la Caisse and Desjardins Group announced the creation of a $75 million investment fund dedicated to FinTechs and AI applied to finance.
The Montreal-based fund will focus on supporting the growth and development of new FinTech companies in Québec and Canada. Its two sponsors will invest equal amounts totalling $50 million, with other institutional investors expressing interest before the first closing at the end of the year.
“With its high concentration of talent in information technology and the robustness of its financial industry, all the pieces are in place for Québec to see the emergence of a first-rate FinTech industry,” said Pierre Miron, chief operations and IT Officer at la Caisse. “We strongly believe that this new fund will foster the development of new technology solutions that will significantly improve business processes and operational efficiency.”
la Caisse and Desjardins have said that they will also provide FinTech startups they fund with data to build products. The fund seeks experienced entrepreneurs, an adaptable business model, and a competitive product that is already generating interest and targets large markets.
The fund is particularly interested in companies that develop technology affecting investments, payments, client acquisition and retention, data analysis, deposits and loans, security or insurance. A technology advisory committee made up of information technology and finance sector leaders will be created to support the fund’s activities and companies in its portfolio, and a manager will be appointed.
“This new fund is very timely. Not even two weeks ago, the Brookfield Institute ranked Montréal in first place in Canada for its concentration of jobs in the high-tech sector,” said Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group. “This support for FinTech will enable our financial sector companies to be world-class pioneers, particularly with regard to customer experience and competitiveness with the giants that are moving into our industry.”