Data & Analysis

Behind The Fundraise With inovia capital

I Novia genera partners photo copyright eva blue
Photo (left to right): inovia capital General Partners, Patrick Pichette, Dennis Kavelman and Chris Arsenault

On February 19, Montreal-based inovia capitalannounced it had raised a fourth USD $200M early-stage fund and a new USD $400M growth-stage fund. The firm also announced that it is expanding to core markets in Canada and Silicon Valley and opened a new office in London.

inovia capital focuses on tech and invests in applied services and infrastructure platforms focused on transforming complex legacy industries, such as financial services, healthcare, commerce, transportation, travel and others.

To get some more details about the big announcement this week, we caught up with Dennis Kavelman, General Partner, who leads the inovia’s office growth investments in Toronto.

What was the initial target of the fund?

We have surpassed our initial goal of US $500M in combined funds, and we expect to continue with fundraising over the next few months; we have the opportunity to raise up to an additional $100M. This represents a 4.5x the capital raised for our last fund in 2015.

When did the fundraising began?

We had a full six month of fundraising efforts. But to be honest, as a GP, you never truly stop fundraising (either for the next Funds or for your portfolio companies).

Where are the majority of investors located?

We put an emphasis on Canada where we have raised over 90% of our capital to date. Our major institutional investors include: CDPQ, RBC, TD, National Bank, Teralys Capital, Kensington Capital, Investissement Quebec, BDC Capital, Northleaf Capital, Fonds de solidarite FTQ, Alberta Enterprise Corporation, other institutions and family offices from Europe, USA and across Canada.

Is inovia interested in exploring any other strategies?

Our full-stack approach puts us in a category of just a few firms in the world who offer multi-stage capital, plus the leadership needed to coach founders through fast scaleup situations. Furthermore, with our new London office and strengthened teams across Canada and San Francisco, we are providing founders a unique bridge to world-class talent and experience that hasn’t existed before.

Is there anything particularly interesting about this recent fundraise?

More and more Canadian Institutional investors and family offices were interested in learning about this class. We expect more commitment from Canadian investors over the coming years. Canada is at an important inflection point. We also noticed the same in Europe.

How challenging did you find this round of fundraising to be?

Fundraising is and should always remain challenging when raising VC or PE funds. It is fundamental that we, as a community, continue to be supportive of the broad ecosystem, continue to educate, and provide insights to future our future LP base.

What single factor do you attribute to the success of your fund’s closing?

We attribute the success of our closing to our unique model as a Full-stack Venture Firm, and to the support of our existing LPs — many of whom we have partnered with since our early days. They’ve seen our growth and our results to date; we’ve fostered a decade of trust, and they believe in our ability to deliver on our vision. We have a long-term outlook on all our relationships and company building that underwrites our firm and everything we do.