EDMONTON, April 8, 2015 —Alberta Enterprise Corporation today announced that it has invested $10 Million as a limited partner in McRock iNFund, a venture capital (VC) fund focused exclusively on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market.
Industrial Internet of Things is a strategic focus for Alberta Enterprise funds
McRock will use the investment from Alberta Enterprise to target four primary sectors within the IIoT market. The focus areas are: Digital Oilfield/Smart Fields, Automated Power Grid, Manufacturing, and Smart Cities.
Commenting on this investment, Kristina Williams, Alberta Enterprise’s CEO said, “McRock brings significant IIoT expertise and a global network of major industrial corporations and investors to the Alberta technology ecosystem. Their demonstrated track record for building early stage companies will be strategically beneficial to fostering Alberta’s growth in the rapidly expanding global IIoT space”
“The rate at which sensors and machines are connecting to the Internet is staggering,” said Whitney Rockley, Co-founder and Managing Partner, McRock Capital. “We believe there is a significant opportunity in Alberta to build companies that can use this growing data from industrial equipment to create significant business intelligence solutions. “As an example, the large oil and natural gas producers need to optimize their assets, reduce downtime, and unlock production by using new IIoT solutions. We have done a thorough assessment of the Alberta IIoT sector and have identified some extraordinary entrepreneurs and immediate investment opportunities.”
The IIoT segment is a rapidly emerging subset of the larger Internet of Things (IoT) sector and is focused on creating Internet enabled devices, applications, and products for Industrial markets. IoT applications for consumers are becoming mainstream but tech enabled solutions allowing established industries to capture, store, and analyze data streams to make faster, better decisions is the next wave of innovation. According to a 2015 report by the World Economic Forum, IIoT applications are expected to transform many industries and ultimately dwarf the consumer side in potential business and socioeconomic impacts.
The Co-founders of McRock understand the Alberta economy and the local technology landscape. From 2002 until 2007 Whitney Rockley managed the EPCOR venture capital arm. Previously, she worked for EnCana and with TecEdmonton. Scott McDonald currently serves on the board of Pure Technologies (TSX:PUR), a Calgary based industrial technology company. McRock is based in Toronto, and will be opening an Alberta office in 2015.
“This is a strategic investment that will facilitate the growth of the emerging IIoT sector in the province,” said Paul Haggis, Chair of the Board of Directors, Alberta Enterprise. “With these funds, McRock will help to grow the IIoT economy and innovations coming out of Alberta.”
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Alberta Enterprise Corporation promotes the development of Alberta’s venture capital industry on behalf of the Government of Alberta by investing in venture capital funds that finance early stage technology companies. The organization focuses on funds that have a strong commitment to Alberta – including a full-time presence in the province. In addition to capital, Alberta Enterprise supports Alberta’s venture capital ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology executives who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta.
Since its inception Alberta Enterprise has committed $100 million for investment to eight VC funds and the Accelerate Fund. By investing strategically, Alberta Enterprise has leveraged the $100 million into more than $820 million and forged connections with hundreds of other limited partners, portfolio companies, and VC firms.
Alberta Enterprise’s funds and their syndicate partners have invested over $240 million in 24 tech ventures in Alberta. The diverse range of forward-looking industries includes clean and energy technologies, information and communications technologies, life sciences, and agriculture and food. The corporation’s investments in funds have generated almost four times the capital back into Alberta companies, and the investment value continues to grow incrementally. The Alberta Enterprise Fund is a strategic investment that continues to foster the growth of the technology sector and a diversified economy in the province of Alberta.
McRock Capital is a venture capital firm making investments in North American companies offering Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software and sensor solutions for the grid automation, digital oilfield, advanced manufacturing and smart city markets.