Canada's Waterloo region sees massive rise in venture capital funds- report

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 22, 2014 05:39 AM EST

The Waterloo region in Canada has seen a significant increase in venture capital funds, news website reported. The first was the announcement made by Open Text Corp on Tuesday, January 21, about its creation of a $100 million fund on its platform. The fund will focus specifically for enterprise app developers in an effort to expand the region's, and ultimately Canada's, technology ecosystem, the report said.

Before that, the provincial and federal governments also unveiled the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund that seeks to pour money in venture capital funds in the country.

Both funds are different from each other but they are one in supporting the tech sector which contributes $30 billion annually to the economy of the region, the report said.

Developers will be able to make business-related applications on the platform of the company through the Open Text Applications Venture Fund. Open Text Chief Executive Officer Mark Barrenechea said that by midsummer, the fund should be able to reach $100 million.

Open Text is a company focused on enterprise information management. That is, it manages, secures and leverages unstructured data from businesses and governments. It recently launched App Works, a new product that allows developers to work on their platform.

The report quoted Barrenechea as saying, "We want to massively grow the ecosystem for applications here in Canada, that's why we are doing this." He added that the company's worldwide customer base of 100,000 serves as the channel to hasten the time to market, revenue and success for new enterprise apps.

Meanwhile, $150 million of the $217 million Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund came from investors in the private sector. These include BDC Capital Inc, BMO Financial Group, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada, Ontario Capital Growth Corporation, Open Text, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank Group. The federal and provincial governments contributed $36.3 million each to the fund, the report said.

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