TORONTO—The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is planning to invest more than $100-million in current and future cleantech opportunities through its venture capital operations.
Among the most active venture investors in the Canadian energy and cleantech sector, BDC Venture Capital intends to invest the funds in scalable, capital-efficient projects.
“The rising cost of energy and resources, as well as the transition to a low-carbon economy, has caused a surge in cleantech innovation in Canada, and this country has the opportunity to be a world leader in developing technologies that can help companies address global resource, productivity and efficiency challenges,” senior managing partner of BDC’s energy/cleantech (ECT) fund Tony Van Bommel said in a statement.
“With this financing, BDC Venture Capital will support Canadian ventures that have the potential both to commercialize scalable ECT technologies and to generate significant returns.”
Traditionally, cleantech venture capital investments globally have been directed to large, capital-intensive infrastructure projects such as solar or wind farms or building large facilities for the production of biofuels or green chemicals, according to BDC.
By contrast, the BDC Venture Capital ECT fund tailors investments towards scalable ventures that look to significantly improve the efficient use of scarce resources in every industry and across all technology platforms.
“The … fund is reshaping the concept of cleantech, by putting smart money towards globally competitive Canadian technologies that can make businesses everywhere more resource-efficient and productive,” BDC executive vice-president Paul Kirkconnell said.
“Along with our other dedicated funds, the ECT fund is another example of how today’s BDC Venture Capital is making strategic investments that foster promising Canadian ideas with the potential for substantial return on investment, while also strengthening the country’s venture capital ecosystem.”
The BDC Venture Capital ECT fund has invested in such ECT ventures as D-Wave Systems, a super-efficient and ground-breaking quantum computing company based in Burnaby, B.C., and REGEN Energy, a Toronto-based provider of energy-reduction solutions for commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-residential facilities.
The fund’s current portfolio also includes General Fusion, SWITCH Materials, Teradici, Axine Water Technologies, Cooledge Lighting, Nexterra, Solantro and Vizimax.