Brightspark: Third Closing Of Fund At $60 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● September 9, 2020
  • Brightspark Capital — one of the most experienced venture capital firms in Canada — announced the third close of its new Brightspark Canadian Opportunities Fund (BCOF) with commitments of $60 million towards an ultimate fund size of $75 million

Brightspark Capital — one of the most experienced venture capital firms in Canada — announced the third close of its new Brightspark Canadian Opportunities Fund (BCOF) with commitments of $60 million towards an ultimate fund size of $75 million. The investors in the new fund include capital from the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) managed by BDC Capital for the Canadian Federal Government, BMO Capital Partners, Fondaction, Investissement Québec, RBC, Teralys Capital Fonds Amorçage Québec (TFAQ2019) managed by Teralys Capital, and individual investors and family offices from the Brightspark network.

BCOF is known as Brightspark’s third traditional institutional VC fund with a standard venture investing structure. And over its 21-year history, the firm has generated top-quartile returns through two successful VC funds and a series of direct investments. 

In 2014, Brightspark drove the charge in the evolution of venture capital in Canada when it began investing in early stage companies with a deal-by-deal structure using a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and capital from a pool of accredited investors. And through this innovative approach, over $40 million was invested in 16 companies with investments made by members of Brightspark’s growing network of more than 5,000 high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

And with the addition of BCOF, Brightspark will further capitalize on the investment opportunities it is seeing in the Canadian technology market. Through both its BCOF and SPV investment models investing in parallel, Brightspark anticipates it will invest an estimated $125 million in early-stage companies over the next few years.

Across the funds, Brightspark’s investment strategy remains focused on early and Series A investments in entrepreneur-driven technology companies throughout Canada with a particular focus on those that have the potential to become a category leader. And Brightspark leads investment rounds when appropriate. Since BCOF’s first closing in January, Brightspark has invested in six companies from the fund: Potloc, BuyBack Booth, Prevu3D, Elevate Farms, Classcraft, and Potential Motors.

Based in Montreal and Toronto, Brightspark includes VC veterans Mark Skapinker, Sophie Forest and Jacques Perreault as well as recently promoted Eleonore Jarry as Principal. And with over two decades of VC experience, the team is no stranger to investing during downturns and is well-positioned to keep an active investment pace in the current market environment.

KEY QUOTES:

“Over the past 21 years, we have seen some of the industry’s best companies emerge from the most challenging times. As a result of COVID-19, we are seeing changes in habits being entrenched into society – with technology at the forefront of it all. There is enormous growth in the tech industry, and we expect some major winners to emerge in Canada. Our focus right now is to connect with the companies that are driving this new wave of innovation.”

— Mark Skapinker, Managing Partner at Brightspark

 “RBC’s investment in the fund furthers our commitment to support the development and scaling of early-stage Canadian innovation, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and the broader technology sector in Canada. The current pandemic has been transformational. As we reimagine the relationships among businesses and consumers we need to think bold and invest in ideas and opportunities that will redefine society – our investment in the fund will help us be at the forefront of these breakthroughs and partner with companies that are aligned with our strategy and share our values.”

— Mike Dobbins, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, RBC

“Canadians are entrepreneurial and resilient. Our government is committed to helping innovative venture capital firms like Brightspark grow and succeed—amid the COVID-19 pandemic and on the road to recovery. Through our government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, we are supporting diverse industries and entrepreneurs in the technology sector and creating good jobs for Canadians as together we rebuild a strong and inclusive economy.”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade