White Star Capital closes $446 million CAD for new fund

Toronto building

White Star Capital, a global venture firm with Canadian operations, announced that it has secured $446 million CAD ($360 million USD) for its third fund.

White Star plans to use the fresh funds for initial investments between $5 million and $20 million in 15 to 20 startups across North America, Europe, and Asia seeking Series A and beyond financing.

The firm has already made several investments from Fund III, including in the environmental, social, and governance software startup, Novisto.

Several Canadian institutional investors participated in Fund III, including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), IQ, Desjardins, Kensington Capital Partners, FSTQ, BDC, Beneva (created by the coming together of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance), and Roynat Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scotiabank, Harbourvest, and Ubisoft.

Limited partners in the new fund include both new and previous institutional and sovereign investors, reflecting the international footprint of the firm. These include LPs from France, Germany, Guernsey, Japan, Monaco, Poland, South Korea, the United Kingdom. and the United States.

Canadian entrepreneurs taking part in the fund included Andrew Graham, co-founder and CEO of the FinTech Borrowell; Cherif Habib, the co-founder and CEO of Dialogue Health Technologies; and Etienne Lacroix, the founder and CEO of Vention, the manufacturing automation startup.

The date the fund closed was not disclosed.

The firm has already made several investments from Fund III, including in the environmental, social, and governance software startup, Novisto. For the latter, White Star led a $9.6 million Series A round of funding in May.

White Star wants to use the fund for investments in the sectors of AI, digital health, FinTech, foodtech, future of work, industrial technologies, mobility, and well-being.

White Star has more than 30 team members in nine locations globally. The firm provides both direct investment though dedicated and specialized funds but also offers limited partners opportunities to directly co-invest in the firm’s fastest-growing portfolio companies.

Since the firm began seven years ago, White Star Capital has had 10 exits and two IPOs, backed five unicorns, and has invested in more than 55 companies that have gone on to collectively raise over $2.5 billion, employ more than 7,300 people, and are generating close to $1.9 billion in yearly revenue.

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With the new $446 million fund, White Star claims it manages $1 billion in assets.

In 2015, the firm closed on its $90 million first institutional fund, and announced a second fund worth $232 million in 2018. In May, White Star completed the final close of its Digital Asset Fund, raising $50 million USD from limited partners Bpifrance and Ubisoft, as well as several undisclosed family offices. The firm also claims it has more than $110 million raised from co-investment vehicles.

A spokesperson for White Star told BetaKit the firm has already invested more than half of its overall capital, backing companies like Dialouge, Drop, Borrowell, and Vention through its various funds.

The Digital Asset Fund was created to invest in crypto networks and blockchain-enabled businesses. The fund has a focus on North America and Europe and has already invested in two Canadian startups. One was the blockchain API startup, Dfuse; the other, Ledn, a bitcoin-backed lending startup.

The firm also announced the appointment of Patricia Barbizet as chairman of the board, Cristina Ventura as chief catalyst officer, and Alberto Lopez Toledo as chief technology officer.

Based in Paris, Barbizet served as the first female CEO of Christie’s; executive director of Groupe Artémis from 1992 until 2017; and vice-chairman of the board of Kering SA; and chairman of the supervisory board of Christie’s. She now runs her own investment and advisory firm, Temaris & Associates.

Ventura has worked in retail and technology roles for over 20 years helping brands like Prada, Gucci, LVMH, and Apple. Lopez Toledo is the CTO and technical co-founder of Freshly. Both will also serve as venture partners and together bring years of experience in strategic planning, leadership, creativity, and innovation to the firm’s partners and ecosystem.

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in Wired.com, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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