Inovia Closes its First Discovery Fund to Empower Emerging Managers

Inovia Capital announced the closing of its first discovery fund today, formalizing its long-standing support for the early-stage venture capital firms that are essential to a vibrant North American tech ecosystem.

The US$25M Inovia Discovery Fund I, L.P. is supported by several existing investors as well as prominent new investors, such as Deloitte Ventures and Roller Labs Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC). Inovia Discovery Fund I will back the next generation of VC firms, also known as emerging managers, in their mission to identify and nurture high-potential startups at the pre-seed and seed stages. 

“We are delighted to join the Fund and help foster innovation from the ground up,” said Bob Hakeem, President, Roller Labs Ventures, CTC. “Aligned with our brand purpose of making life in Canada better, we are committed to uncovering and helping the next generation of truly transformative tech companies, which we are doing through direct investments in the Canadian ecosystem and by collaborating with experienced partners, such as Inovia, and its portfolio of emerging managers.” 

“Joining Inovia marks a key milestone on our journey of accelerating Canada’s innovative technology sector,’’ said Talia Abramowitz, Managing Partner, Deloitte Ventures. “This commitment creates yet another opportunity for us to catalyze the growth of emerging technology companies, bolster Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs and fund managers, and advance technologies crucial to the future of Canada’s economy and global competitiveness.”

While nearly a thousand new venture funds are raised every year in North America, recent data1 suggests funding has been dwindling for U.S. emerging managers, reflecting a volatile market environment. Meanwhile, in Canada, there has been approximately 200% growth in the number of active venture capital firms since 2014 according to BDC2, almost 80% of which are emerging managers. Inovia, which has made pre-seed and seed investment part of its strategy since its inception in 2007, is doubling down on its commitment to support the ecosystem at a critical time.

“Inovia Discovery Fund I is a natural evolution of Inovia’s Discovery Program and a testament to our unyielding commitment to entrepreneurs, from pre-seed to IPO,” said Inovia Partner Karamdeep Nijjar. “It will back budding businesses at the most critical juncture of their funding journey while nurturing a cohort of emerging managers that are key to a healthy environment of collaboration and competition.”

The Fund will identify over a dozen managers who can outperform the market through their unique networks and deep industry knowledge. A dedicated team at Inovia comprised of Discovery Program Vice-President Prem Kalevar and Discovery Program Manager Marianne Dubois will scout top emerging managers and work with them to identify the most promising startups to accelerate their growth. Discovery Fund I is also reserving a portion of the fund for direct investment into some of the highest potential early-stage companies seen by the team.

“History has shown that many great companies were started during a downturn,” said Prem Kalevar. “In a post-pandemic world, we expect to see more and more entrepreneurs launch their businesses outside of Silicon Valley. To give them the best chances to succeed, we believe now is the time to support them and their backers.” 




For more information:

BetaKit: Inovia Announces CAD$34M Discovery Fund for Early-stage VCs

The Logic: Inovia Launches US$25M Discovery Fund for Emerging VC Managers