A federal government program launched to spur venture capital (VC) investment activity in Canada has so far generated almost $900 million worth of investment commitments, according to Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA), which is calling on the government to renew the program.
The CVCA reports that the federal government’s Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP), which contributed $340 million to stimulate the creation of VC funds and funds of funds, has so far generated $886 million worth of total investment commitments.
This represents about two-thirds of the $1.4 billion that will be invested in total through the funds created as a result of the VCAP. The CVCA also says that the program has produced 21 new and emerging VC funds, which have invested $481 million in 163 Canadian companies.
“Through investments in promising Canadian VC funds and companies, the VCAP program is strengthening the ability of the country’s VC sector to support innovative, high-growth Canadian businesses,” says Ian Carew, director with Toronto-based Northleaf Capital Partners, in a statement.
“Not only is VCAP contributing to the development of a profitable, globally competitive and self-sustaining VC industry in Canada,” he adds, “it’s also clearly demonstrating the attractive returns that can be earned by experienced, long-term investors in the Canadian VC market.”
As a result of the VCAP program’s success, the VC industry is calling on the federal government to include a second VCAP program in the 2017 federal budget.
“We hope the success of this program will lead to the government renewing it in its next budget,” says Mike Woollatt, CEO of the CVCA., in a statement “It is strongly needed as a key strategic element in the government’s innovation agenda to ensure the momentum continues. In these times of fiscal constraint, a program with such a leveraged impact, like VCAP, which costs very little and potentially represents a gain for taxpayers, is the right move. We hope the government agrees.”