Luge Capital: CA$71 Million First Close Of Second Fund Completed

By Amit Chowdhry ● Sep 28, 2023

Luge Capital recently announced that it has raised CA$71 million in the first close of its second fund, Luge Capital Fund II, towards an ultimate fund size of $100 million. And the LPs in Fund II include returning investors CDPQ, Desjardins, BDC Capital, Sun Life, Industrial Alliance Financial Group (iA), Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and new investor Inovia Discovery Fund I.

Luge Capital Fund II will invest in early-stage fintech startups in Canada and the U.S. that are led by exceptional founders with a drive to affect change globally. Along with the core investment thesis from its first fund, Luge is expanding its scope of investments to include verticalized fintech startups that operate at the intersection of financial services and other large industries and fintech-oriented environmental, social, and (corporate) governance (ESG) startups. The initial investments made into startups from Fund II are expected to be slightly larger than those made from Luge’s first fund.

Luge’s team – including its two general partners who are fintech experts with unique backgrounds as operators, founders, engineers, venture investors, and corporate executives – has been immersed in the fintech sector for many decades and is backed by deep domain expertise. And since the firm was launched in 2018, Luge has been executing its strategy to invest in the most promising fintech companies in North America and working collaboratively with large financial institutions, especially its LPs.

Luge invested in 21 companies from the approximate $85 million raised for Luge Fund I. And notable investments include Flinks (acquired by National Bank of Canada in 2021), Plooto, Owl, Flare, and OneVest. The Luge Capital Fund II was announced today at the Canada Fintech Forum 2023 in Montreal, where the Luge team is sharing its expertise on various fintech topics.

KEY QUOTES:

“Our LPs are made up of large financial institutions, leading insurance carriers, and big pension funds who are both strategic and returns-based. We’ve developed a playbook for how we work with them and their additional commitments in Fund II are a testament to that model working. The partnerships we have with our LPs and their unique insights give our team a competitive advantage when it comes to backing the most promising fintech founders.”

— David Nault, General Partner at Luge Capital

“Financial services impact the lives of every person, from opening a bank account and making payments to buying insurance and making investments. Yet large institutions are finding it challenging to modernize their legacy technology. By investing in high-calibre fintech founders who are solving the industry’s biggest problems, Luge is helping to drive innovation across the financial services that are the lifeblood of the economy and account for 20 percent of the GDP in the U.S. and in Canada.”

— Karim Gillani, General Partner at Luge Capital

“CDPQ continues to collaborate with Luge Capital, having supported its founding in 2018. In this way, we are supporting the Québec ecosystem in the financial technology sector while encouraging a fund headquartered in Montréal, at Espace CDPQ.”

— Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Québec at CDPQ

“Desjardins is proud to invest in Luge Capital Fund II, having been a founding partner since the launch of Luge Capital in 2018. As a financial cooperative, it is important for Desjardins to continue to support the development of early stage Fintech companies and be an active player in the technology sector to better serve our members and clients.”

— Martin Brunelle, SVP Growth, Acquisition and Development at Desjardins

“BDC Capital is delighted to continue its foundational partnership with Luge Capital via an anchor investment in Luge Capital Fund II. As a manager with deep expertise in the sector, Luge has the ability to support early stage Fintech companies as they look to scale their businesses and become meaningful contributors to Canada’s economic prosperity.”

— Alison Nankivell, SVP Fund Investments at BDC Capital

“Fintech drives our world towards innovation and creativity. It’s the engine that makes us move forward, in a more complex environment. Our investments in startups accompanied by Luge Capital allow our financial institutions to reshape our industry. For Sun Life, it contributes to our ability to realize our purpose: helping Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives.”

— Robert Dumas, President and CEO of Sun Life Quebec

“Our partnership with Luge Capital gives us exclusive access to the fintech environment, which has value-creation virtue for iA Financial Group. In this sense and taking into account the results obtained to date, we have agreed to continue our association with them by subscribing to this second Fund.”

— Pierre Miron, Executive Vice-President, Chief Growth Officer Canadian Operations at iA Financial Group

“To ensure that the Québec fintech ecosystem continues to prosper and that fintech entrepreneurs have access to the capital they need, it is essential to support specialized fund managers. Since its launch five years ago, Luge has become a key actor in Québec’s fintech sector by investing in several startups. We are proud to continue our partnership with Luge by investing in their second fund.”

— Saloua Benkhouya, Vice-President, Private Equity and Impact Investing – Services, at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ

“The Luge Capital team’s track record as operators and investors have quickly established them as the go-to Canadian firm for fintech entrepreneurs in Canada and the U.S. Inovia has partnered with the Luge team since before the firm’s founding and we are pleased to join Luge Capital Fund II as a Limited Partner through Inovia Discovery Fund I.”

— Prem Kalevar, Inovia Vice-President, Discovery Program