Garage Technology Ventures Canada

Garage Technology Ventures Canada

April 11, 2006 13:53 ET

Up to $100 Million Available for Technology Start-Ups: Garage Technology Ventures Canada Launches New Technology Venture Capital Fund

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - April 11, 2006) - Garage Technology Ventures Canada ("Garage Canada") today announced the launch of its new venture capital fund-Garage Technology Ventures Canada, LP (the "Fund"). Following a first closing of $50 million, with plans to secure $100 million by 2007, the Fund will provide capital to seed and early stage technology companies.

A cornerstone of the Fund's business model is to actively leverage operational and economic ties with Silicon Valley through and with its partners at Garage Technology Ventures in Palo Alto, California ("Garage USA"). Garage USA is a renowned seed-stage and early-stage venture capital fund, with investors that include Thomas Weisel Partners and CalPERS (the California Public Employees Retirement System), among others. Garage USA will offer its networks and wealth of experience to Garage Canada's management and portfolio companies across all project stages - from due diligence through to customer acquisition, follow-on financing and exit strategy development.

Garage Canada's initial investors include the Solidarity Fund QFL, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and FIER Partners, LP, as well as the General Partners of the Fund.

Located in Montreal, Garage Canada will be managed by three experienced professionals with complementary skills and extensive operational and strategic networks: Louis P. Desmarais, general partner and managing director; Tom Sweeney, general partner and managing director; and Geri-Lynn Kushneryk, principal.

"We're very proud of the confidence our initial investors have shown in us," stated Garage Canada's managing director Louis Desmarais. "We're confident that our active investment partnering business model and global approach to investing will provide them with very competitive returns. We are currently in talks with other investors with regards to the Fund's expansion and a second closing, which should be held in the near future."

"We're very excited about this new venture," said Bill Reichert, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures in Palo Alto. "This is the realization of a vision Tom and Louis brought to us several years ago. We are impressed by their track record as investors and entrepreneurs, but we're especially happy that they share our approach to venture investing, with a focus on working intensively with entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of emerging technology companies. With their location in the heart of one of the most vibrant technology hubs in Canada, they enable us to span the North American continent, while we will facilitate their access to the Silicon Valley hub for emerging technologies."

Tom Sweeney, managing director of Garage Canada, added that "our fund harnesses the lessons learned, the capital and the expertise of our team and its partners, particularly those in Silicon Valley, to focus on building stronger companies and high returns. We will proactively source Canadian entrepreneurs with solid intellectual property who are seeking to build competitive, assertive and globally-oriented companies."

Complementary Strengths

A lawyer and chartered accountant by training, Mr. Desmarais has over 20 years' experience in the VC industry and in technology start-up mentoring and management. He was a partner in Wynnchurch Capital (Chicago and Montreal), a $200 million fund where he was responsible for sourcing and monitoring the fund's early-stage ventures; and in Skypoint Capital (Ottawa), a $100 million fund focused on telecommunications start-ups.

An engineer and former Canadian F-18 fighter pilot and technology intelligence officer, Tom Sweeney has over 20 years' international experience in advanced technologies including serving as a vice president in a telecom multinational; a senior consultant to large technology and financial services firms at Mitchell Madison Group, a San Francisco-based consultancy spun-off from McKinsey; an entrepreneur and CEO of Abilon Inc. and Classwave Wireless Inc.; and as an investor and chief executive of Accel Ventures.

A chartered accountant by training, Geri-Lynn Kushneryk brings over 13 years' experience to Garage Canada in venture capital, turnaround and restructuring of technology firms, as well as in operations and project financing. Ms. Kushneryk was team leader in project finance and privatization at PricewaterhouseCoopers; she worked at Bell Canada, where she helped design and launch interactive media and e-commerce portal and oversaw a number of acquisition projets nationally and abroad. She has also worked as an investment manager in private placement at the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.

About Garage Technology Ventures Canada

Garage Technology Ventures Canada is a Montreal-based seed and early stage VC fund focused on investing in technology companies with strong intellectual property and disruptive or market-shaping potential in global markets. Garage Canada is the exclusive Canadian strategic partner of Garage Technology Ventures (Palo Alto. CA) and Band of Angels (Menlo Park, CA). For more information about Garage Canada, visit www.garagecanada.com.

About Solidarity Fund QFL

With assets of $6.2 billion, the Solidarity Fund QFL is a development capital fund that, through its RRSP, channels the savings of Quebecers to make investments in all sectors of the economy so as to help create and maintain jobs in companies and contribute to the economic development of Quebec. Some 2,100 companies benefit from a partnership with the Fund, either directly or through one of the members of the Fund's network. The Fund currently has over 568,000 shareholders and has helped, either on its own or with other financial partners, create, maintain and support more than 105,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.

About Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec

The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec is a financial institution that manages funds primarily for public and private pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2005, it held CA$122.2 billion of net assets. The leading institutional fund manager in Canada, the Caisse invests in the main financial markets as well as in private equity and real estate. For more information: www.lacaisse.com.

About FIER Partners

FIER Partners is one of three components of the Regional Economic Intervention Fund (FIER) set up by the Quebec government. It consists of a limited partnership whose initial capitalization of $180 million was provided by a subsidiary of Investissement Quebec, IQ FIER ($90 million), and by three tax-advantaged funds: Solidarity Fund QFL ($50 million), Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins ($25 million) and Fondaction, the Fonds de developpement de la CSN pour la cooperation et l'emploi ($15 million). FIER Partners supports the creation of sector-focused developed funds and cofinances major structuring regional economic development projects. For more information, visit www.fierpartenaires.com.

Contact Information

  • Larouche Consultants
    France Bouffard
    (514) 286-2772, extension 10