McRock Capital, the Toronto-based investment firm cofounded by Scott MacDonald and Whitney Rockley, has announced the initial close on a new $50 million fund for Industrial Internet companies.
The new fund will be called McRock INFund LP and the money came from BDC Venture Capital and other “significant Canadian and US institutional investors and family offices”.
“We are thrilled to announce the first close of our fund and are grateful for the confidence our investors have shown in us,” said MacDonald. “We have entered an era of profound transformation with the Industrial Internet. McRock is well positioned to unlock tremendous value in these billion dollar markets.”
McRock is exclusively focused on the intersection of sensors and software in large industrial markets, an area known as the “Industrial Internet”. The fund will invest in high growth companies across Canada and the US that are specifically targeting large industrial markets looking to maximize the efficiency of their operations by making their machines, equipment and devices run more intelligently.
The term “Industrial Internet” was actually coined by GE, and draws together fields such as machine learning, big data, the Internet of things and machine-to-machine communication to ingest data from machines, analyze it (often in real-time), and use it to adjust operations.
“McRock iNFund has a highly focused and differentiated investment strategy that has caught the interest of many Canadian and US investors. Moreover, it is well aligned with our own objective of supporting Canadian ventures that have the potential both to commercialize scalable industrial technologies and to generate significant returns,” said the BDC’s Dominique Bélanger. “McRock’s founding partners have earned an excellent reputation as investors through their industry knowledge and having built a number of successful Industrial Internet companies over the course of their careers.”
BDC’s investment manager Warren Plunkett added that Industrial Internet companies “are born global”, which makes investing in them relatively safer than other areas. “EDC and McRock do more than just provide financing – our real value comes from opening doors through our significant global network of buyers, particularly in the industrial markets.”
The last time McRock Capital hit the Canadian tech news headlines was back in early April, when the firm released a report. It warned that while there is plenty of hope for a “profound culture of innovation in Canadian venture capital”, it needs to continue to build a stronger culture. This comes after years of impeded innovation that was “never properly woven into Canada’s cultural fabric.”