Montreal’s Real Ventures Closes $180 Million Fund

Montreal’s Real Ventures has closed a $180-million fund to continue fuelling promising tech startups in Canada.

The firm is one of the country’s most successful early-stage venture capital firms, backing notable startups including Breather, League, and Montreal-based Vrvana which was recently acquired by Apple.

The new funding doubles the Montreal-based firm’s capital under management and had contributions from existing investors including Teralys, BDC and Investissement Quebec. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, HarbourVest, Singapore’s Temasek and China conglomerate Tencent represent Real’s new pool of investors.

The newly announced $180 million—the firm’s fourth fund—is divided into two pools of capital: $30 million for OrbitMTL, the firm’s newly formed fund for pre-seed ventures in Quebec, and $150 million to invest in Canada-wide early-stage companies.

“Companies need different levels of support at different phases of their development,” said Janet Bannister, the firm’s Toronto-based partner who is also a founder of Kijiji.

“The amount of investment and guidance must match the stage in the life cycle of the company and our new capital and strategies will enable us to help guide stellar Canadian companies through the next stages of their evolution,” she said in a release.

The VC firm announced the new funding on the 10-year anniversary of closing their first $3-million fund.

“The Real team has been at the forefront of innovation over the past ten years, painstakingly building an ecosystem around promising technology companies and supporting entrepreneurs across Canada,” said Senia Rapisarda, HarbourVest’s managing director in Canada.

Although Real has backed startups nationwide, the firm has been a key player in Montreal’s startup ecosystem, supporting game-changing companies like Element AI—a Montreal-based artificial intelligence incubator and lab that secured a $102 million USD Series A this June.

“We’re big believers that brains don’t stop at the US border, but historically early-stage capital has,” said John Stokes, Real’s Montreal-based partner. “These new pools of capital mean that we’ll not only be able to invest in more Canadian companies, but be their trusted investment partner for an extended period of their life-cycle.”

Real Ventures has supported a number of initiatives to invest in growing Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including launching the venture accelerator FounderFuel to mentor founders and propel startups like Sonder and Transit to scale internationally.