The financial hub of Canada, Montreal is home to a lot of startups and strong innovation. It has been the fifth most active ecosystem in North America over the last five years. There are numerous Montreal venture firms that help these startups reach their potential. Below is my list of top ten venture capitalists in both Canada and United States who have invested in local VCs.
Top Venture Capital Firms in Montreal
1. Business Development Bank of Canada
BDC offers financing, consulting services, subordinate financing and venture capital. They focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). BDC's services are available across Canada in both official languages through a network of more than 100 offices. Its head office is in Montreal.
Total fund size: $700M
Business Development Bank of Canada's most notable exits include Zymeworks, Meta Materials, and Verafin.
2. Inovia Capital
Inovia Capital is a venture capital firm that partners with founders to build impactful and enduring global companies. The team leverages an operator-led mindset to provide founders with multi-stage support, mentorship, and access to a worldwide network. Inovia manages over US$2.21.9B with operations in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, San Francisco,and London. For more information, visit inovia.vc.
Total fund size: $2.1B
Inovia Capital's most notable exits include North, TrackTik, and Milestone Pharmaceuticals.
3. Real Ventures
Real Ventures is an early-stage venture firm focused on serving daring entrepreneurs with the ambition to create successful, global companies. Since 2007, Real Ventures has dedicated itself to building the Canadian startup ecosystem on the belief that people, not money, build game-changing companies. Real Ventures provides stage-specific guidance,mentorship, and access to networks and resources to fast-track founders’ personal and company growth. Real Ventures manages $325 million across five funds and its active portfolio of 100+ companies is currently valued at $10 billion. www.realventures.com
Total fund size: 272.3M
Real Ventures's most notable exits include Clarity, Sonder, and Breathe Life.
4. Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in investments in start-ups, early venture, mergers, business acquisitions, management buyouts, market development project or a buyout, financing for new programs, organic growth and cash flow, growth and expansion financings, development capital, business succession,financial restructuring, business transition financing, family and non-family buyout, consolidations, turnaround, and leveraged management buyouts. It also invests in new markets, product and business line developments, market diversification, interim financings, new product marketing, additional working capital, purchase of tangible and intangible assets, equipment modernization, equipment purchases or upgrades, and integrator projects. The firm has regional funds that do not invest in retail, real estate, farming, biotechnology, and financial services.
Fonds de solidarité FTQ invests in small and medium-sized businesses. It typically invests in export projects, forest products, productivity improvement, natural resources, aerospace, agri-food, wood, pulp and paper, chemicals, construction and construction materials, printing, transportation equipment and automobiles, transportation services, furniture and fixtures, combinatorial chemistry and other lead generating technologies, mining and exploration, social economy, textiles, plastics, life sciences, business services, telecommunications, distribution and consumer goods, environment, equipment and machinery, financial services, information and communication technology, metal products, recreational tourism, and culture sectors.
Total fund size: CA$100M
Fonds de solidarité FTQ's most notable exits include Zymeworks, Coveo, and CAE.
5. Panache Ventures
Panache Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in pre-seed and seed-stage startup investments. It seeks to invest in sectors that play to Canada’s strengths: artificial intelligence (AI), fintech, digital health, enterprise software, and blockchain.
Total fund size: $58M
Panache Ventures's most notable exits include Lane, ehsAI, and Proof.
6. Brightspark Ventures
Brightspark Ventures invests in early stage Canadian software companies.
Brightspark has been investing in the Canadian VC industry since 1999. Over the last 20 years, the company has refined its focus to the point where it choose what it believes to be the best early-stage opportunities in the market. The company's goal is to find exceptional startups, and work closely with these companies as they grow to achieve stellar returns.
We have structured our investments to allow individual accredited investors to invest with us. We have found that individual investors share the same goals as us when investing: they too want to invest in startups with CEOs that are focused on creating massive returns.
This model also benefits our portfolio companies, who appreciate having a network of investors they don’t necessarily have to "manage". By leading the investment and actively working as the gatekeeper for the company, Brightspark ensures that the company can grow to its full potential without being distracted or becoming unfocused. This model attracts some of the best companies in Canada.
Total fund size: $56M
Brightspark Ventures's most notable exits include Nudge, Borderfree, and nGUVU.
TandemLaunch scouts, accelerates, and commercializes early-stage technologies from the world's top universities in close partnership with major Consumer Electronic brands. They collaborate with innovative entrepreneurs and technologists to turn these initial ideas into high quality startupsventures that their partners then lead to international impact.
Their incubation program provides innovators with mentorship, turn-key engineering and business resources, and up to $800k in seed financing. Graduates from their program can draw on further venture investment from their TandemLaunch Ventures seed fund or its 50+ Limited Partners.
Total fund size: CA$58.9M
TandemLaunch most notable exits include wrench, Mirametrix, and IRYSTEC.
8. CTI Life Sciences Fund
CTI Life Sciences, a Canadian venture firm makes venture capital investments in high quality emerging life sciences companies at the pre-clinical and clinical development stage in Canada and in the U.S. CTI Life Sciences currently manage $345 million of assets.
Total fund size: $312M
CTI Life Sciences Fund's most notable exits include Zymeworks, Vaxcyte, and Medicago.
9. BoxOne Ventures
BoxOne Ventures is a privately held investment firm that focuses on early-stage companies across all markets: biotech, fintech, agtech, healthcare, data, engineering, and AI/ML. We strive to balance the best elements of patient angel capital with the value-add often found at venture funds. You will often find us as the first cheque into a company.
We invest our own capital and bring our experience as operators that have scaled many startups from founding to exit. We like partnering in the earliest days and continuing to support entrepreneurs with capital, expertise, and our network across their entire journey while making sure to never get in their way.
10. Luge Capital
Luge Capital is a venture capital fund focused on early stage fintech and artificial intelligence (AI) applied to financial services. We invest in talented teams shaping the way the world interacts with financial services. Luge looks for founders that improve customer experiences, remove complexity, make financial institutions more efficient and use data-driven methods decision-making. We work closely with entrepreneurs and their teams in their efforts to build world-class companies by sharing our extensive network, experience and industry insights. www.luge.vc
Founded: Apr 2018
Total fund size: $85M