The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec’s venture capital hub is partnering with seven venture capital funds representing $8.6 billion in assets under management.
Espace CDPQ, which targets innovative businesses in the credit sector, will partner with five Canadian firms — Accelia Capital, Amplify Capital, BKR Capital, Fonds Ecofuel and Framework Venture Partners — and two foreign investment funds — the U.S.-based Sofinnova Investments Inc. and the Belgium-based Theodorus Investment Funds.
In a press release, Andrée Lemay, general manager of Espace, said the partnerships would focus on capitalizing on Quebec-based opportunities. “With all these new partners joining, we have a well-rounded offering that will further energize our activities in Quebec, providing more support to companies with innovative models to help them grow.”
In other news, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is backing an artificial intelligence-powered consumer finance platform.
The pension fund led a £210 million ($351.67 million) funding round for Lendable Inc., a company that applies AI technology and automation to the underwriting sector. Following the funding round, the company’s value reached £3.5 billion ($5.86 billion).
Founded in 2014, Lendable serves as a consumer credit provider in the U.K. and the U.S. The funds raised by the round have been earmarked to be used to fuel the company’s expansion into new markets and in the development of new products, according to a press release.
In the release, Olivia Steedman, senior managing director of the pension fund’s Teachers’ Innovation Platform, said its decision to lead the funding round was due to Lendable’s use of AI technology to shape the future of consumer finance. “We’re delighted to work with [Martin Kissinger, founder and chief executive officer] and his visionary team to deliver on Lendable’s growth ambitions.”