Published October 10, 2017
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La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Desjardins Group announce the creation of an investment fund dedicated solely to the financial technology (FinTech) sector and to artificial intelligence applied to finance. Established in Montréal, this venture capital fund's purpose is to support the growth and development of new FinTech companies in Québec and Canada.
This fund, created under la Caisse's initiative and built in partnership with Desjardins, will operate independently and is expected to have a maximum size of $75 million. Its two sponsors will invest equal amounts totalling $50 million. Other institutional investors have already expressed interest in joining before the first closing, which is expected by the end of the year.
Beyond the financing aspect, la Caisse and Desjardins recognize the importance of data to accelerate product development and marketing of new technology solutions. The two sponsors have shown a willingness to provide the FinTech companies that the fund invests in with data that will need to be handled as privileged and highly confidential.
"With its high concentration of talent in information technology and the robustness of its financial industry, all the pieces are in place for Québec to see the emergence of a first-rate FinTech industry. We strongly believe that this new fund will foster the development of new technology solutions that will significantly improve business processes and operational efficiency," said Pierre Miron, Chief Operations and IT Officer at la Caisse.
"This new fund is very timely. Not even two weeks ago, the Brookfield Institute ranked Montréal in first place in Canada for its concentration of jobs in the high-tech sector. This support for FinTech will enable our financial sector companies to be world-class pioneers, particularly with regard to customer experience and competitiveness with the giants that are moving into our industry," explained Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.
This fund, which has yet to be named by its sponsors, will make share capital investments. It will target companies that develop technology affecting investments, payments, client acquisition and retention, data analysis, deposits and loans, security or insurance. Companies will need to demonstrate that they possess:
An experienced manager with the skills to seize the best business opportunities in the Canadian FinTech and finance-related artificial intelligence market will be appointed by the two sponsors soon. A technology advisory committee made up of information technology and finance sector leaders will be created to support the fund's activities and companies in its portfolio.
The creation of this fund was announced during the Canada FinTech Forum, organized by Finance Montréal to identify and facilitate the development of business opportunities in the financial services and information technology industries.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker