CAD.
Before joining Toronto’s Blue Vision Capital, Krishnan was a partner at BDC’s ICE fund, focused on seed and Series A stage investments in the climate tech, industrial, and enterprise sectors.
The ICE Venture Fund was introduced in 2011, followed by a second fund launched in 2016 valued at $135 million. The fund has invested in the likes of CarbonCure, D-Wave Systems, Fluent.ai, Thentia, and Neurio.
When asked why he decided to leave BDC and join Blue Vision Capital, Krishnan told BetaKit that ICE Fund II was at the end of its investment period, and the opportunity to raise Blue Vision Capital’s first fund presented itself.
“It was the right time in my career to start a new platform,” Krishnan said.
Launched earlier this year, Blue Vision Capital invests in early-stage climate tech companies. Krishnan noted that Blue Vision Capital had its first close of $40 million CAD and hopes to raise up to an additional $20 million over a year for a final close of up to $60 million.
The longer term goal for Blue Vision Capital, according to Krishnan, is that this fund would be a first in a series of climate tech-focused venture capital funds. “We intend to build one of the leading climate tech investments platforms,” he said.
Krishnan also said: “Blue Vision allowed me to parlay my prior expertise and experience in capital light climate tech investing, but at the seed stage,” noting that BDC’s ICE Fund focused on Series A investments.
Before he joined BDC in 2015, Krishnan spent several years as part of the venture capital and growth equity investment team at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, managing both venture fund investments and late-stage growth equity investments in tech, healthcare, and energy.
Krishnan started his career in the electricity industry, working for the Ontario Financing Authority to focus on numerous sector transactions and policy development initiatives.