BKR Capital raises C$4.5m for debut fund, invests in Goodee

BKR Capital, a Canadian venture capital firm focused on black-led businesses, has secured a C$4.5 million commitment for its C$20 million debut seed vehicle.

BKR Capital, a Canadian venture capital firm focused on black-led businesses, has secured a C$4.5 million commitment for its C$20 million debut seed vehicle. The funding will be provided by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, through Teralys Capital, and Fondaction. BKR, which opened a Quebec office, also announced an investment in Goodee, a Montreal-based online retailer specializing in furniture and accessories, lifestyle products and sustainable design.


BKR Capital (formerly known as Black Innovation Capital), announced it is opening an office in Québec. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), through Teralys Capital, and Fondaction will commit $4.5 million to this first Canadian venture capital fund dedicated to black-led businesses. These additional funds were raised by investors such as EDC, Westbridge, Vancity and Laidlaw Foundation, among others, who joined existing institutional investors BDC Capital, RBC, Globalive and Telus Venture. Already present in Ontario, BKR Capital will open offices in Montréal at Espace CDPQ, a venture capital hub created by CDPQ.

“BKR Capital offers concrete solutions to a real challenge faced by Black entrepreneurs, which is obtaining financing to start and grow their businesses,” said Wils Theagene, Senior Director, Equity 253 at CDPQ. “As investors, we are proud to support the mission of BKR Capital through our commitment to Teralys Capital, to whom we have entrusted the fund management mandate for emerging fund managers.”

Launched in 2021, the fund aims to invest in pre-seed and seed-stage Canadian technology companies founded by Black entrepreneurs. BKR Capital benefits from a differentiated flow of business, notably through partnerships with the DMZ’s Black Innovation Program, the HEC Montréal Entrepreneurial Base and the close ties it maintains with Black communities across Canada. BKR Capital intends to act as a catalyst for entrepreneurial initiatives in technology within Black communities, including those in Québec, which represent nearly 30% of the total Black population of Canada.

“With the funds, we plan to support 18 innovative companies over the next four years and help create the next Canadian success stories. Our objective is to capitalize on high-potential opportunities, primarily ignored by the main market players,” explained Lise Birikundavyi, Co-founder and Principal of BKR Capital. “Québec is full of talented entrepreneurs from our communities who are managing to move forward despite the disparity of opportunities. We are thrilled to have the support of institutions such as CDPQ, Teralys Capital and Fondaction, investors who share our vision that a more inclusive business universe ultimately benefits everyone.”

“Our participation in BKR Capital is part of our commitment to a more inclusive economy. With the network of technology industry leaders and investors committed to providing advice and mentorship to the fund and the values of diversity and inclusion that drive it, this first national initiative of its kind has the potential to positively change the financial ecosystem that brings together technology companies in the country,” said Marc-André Binette, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction.

First investment in a Québec company
BKR Capital also announced an investment in GOODEE, a Québec-based B Corp certified online retailer specialized in furniture and accessories, lifestyle products and sustainable design.

Founded in June 2019 by designers Byron and Dexter Peart, GOODEE is an avant-garde platform that brings together the values of good design, good people and good purpose. Inspired by the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, GOODEE is first and foremost a digital marketplace that provides a solution to several urgent social and environmental issues such as reducing poverty, gender equality and the fight against climate change.

“As Black entrepreneurs, we understand the importance and opportunity offered by the role we play in reshaping the narrative and representation of what a good company is,” stated Dexter Peart, Co-Ceo and Co-Founder of GOODEE. “We are inspired by the strength of BKR Capital’s commitment to supporting the positive impact and innovation in growing companies, and we are very honoured to be their first investment in Québec.”

BKR Capital (formally Black Innovation Capital) manages the first venture capital fund dedicated to black-led businesses in Canada. The $20M fund focuses on pre-seed and seed investments in technology and technology-enabled ventures with the objective of providing transformational capital to disruptive enterprises often answering unmet needs from minority communities. It aims to unlock hidden financial value and opportunities through the creation of a more inclusive business ecosystem. For more information about BKR Capital, visit our website, follow us on Twitter or consult our Instagram or LinkedIn pages.