Maturing Canadian tech ecosystem still dependent on government support: RBCx’s Anthony Mouchantaf

Anthony Mouchantaf sitting across Douglas Soltys while they record the BetaKit podcast.

RBCx’s director of venture capital, Anthony Mouchantaf, said that rich valuations and a frothy market are signs that Canadian’s tech ecosystem is maturing.

“The market explosion right now, I don’t think is a bubble by any stretch,” he said.

In an wide-ranging interview with BetaKit at SAAS NORTH, Mouchantaf noted that although the ecosystem has shown exponential growth, there are still some uncertainties at Canada’s fund-of-funds layer.

“We as an ecosystem are still unfortunately quite dependent on the government,” he said, citing BDC’s key role in stimulating tech investment, along with the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) program. “A change in mood at the government level or a recalibration of capital at the government level could have real significant impacts all the way down.”

Mouchantaf is also one of the judges for SAAS NORTH’s 2021 PitchFest. When asked how he evaluates companies as a judge and investor, Mouchantaf said that storytelling should be the focus of every founder when attracting investors.

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“Talk a little bit about who you are, why you have an insight that maybe the rest of the market isn’t seeing, and why you’re well-positioned to kind of build that product and pursue that insight,” he said. “Tell us why $1 in is kind of $2 out and the trailing data behind that.”

RBCx was launched by Sid Paquette in June, one year after joining the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) from OMERS Ventures. Working as the venture capital arm of the institution, RBCx offers what it describes as a full-service platform that provides access to a suite of financial and advisory products.

Speaking to RBCx’s value proposition in a competitive innovation banking space, Mouchantaf said that, as a previous founder, he understands companies require value-added support in other areas than just funding.

“RBC at large and the scale of RBC is a massive asset for us and there’s amazing buy-in across the organization at every level,” he said.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper.