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BDC hits half billion mark in its efforts to grow clean tech in Canada

The Bank caps off MaRS Impact Week with important milestone in mandate to help Canadian cleantech firms become global leaders

Montreal – December 4, 2020 – BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, today highlighted its commitment to supporting the Canadian cleantech sector, announcing that it has invested more than half a billion dollars in Canadian cleantech firms since 2018. The news came on the heels of MaRS Impact Week, a global online conference hosted from November 30 to December 4 by the MaRS Discovery District and co-sponsored by BDC, which in part explored the role of cleantech in rebuilding a more sustainable economy in the wake of COVID-19.

“These have been challenging times for the country and its entrepreneurs, but as MaRS Impact Week demonstrated, they have also put renewed focus on the challenges of the future and how critical it will be to develop – and support – innovative sectors like cleantech,” said Susan Rohac, Vice-President, BDC Cleantech Practice. “We are proud of our role in Canada’s cleantech ecosystem, and this week has further strengthened our commitment to helping cleantech companies innovate and grow.”

BDC’s Cleantech Practice is one of the largest, most active investors of its kind in Canada

At the core of BDC’s commitment to the sector is its Cleantech Practice, which was launched three years ago after the 2017 federal budget allocated to the Bank a landmark $600 million in capital to support Canadian cleantech firms. To date, the Practice has invested nearly $350 million, of which $55 million were invested via its indirect fund venture capital program. BDC has supported over 30 companies, all of them in the cleantech space, with an average deal size of almost $10 million. The portfolio includes many firms that have been recognized as Cleantech Global 100 Companies such as BC-based Axine Water Technologies, Ontario based Li-Cycle and BC- based Svante. Several other portfolio companies were among the presenting industry leaders at MaRS Impact Week, including Dartmouth, N.S.-based Metamaterial Technologies, Montreal-based Effenco Development, and GreenMantra Technologies, based in Brantford, Ont.

“Even in this difficult economic environment, we continue to find and support strong, investable Canadian cleantech firms,” said Rohac. “Some of our portfolio companies are already making their mark in the industry, and we’re confident that there are more to come.”

As one of the largest and most active investors of its kind in Canada, the Practice plays a vital role in the cleantech venture capital ecosystem. Its investments are being used to leverage greater private sector capital, allowing Canada’s best cleantech firms to find additional sources of financing to scale their existing operations. In fact, for every dollar BDC has invested in a cleantech company through its Cleantech Practice, another $3.60 of private sector capital has come in. Adding to its total investment of nearly $350 million, the Bank has also provided close to $200 million in lending to the sector since 2018.

An important investor in emerging cleantech VC funds

Above and beyond its Cleantech Practice, BDC also supports cleantech via its indirect (fund) venture capital program. The Bank has supported a number of next generation cleantech VC funds, including Spring Lane Capital, Arctern Ventures and MKB Partners, playing an anchor or leadership role, while also helping earlier stage cleantech funds such as Ecofuel.

BDC recognizes the wide range of capital needs of cleantech companies given the broad number of sectors and life cycles stages that they can encompass. In addition to the investments highlighted above, the Bank further supports cleantech companies through high focussed funds such as the Industrial Clean Energy Fund (ICE), the Women in Tech Fund, the Industrial Innovation Fund and a newly created IP-Backed Financing team.

About BDC

BDC is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions. For more than 75 years, BDC’s only purpose has been to support entrepreneurs in all industries and at all stages of growth. For more information and to consult more than 1,000 free tools, articles and entrepreneurs’ stories, visit bdc.ca.

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