i4 Capital launches CA$60M fund to back innovative deep tech

 i4 Capital launches CA$60M fund to back innovative deep tech

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i4 Capital recently announced the first close of its deep tech seed fund with capital commitments totalling over CA$40 million. This investment equals about two-thirds of the total CA$60M target fund size. The fund’s thesis targets innovative companies that have developed a breakthrough technological innovation, especially at the early stage. It will invest in Industry 4.0, manufacturing, information technology and agri-technology.

The Quebec City-based VC fund’s team comprises five founding partners with diversified experience and complementary expertise. Jean-François Grenon and Tim Tokarsky co-manage the i4 Capital fund, founded in 2021. In addition, Antony Acciarri, Antoine Bellemare and Nadia Martel are the other three founding partners. They also bring expertise across investment, financing, intellectual property, business strategy, management, governance and legal affairs.

Regarding deployment strategy, the fund targets minority stakes in about twenty companies via equity or quasi-equity investments. It will focus on complex, patentable, R&D-based technologies whose innovation can potentially transform industries and economic sectors.

Tim Tokarsky said that i4 Capital has already established relationships with many emerging companies with promising disruptive technologies. The firm aims to fill a market need by contributing to the success of several innovative and visionary companies. It plans to support startups that sustainably contribute to innovation, ingenuity and wealth creation in Quebec. Further, Tokarsky shared his pleasure to be able to help entrepreneurs aligned with their mission.

Also read: New healthcare fund set by Ontario government and Korean VC

i4 Capital raised funds by winning the Québec Seed Fund Competition

Earlier in May, the Québec Seed Fund Competition had announced i4 Capital as the winner of its second proposal call. The competition is an initiative by the government and implemented through Investissement Québec. Its objective is to establish investment funds targeting seed-stage startups in strategic economic sectors. The initiative has access to a total investment of roughly CA$100 million, including half of it from the Quebec government. The competition improves access to capital for entrepreneurs tackling the many challenges Quebec faces in the coming years.

As part of the win, i4 Capital received CA$16.7M from the government and Investissement Québec, as well as an additional CA$15.8M from the competition’s partner funds. Fonds de solidarité FTQ, the Fonds québécois d’amoragère Teralys (Teralys Capital), financed by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and Fondaction, were the named partners. They all became Limited Partners in the fund in this first close, alongside a group of major accredited investors.

Fonds de solidarité FTQ invested as part of its strategy to support technological transitions, particularly in manufacturing and agri-technology. The City of Quebec is also providing operational support to the i4 Capital fund through a grant of up to CA$600,000.

Jean-François Grenon said they considered their institutional and private investors as partners and were grateful for their trust. He added that he had been actively involved in the Quebec entrepreneurial ecosystem for over 15 years as an angel investor. He mentioned that creating a seed fund with a diverse team of experienced and passionate people was a great privilege. Grenon believed that the VC firm will have an impact and will make a difference.

Also read: VC funding in Canada: Decoding the past decade of growth


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