Manulife Financial helps NVCF get to $233.5 mln second close

Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund (NVCF), the first market-based fund-of-funds backed by Ottawa’s $400 million Venture Capital Action Plan in partnership with the Ontario government, has raised $233.5 million in its second close. The first close, announced in January, brought in $218 million. The NVCF’s most recent investor is Canadian insurance company and financial services provider Manulife Financial. NVCF, which is managed by global private markets fund manager Northleaf Capital Partners, invests primarily in Canadian venture capital and growth equity funds and direct co-investment opportunities. To date, it has made six investments.


Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund successfully completes a second close,bringing commitments to date to $233.5 million

TORONTO (August 5, 2014) – Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”), Canada’s largest independent global private markets fund manager and advisor, is pleased to announce that Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund (“NVCF” or the “Fund”) – the first fund of funds to be established under the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan (“VCAP”) – recently held a second close bringing commitments to date to $233.5 million. NVCF began its investment program in January 2014 and has made six investments to date.

Canada’s Finance Minister, Joe Oliver, welcomed the news, saying, “Canada’s long-term economic prosperity will be enhanced by innovative firms, generating market opportunities that drive economic growth. This second closing of the Fund is an important milestone and we are delighted with the continued support for our Government’s Venture Capital Action Plan. VCAP will foster a vibrant venture capital industry in Canada by increasing the supply of capital available for high-growth firms so they can realize their potential – creating jobs and prosperity for Canadians.”

Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, added, “Ontario welcomes this latest positive news for the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund. The Fund demonstrates how the private and public sectors can work together to bolster the availability of early-stage financing. It’s about creating the conditions where innovative companies can grow to the next level – creating jobs and strengthening our economy.”

“We sincerely appreciate the support for NVCF from our newest investor in the Fund, Manulife Financial,” said Jeff Pentland, Managing Director of Northleaf Capital Partners, the manager of NVCF. “Manulife’s commitment comes with increased commitments from both BDC Capital Inc. on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. These commitments will enable us to continue NVCF’s successful strategy of investing in promising Canadian funds and companies that contribute to the development of a profitable, globally competitive and self-sustaining venture capital industry in Canada.”

NVCF continues to progress well since its launch in January 2014, having committed to three leading venture capital fund managers (XPV Capital, Georgian Partners and Versant Ventures) and completed three direct co-investments in innovative, high-growth Canadian companies (Wattpad, Vision Critical and Silanis). NVCF’s primary objective is to generate attractive, long-term returns for its investors and by doing so, clearly demonstrate the significant opportunities available through investment in Canadian venture capital and growth equity funds and companies.

About Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund
Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund is a joint initiative between major Canadian institutional investors and the governments of Canada and Ontario to invest primarily in Canada-based venture capital and growth equity funds and direct co-investments that support innovative, high-growth companies. NVCF is structured as a fund of funds with the primary objective of generating attractive returns for its investors. The Fund is managed by Northleaf Capital Partners.

For more information on Northleaf, visit

Lauren Harris
Vice President
Northleaf Capital Partners

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock