Canadian Manufacturing

BDC hits half billion mark in its efforts to grow cleantech in Canada

BDC continues to invest in the cleantech VC ecosystem

December 4, 2020  by CM Staff

MONTREAL — BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, highlighted on Dec. 4 its commitment to supporting the Canadian cleantech sector, announcing that it has invested more than half a billion dollars in Canadian cleantech firms since 2018. The news came on the heels of MaRS Impact Week, a global online conference hosted from November 30 to December 4 by the MaRS Discovery District and co-sponsored by BDC, which in part explored the role of cleantech in rebuilding a more sustainable economy in the wake of COVID-19.

“These have been challenging times for the country and its entrepreneurs, but as MaRS Impact Week demonstrated, they have also put renewed focus on the challenges of the future and how critical it will be to develop – and support – innovative sectors like cleantech,” said Susan Rohac, Vice-President, BDC Cleantech Practice.

BDC’s Cleantech Practice was launched three years ago after the 2017 federal budget allocated to the Bank a landmark $600 million in capital to support Canadian cleantech firms. To date, the Practice has invested nearly $350 million, which includes $55 million in indirect commitments to three likeminded venture capital funds. BDC has supported over 30 companies, all of them in the cleantech space, with an average deal size of almost $10 million. The portfolio includes many firms that have been recognized as Cleantech Global 100 Companies such as BC-based Axine Water Technologies, Ontario based Li-Cycle and BC- based Svante. Several other portfolio companies were among the presenting industry leaders at MaRS Impact Week, including Dartmouth, N.S.-based Metamaterial Technologies, Montreal-based Effenco Development, and GreenMantra Technologies, based in Brantford, Ont.

As one of the largest and most active investors of its kind in Canada, the Practice plays a vital role in the cleantech venture capital ecosystem. Its investments are being used to leverage greater private sector capital, allowing Canada’s best cleantech firms to find additional sources of financing to scale their existing operations. In fact, for every dollar BDC has invested in a cleantech company through its Cleantech Practice, another $3.60 of private sector capital has come in. Adding to its total investment of nearly $350 million, the Bank has also provided close to $200 million in lending to the sector since 2018.

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