TORONTO Jan 16 The venture capital arm of one
of Canada's largest pension funds is raising a second, larger
round of funding to invest in Canadian technology startups, its
chief executive said on Thursday.
OMERS Ventures has already secured some funding from its
parent, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, for
the second round and has invested some of it, but is now
negotiating for more funding from outside sources, CEO John
Ruffolo told Reuters on the sidelines of a technology
"It will be a very large fund. It will be larger than our
first fund, which was C$200 million ($183 million)," he said.
OMERS was the sole provider of funds for the initial round,
which sought to support Canadian tech startups, an area in which
funding has floundered since the Internet bubble burst.
OMERS Ventures is negotiating for an additional capital
injection from at least one external strategic partner.
"I never anticipated for our next fund to be anyone but
OMERS and now there is unsolicited interest," Ruffolo said.
"We're not looking for capital, but some of these partners
have some very interesting strategic value for us that we like a
lot," he said, adding that a deal should be closed soon.
The VC arm has already put the second fund to work in its
four most recent deals, Ruffolo said.
In recent months, OMERS Ventures has led a C$100 million
funding round for Shopify, an e-commerce and retail platform,
and participated in smaller investments in password manager
PasswordBox, big data infrastructure company Ranovus, and
brainwave-sensing technology company Interaxon.