Company Logo Wednesday, February 07, 2001

Tech Capital Partners raises $23 million for Waterloo-based venture fund

Tech Capital Partners Inc., the only venture capital firm based in the fast-growing high-tech centre of Waterloo, Ontario, has raised $23 million for its new Waterloo Tech Capital fund. The fund will focus on early-stage investments in Waterloo-area companies operating in a broad range of technology sectors.

Initial investments by the fund are expected to be around $2 million, but Tech Capital Partners will also take advantage of its presence in Waterloo to work closely with the management teams at companies in which it invests.

"Our objective is to build world-class technology firms here in Waterloo," said Andrew Abouchar of Tech Capital Partners. "All the necessary ingredients are here, and we're going to provide the accessible, hands-on assistance that emerging companies need to grow to that level."

Lead investors in Waterloo Tech Capital are Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and Cranston, Gaskin, O'Reilly & Vernon Investment Counsel of Toronto.

"We're very pleased that these experienced investors, who have backed several national funds, have recognized this area's unique strengths in technological innovation and entrepreneurship," said Abouchar. "It's a strong endorsement of our community, especially at a time when technology investors are much more selective about the opportunities they pursue. They wanted to be a part of the exciting things that are happening here."

In addition to the $23 million that has been raised, the fund can accept further investments from other investors with at least $250,000 to contribute.

The advisory board for Waterloo Tech Capital consists of prominent members of the Waterloo technology community, selected for their depth of operational experience and demonstrated technology vision:

  • Doug Wright, president emeritus of the University of Waterloo and director of Research in Motion and Com Dev
  • Peter Schwartz, chairman and CEO of the Descartes Systems Group 
  • Brad Siim, co-founder of PixStream and director of engineering at Cisco Systems 
  • Richard Black, vice-president of Helix Investments and director of Open Text

Tech Capital Partners was formed in January by Abouchar and Tim Jackson. Since 1999, Abouchar has been fund manager of Waterloo Ventures Inc. where he has made seed and follow-on investments in Ardesic Corp. and Sirific Wireless Corp. Both companies subsequently closed significant financing rounds with major venture capital firms in Canada and the U.S. Before joining Waterloo Ventures, Abouchar was vice-president of one of Canada's largest venture capital firms.

Jackson was previously chief financial officer of PixStream Inc. where he raised more than $50 million in venture capital and led negotiations that culminated in Cisco Systems' $550 million acquisition of PixStream in December. 

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