Whitecap Venture Partners raises bulk of $125 mln Fund IV, hires Steve Lau

Whitecap Venture Partners initially closed its fourth early-stage tech fund, securing most of the $125 million target.

In all, Whitecap IV raised $110 million in commitments, the Toronto venture capital firm said in a news release.

The money came in part from existing limited partners, including Kensington Capital Partners and Bank of Montreal.

They were joined by several new institutional investors, such as Inuvialuit Investment Corp, and family offices.

The new fund launched four years after its predecessor closed at $100 million.

Fund III was the first Whitecap vehicle opened to outside LPs. Prior funds were backed solely by Whitecastle Investments, a family office.

The fund invested in eight companies, including Toronto real estate tech platform Real Matters, which went public in 2017, raising $157 million, reportedly at a $1 billion-plus valuation.

Fund IV will maintain Whitecap’s strategy of investing primarily in Canadian early-stage companies in sectors where the firm has built up in-house expertise. They include information and communications tech, med tech and food/food tech.

Steve Lau, partner, Whitecap Venture Partners

Whitecap also said it expanded its partnership team to include Steve Lau.

Lau was formerly the co-CEO of FieldEdge, a U.S. field service management software provider acquired in 2018 by Advent International. Previously, he was a managing partner at Highland Creek Partners and an investment pro with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Additionally, Shayn Diamond and Russell Samuels, who joined Whitecap in 2015, were recently promoted to partner.

Whitecap is led by Managing Partner Carey Diamond, who co-founded the firm in 1993.

Blaine Hobson, a Fund III partner, now chairs Fund IV’s investment committee. Joe Catalfamo, also a Fund III partner, is a member of the vehicle’s advisory board.

Earlier this month, Whitecap and Round13Capital led the $22 million Series A financing of Bold Commerce, a Winnipeg e-commerce software solutions developer.