Manulife helps push Information VP II over the top

Information Venture Partners wrapped up its second VC fund at C$106 million ($79 million) with the help of a fourth strategic investor as well as increased commitments from existing limited partners.

Information Venture Partners II, which invests in fintech and enterprise-software companies in Canada and the United States, closed late last month, General Partners Robert Antoniades and David Unsworth told VCJ.

The fund, which raised C$96 million ($71 million) in September, edged past its C$100 million ($74 million) target thanks mostly to a commitment from Manulife Financial, a Canadian insurer and financial-services firm.

Manulife is Information VP II’s fourth strategic investor. It joins RBC, Power Financial and D+H, which helped anchor the fund’s first and second closes.

The fund also secured additional commitments from prior investors, Antoniades and Unsworth said. Information VP II’s other backers include BDC Capital, EDC, HarbourVest Partners, Northleaf Capital Partners, Teralys Capital and Permal Capital.

The successful fundraising comes two years after Information VP was founded by Antoniades and Unsworth. In October 2014, they led a management buyout of the portfolio of RBC Venture Partners, the in-house fund of RBC.

(Left to right): David Unsworth and Robert Antoniades, General Partners, Information Venture Partners
(Left to right): David Unsworth and Robert Antoniades, General Partners, Information Venture Partners

Between Information VP and RBC, Antoniades and Unsworth have spent nearly 15 years investing together. The experience prepared them for the recent rise of the fintech sector, propelled by innovations in such as areas as alternative lending, payment systems, crypto-currencies, data analytics and security.

Global VC funding of fintech startups greatly intensified in 2015, but moderated in dollar terms this year as a result of fewer megadeals, KPMG and CB Insights reported in October. The third quarter saw 1,983 financings capture $24.1 billion, which is up in volume, but down in funding, from Q2 2016.

The report at the same time spotted increased market participation among traditional financial players, which are trying to gain a window on emerging fintech opportunities. This trend helps explain the vote of confidence given to Information VP II by strategic investors.

With its close, Information VP II is today Canada’s largest specialty fintech fund. Going forward, it will lead or co-lead Series A or later investments in software and services for enterprise, financial and analytics applications.

The fund has so far deployed about 10 percent of its capital pool to three companies.

They include managed security service provider eSentire, which raised about C$27 million ($20 million) in February, and investor-relations-software platform Q4, which closed a C$22 million ($16 million) Series B round in May.

Additionally, Information VP II led the C$4 million ($3 million) Series A financing of PostBeyond, a provider of employee advocacy solutions, in July.

Photo of David Unsworth and Robert Antoniades courtesy of Information Venture Partners

Graphic courtesy ©iStock/pichet_w