New Diagram VC fund focused on building up Canada’s fintech sector

Montreal-based Diagram is growing its team along with the addition of new members and angel investors, including Robert Frances, CEO of Montreal-based Peak Financial Group, to help in its plans to develop Canada’s financial technology (fintech) sector further.

Diagram, a venture launch pad focused on building Canadian based financial, insurance and health-care focused technology start-ups, announced on Tuesday that it’s receiving an additional $5 million in funding from angel investors. The venture-capital (VC) fund originally raised $25 million in January.

In addition to Frances, Diagram’s new angel investors include: Paul Sabourin, chairman and chief investment officer of Toronto-based Polar Asset Management Partners Inc.; Angela Strange, partner with Andreessen Horowitz, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based VC fund; Dax Dasilva, founder and CEO of Montreal-based Lightspeed; Joe Natale, president and CEO of Toronto-based Rogers Communications Inc.; Mike Cegelski, managing partner with Montreal-based Panache Ventures; and Pascal Pilon, CEO of LANDR, also of Montreal.

Most recently, Diagram has helped to launch Dialogue, a Montreal-based virtual health and wellness platform, and Collage, a Toronto-based cloud platform that automates human resources for businesses. With this new round of funding, Diagram plans to focus on new start-ups, particularly in the insurance industry.

As well, Diagram has expanded its venture creation team to help get those new start-ups off the ground. More specifically, Dan Robichaud is now managing partner with Diagram while Marc-Antoine Ross is chief innovation officer. Ross and Robichaud, who is an original investor in Diagram, are co-founders of PasswordBox, a password management company purchased by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel Corp. in 2014.

“It’s an honour to have Dan and Marc-Antoine joining us at Diagram,” says François Lafortune, founder and CEO of Diagram, in a statement. “Their passion for building great products, combined with their focus on fast, data-driven iteration will be invaluable as we build our next wave of ventures.”

Montreal-based Portag3 Ventures LP, which is a VC fund backed by Montreal-based Power Financial Corp. and its Winnipeg-based subsidiaries, IGM Financial Inc. and Great-West Lifeco Inc., also supports Diagram.

“The early success of Diagram and its first two companies, Collage and Dialogue, is clear evidence that their team of builders and operators are onto something,” says Paul Desmarais III, executive chairman of Portag3 and senior vice president with Power Financial in a statement. “I’m confident their unique approach to building companies will result in the creation of the next global leaders based in Canada.”

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