Canada Invests $50 Million into Cleantech VC Initiative

Leading the cleantech sector has been a point of pride for Canada over the last few years as the country has produced several world-leading firms working to improve the energy, mining, and natural resources sectors.

The Government of Canada is going to help a few more companies with the announcement of new funding for a third cleantech Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative  (VCCI) stream, totalling $50 million. The first stream had a $350 million investment, while the second stream featured a $50 million investment similar to this one. Applications to be a part of this latest stream are now open and will close on March 1. The investments are administered through the BDC.

A key requirement for possible recipients is a diverse VC board, as each successful firm must have a diverse gender balance. This has been a requirement for the other two cleantech VCCIs as well. Beyond a diversity requirement, potential firms will be selected based on investment strategy, management capabilities, fundraising strategy, and overall impact on the Canadian venture capital ecosystem.

“Canada is a world leader in clean technology,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. “That’s why our government is investing $50 million in late-stage venture capital to help Canada’s best small and medium-sized businesses working in clean technology scale into innovative global champions. This investment complements our government’s unprecedented $2.3-billion investment in clean technology and will promote Canada’s growing venture capital ecosystem.”

Recipients of the VCCI 1 and 2 were announce in June and November of last year respectively. The funds-of-funds managers for the first initiative included well-known VC firms like Hamilton Lane and Kensington Capital Partners, while the second initiative featured Brightspark and Highline beta.

“As the world transitions to a clean economy, Canada is making crucial investments to ensure our companies are leader,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “It is estimated that the clean economy will be worth $26 trillion globally by 2030. By supporting investors in clean technology today, we’re taking advantage of this once-in-a-generation economic opportunity and investing in the emission-reducing technologies that will ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy environment and strong economy.”

There are dozens of examples of the Canadian government investing in homegrown cleantech. Last April, the BDC invested $40 million into four different companies, and a month later, the government invested $26 million more into four other companies.