Government of Canada, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Supports the Creation of a New Canadian-Focused Venture Capital Fund of Funds

BOSTON – July 12, 2018 – HarbourVest Partners, a global private markets asset manager, today announced that it has been chosen by the Government of Canada to participate in the country’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) to increase the availability of late-stage venture capital in Canada. The Government of Canada, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), has committed to support the creation of a new venture capital fund of funds formed under the VCCI program.

“We are honored to have been chosen to participate in the new Canadian-focused Venture Capital Initiative,” said Senia Rapisarda, Managing Director at HarbourVest in Toronto. “Following on the success we have had with Canada’s Venture Capital Action Plan program, we’re aiming to continue injecting growth capital into innovative Canadian small and medium-sized businesses through VCCI. We are very pleased with how our portfolio is developing under VCAP, which to date includes commitments to 12 Canadian managers, eight US managers, and nine companies, and we look forward to implementing the strategy of the VCCI program on behalf of investors.”

HarbourVest’s VCCI investment mandate will focus on investing in a core group of Canadian venture and growth managers, top-tier international managers that have historically invested in Canadian companies, as well as making direct co-investments into Canadian companies in growth equity stage transactions.

In order to help increase gender equality in venture capital and support women-led companies, the Canadian government stressed the importance of diversity in its selection process and required that each investment manager in the VCCI program demonstrate how it will enhance diversity and increase the participation of women across the venture capital ecosystem.

“Increasing gender diversity in our industry has been an important focus of HarbourVest and is part of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment and fund diligence screening process,” continued Ms. Rapisarda. “As a female leader in our industry, it was especially gratifying to see the emphasis placed on how the participating investment managers will enhance diversity and increase the participation of women across Canada’s VC industry.”

HarbourVest was recently recognized as McRock IIoT Diversity Leader of the Year 2018 at the annual McRock Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Awards.¹

HarbourVest has been making investments in Canada since 1989, with more than $700 million of indirect investments into over 450 Canadian companies through primary fund investments and secondary investments, and investments of $170 million in Canadian growth equity transactions.² The firm opened its office in Toronto in 2015, led by Ms. Rapisarda, and expanded its Toronto presence in 2018 to support its growing team. HarbourVest’s Canada team includes 10 professionals, including recent hires Daniel Conti, most recently with CI Institutional Asset Management, and Abigail Rayner, who previously held roles with Octopus Investments and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.


Click HERE to view a recent Q&A with Christopher Walker, who co-leads HarbourVest’s Canadian primary partnership team, on Canada’s venture capital landscape and how a confluence of positive trends are lifting the industry.


HarbourVest is an independent, global private markets asset manager with more than 35 years of experience and more than $50 billion in assets under management. The Firm’s powerful global platform offers clients investment opportunities through primary fund investments, secondary investments, and direct co-investments in commingled funds or separately managed accounts. HarbourVest has more than 400 employees, including more than 100 investment professionals across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This global team has committed more than $34 billion to newly-formed funds, completed over $19 billion in secondary purchases, and invested over $8 billion directly in operating companies. Partnering with HarbourVest, clients have access to customized solutions, longstanding relationships, actionable insights, and proven results.



¹ Awards do not necessarily represent investor experience with HarbourVest or its Funds, nor do they constitute a recommendation of HarbourVest or its services. Certain awards are based on surveys that are not limited to investors in Funds and may not have included all of the investors in Funds. Awards are not a reliable indicator of HarbourVest’s future performance. HarbourVest is not affiliated with any of the awards sponsors listed below, but may have been required to pay certain fees in connection with awards entries. The award is presented by McRock Capital; the winners were selected by an industry-led judging committee. HarbourVest was not part of this judging committee.

² Data as of March 31, 2018