Graphite Ventures secures $10 million from AEC to continue Alberta commitment

Calgary night skyline
The Toronto-based VC firm recently invested in the Calgary startup WaitWell.

Toronto-based Graphite Ventures has secured a $10-million investment from provincially-backed Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) as the venture capital firm continues its commitment with Alberta.

This AEC contribution brings Graphite’s total funding to $110 million. It was initially launched in January 2022 as a $100 million IAF fund from MaRS Discovery District.

Graphite’s backers include the Province of Ontario, OMERS, and now AEC.

According to AEC, its investment will support Graphite as it provides seed-stage capital to startups in Alberta focused on B2B and enterprise software, as well as capital-efficient hardware.

Graphite general partner Craig Leonard said the firm believes Alberta is “becoming a major player in Canada’s tech ecosystem.”

In’s latest report, startups in Alberta defied the tech funding downturn, propelling ahead of Toronto and British Columbia in terms of dollars raised. It found that in the first quarter of 2023, Alberta raised $225.5 million CAD, representing a 30 percent increase in investment from the previous quarter and a 10 percent increase year-over year.

“We are strongly committed to contributing to the Alberta tech community and growing great companies here,” Leonard said.

In its expansion to Western Canada, Graphite appointed Omi Velasco as a principal based in Calgary last year to focus on deals in Alberta and throughout the west coast region.

With Velasco on the team, Graphite now has local investment team members in Calgary, Waterloo, Ottawa, and Toronto.

In addition to support from the Alberta government through AEC, Graphite is also backed by the Province of Ontario.

RELATED: Graphite Ventures appoints Omi Velasco as principal to lead Western Canada deals

When Graphite was created, the Ontario government said it will invest $25 million of its returns on past MaRS IAF investments to create Graphite.

Canadian pension fund OMERS also invested $25 million to create Graphite, in addition to contributions by entrepreneurs from past IAF investments.

As of October 2022, Graphite said it has invested in more than 17 Canadian startups, operating in the B2B SaaS, FinTech, proptech, and digital health sectors. Graphite’s portfolio companies include Welbi, Bridgit, Nicoya, and ProNavigator.

Most recently, Graphite invested in Calgary-based WaitWell’s $1.5-million CAD seed round, which was announced this week.

Featured image courtesy Unsplash.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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