MONTREAL, March 4, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - It's a substantial shot in the
arm and vote of confidence for these young startups. BDC Venture Capital, Canada's largest institutional venture capital investor, has provided
four companies that recently completed the program of Vancouver-based startup accelerator GrowLab with $150,000 each in seed funding, for a total commitment of $600,000.
ePACT, KarmaHire, Procurify and Spacelist were all judged to be "venture-ready" by a joint BDC Venture Capital
and GrowLab selection committee. This means they each developed a solid
product that showed significant early traction and, most importantly,
they are each led by a team of entrepreneurs who proved they were
determined, capable and eager to take on the world. The companies were
free to turn down the investment, but all four took up BDC Venture
"This seed investment is meant to help these promising companies keep
going while they work towards a more substantial second round of
financing," explains Senia Rapisarda, Vice President of Strategic Investments and Initiatives, BDC Venture
Capital. GrowLab's graduates learned the good news from Dominique
Bélanger, the director in Ms. Rapisarda's team who manages the
partnership between BDC Venture Capital and GrowLab. After the
program's three intensive months, the companies, Ms. Rapisarda says,
"are now well equipped to further refine their product and grow their
number of customers", which is what they will need to accomplish in
order to attract more financing.
The current investment by BDC Venture Capital takes the form of
convertible notes, short term loans that are usually converted into
shares later on in the company's life. In addition to Vancouver's
GrowLab, BDC Venture Capital is presently offering this type of
financing to the "venture-ready" graduates of Montréal's FounderFuel
and Toronto's Extreme Startups as well as to selected high-performing
startups coming out of Waterloo's Hyperdrive.
"BDC Venture Capital has played a real leadership role in advancing
accelerators in Canada," notes Mike Edwards, GrowLab's Executive Director. "Its convertible notes program certainly
increases our flow of high potential applicants, motivates those who
make it in, and leverages all the work done during the program by
improving the startups' chances of success," he adds. "Ultimately, this
is all great news for the entire startup ecosystem."
To date, $5.7 million has been provided by BDC Venture Capital in
convertible notes to 38 Canadian startups, including $1.95 million to
13 GrowLab graduates since the accelerator's first cohort in 2011.
About the companies
ePACT is the emergency network that connects families, organizations and
entire communities via web and mobile access to critical information,
communication and support in any crisis.
KarmaHire revolutionizes the 9B recruitment advertising market. It is an
optimized hiring platform for fast growing companies to create high
converting recruiting pages in minutes, attract better talents, and
increase their ROI.
Procurify is a spend management solution for organization of all sizes. It is
online software that is easy-to-use, secure, and cost effective.
Spacelist is the MLS for commercial real estate. With over 16 million square
feet of available space, businesses can clearly see all their options,
setup a tour and move into a great space with less stress and less
confusion than ever before.
About BDC Venture Capital
BDC Venture Capital helps great ideas become great companies. With more
than $1 billion in current and planned investments and 25 years of
experience in venture capital, BDC Venture Capital focuses on
innovative IT, health, and energy/clean technology companies, as well
as venture funds, with high growth potential. BDC Venture Capital works
with entrepreneurs and venture capital investors in the private sector
to build outstanding Canadian companies. BDC Venture Capital is
involved at every stage of the development cycle, from seed through
expansion to exit, and its goal is to deliver excellent return on
investment, while working to create a sound financial ecosystem for
Canadian technology ventures. Find out more at www.bdc.ca/vc or on Twitter @BDC_VC.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA
For further information:
BDC Venture Capital