Alberta corporation to invest in VC to seed startups

Alberta Enterprise Corporation, the provincial government’s independent fund of funds manager, has invested $5 million in Panache Ventures’ new Canadian seed fund. This investment comes after Panache Ventures recently closed up to $25 million in deals, and the company is keen to support more seed-stage startups across Canada. Panache Ventures is led by former startup operators and angel investors who are well entrenched in the local ecosystem. Managing partner Patrick Lor is based in Calgary while managing partner Mike Cegelski and partner David Dufresne are from Montreal. The firm is looking to invest in companies innovating in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and blockchain, as well as virtual reality, enterprise SaaS (software as a service), and data analytics. Panache Ventures said it is already studying several deals with the hope of developing a large-scale portfolio of seed-stage companies across the country. With a target fund size of $40 million, Panache Ventures plans to invest in about 140 startups over the next four years. For Panache, Calgary is a focal hub for its operations in the west where they see a vibrant and growing technology ecosystem ripe for investment opportunities. Alberta Enterprise Corporation finds Panache’s focus on early-stage funding to be a good fit to the company’s goal of providing access to capital to young companies through fund managers.