BDC Announces New $50-Million Envelope to Invest in Emerging Start-ups


BDC today announced an additional $50-million injection into its Seed Venture Fund, dedicated to supporting emerging Canadian startups with the funding they need to bring their vision to life, to help them scale and become tomorrow’s global champions. The fund will focus primarily on promising pre-seed and seed stage software companies within Enterprise SaaS and other software verticals, including Digital Health and FinTech, that are using artificial intelligence (AI) to redefine some sectors.

The Fund’s expanded mandate will include playing an anchor role for Canadian seed-stage businesses and devoting an increased focus on opportunities in regions which currently face limited access to seed funding. It also intends to strengthen and expand its relationship with incubators, accelerators, innovation hubs, angel investors and early-stage investment partners in those areas and across the country.

“Intentionally dedicating more time and resources to seed-stage companies in underserved regions and ensuring that we sufficiently nurture start-ups all across Canada are important levers to help cultivate a pipeline of scaling businesses and global champions over time,” said Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO, BDC. “At BDC, we know that adequate funding and advice for these businesses right from inception is a contributing factor to creating more resilient, sustainable, and better-performing companies down the road.”

This new allocation builds on the success of an initiative launched by BDC Capital in 2012 that seeded over 190 Canadian companies, which collectively went on to secure over $1 billion in funding thereafter. Supporting early-stage businesses is at the core of BDC’s commitment to fostering innovation and enhancing productivity in Canada by accompanying entrepreneurs throughout their growth journey and setting them up for long-term success. By getting involved at the earliest stages of development, BDC can help lay a solid foundation for the development of world-class businesses, making a significant positive impact on the country’s economy by contributing to a healthy and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Getting the right support at the earliest stages of development can have a meaningful impact on start-ups’ ability to scale, drive innovation and by extension, advance economic growth in Canada,” added Jérôme Nycz, Executive Vice President, BDC Capital. “We understand that seed-stage businesses need support from an array of partners to develop a winning model early on and we’re making it a priority to help create the right environment and conditions for them to boost the Canadian technology ecosystem from the ground up.”

BDC is committed not only to supporting innovative Canadian companies in their formative phase by backing them with a full range of capital solutions and advice to accelerate their scaling journey, but also to collaborating with the ecosystem to create the space for innovators to grow and succeed. The Bank’s recently announced Thrive Lab is another prime example of its commitment to inject capital at the grassroots level and bring collaboration to work, with its $100-million envelope to invest alongside likeminded partners in social impact-driven women-led businesses at the earliest stages of development.