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AEC invests CA $10 million into Graphite Ventures to provide seed-stage capital to Alberta startups focused on B2B/Enterprise software and capital efficient hardware.

EDMONTON, July 13, 2023 – Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) announced today that it has invested CA $10 million into Graphite Ventures Fund IV to provide seed-stage capital to Canadian technology companies focused on B2B Enterprise software and capital efficient hardware. Graphite is a Toronto-based early-stage venture capital firm led by partners with deep experience as founders and investors. The firm is targeting CA $110 million for the fund.

Graphite Ventures focuses on Seed and Series A opportunities across Canada. Their aim is seeding for scale, investing at the earliest stages, and setting trajectories to accelerate growth. Graphite is one of Canada’s most active VC firms, and the team has invested in and supported more than 200 companies over the past decade.  Among its initial Fund IV investments is Alberta-based WaitWell, a technology company with queue management software that reduces wait times and improves service delivery for traditional industries including universities and government agencies.

“The Graphite team brings to the table 25 years of experience at seed stage investing. They are adept at both spotting promising opportunities and providing mentorship and network connections to help startups scale,” said Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation. “For Alberta startups at a critical early stage, continuing to create access to venture capital and growth mentorship, that’s how we can create an advantage for our entrepreneurs.” 

Graphite is led by general partners Aaron Bast, Lance Laking, and Craig Leonard who have worked together building Ontario’s tech ecosystem over the last decade. Last year the team welcomed Omi Velasco as Graphite’s new principal based in Calgary. Since then, Graphite’s team has immersed themselves in Alberta’s rapidly growing startup scene and deal flow.

“We are very excited to have AEC join our fund as an LP,” said Craig Leonard, General Partner at Graphite Ventures. “We believe that Alberta is becoming a major player in Canada’s tech ecosystem and are very impressed with AEC’s commitment to developing a continuum of funding options for Alberta startups. This is a big milestone in the growth of Graphite and we are strongly committed to contributing to the Alberta tech community and growing great companies here.”

“Alberta’s tech sector is attracting record levels of venture capital investment. Alberta’s commitment to invest a further $100 million into Alberta Enterprise Corporation will lead to many more deals like today’s investment in Graphite Ventures which will, in turn, unlock hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into Alberta’s tech sector,“ said Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation. “I’m excited to see this momentum continue to build.”

About Alberta Enterprise Corporation: alberta-enterprise.ca

Alberta Enterprise Corporation promotes the development of Alberta’s venture capital industry by investing in venture capital funds that finance technology companies. We focus on funds that have a strong commitment to Alberta – including a full-time presence in the province. In addition to financial capital, we support Alberta’s venture capital ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology executives who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta. We have committed CA $347 million for investment to thirty-three venture capital funds including Accelerate Funds I, II and III, covering a diverse range of forward-looking industries including information technology, energy and industrial technology, and life sciences.

About Graphite Ventures: GraphiteVC.com

Graphite Ventures is an early-stage seeding-for-scale venture capital firm that invests in early-stage B2B SaaS, fintech, proptech, digital health and capital-efficient hardware companies. Graphite is one of Canada’s most active VC firms, and the team has invested in more than 200 companies over the past decade. Graphite launched the CA $110M Graphite Fund IV in 2021 with a focus on Seed and Series A opportunities across Canada.

Editorial Contact: +1 587-402-6601, info@alberta-enterprise.ca