BDC Women in Tech Fund Invests in Four Companies

One of the largest funds in the world dedicated solely to women in technology has just announced four new deals.

BDC’s Women in Technology (WIT) fund, a $200 million venture pool outlined in Canada’s 2018 budget that was expanded from an original total of $70 million, has unveiled four brand new deals to champion women-led businesses.

“The goal of BDC Capital’s WIT venture fund is simple: Invest in great entrepreneurs and teams where women lead, that build globally competitive businesses that deliver returns,” said Michelle Scarborough, managing director of the WIT fund at BDC Capital.

“By investing in strong teams and companies where women lead we are leading the way in VC by opening up the path for women leaders to gain confidence in securing venture capital to accelerate the growth of their business, drive competitiveness, and ultimately create large companies that spur a new culture of diversity and inclusion that sits at the foundation for any good business culture.”

AvenueHQ and its COO and co-founder Rebecca Troelstra is one of the four picking up an investment from the WIT fund. Based in Vancouver, AvenueHQ works with real estate professionals to offer them an online brand, so they can stick to building personal relationships and interacting with clients. The company raised a $4.5 million funding round earlier this year and is continuing to expand throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Unsplash is another company picking up an investment. The Montreal company, co-founded by Stephanie Liverani, is an online platform enabling the free sharing and usage of professional photos. Its 50 million creators share photos that are downloaded over 239 million photos a year, making it the biggest photo community in the world. Unsplash raised $7.25 million this February through a blockchain tokenization project.

Lufa Farms out of Montreal was the last announced company to receive a WIT investment. Co-founder Lauren Rathmell created the farm to table e-commerce platform to grow food in rooftop greenhouses then distribute it to customers in the city.

Finally, Toronto’s tealbook with its CEO and founder Stephany Lapierre also received an investment for the company’s AI-powered supplier knowledge management and discovery platform. Tealbook has actually received an investment from BDC before through the StandUp Ventures Fund I.

“There are a lot of barriers to building and growing a tech company,” says Lapierre. “As a female tech founder, raising capital is one more challenge that we need to quickly overcome. Having a venture fund like WIT behind us helps accelerate access to the capital and support we need to achieve success.”

The WIT fund will continue to invest in companies either led by women or with women in executive roles, from seed to scale stage. It will also look to invest in venture funds with women partners,