AEC invests USD$10 million in Builders VC Fund II to provide access to Series A financing to technology companies advancing traditional industries.
EDMONTON, January 25, 2022 – Alberta Enterprise announced today that it has invested USD $10 million in Builders VC Fund II to support the growth of Alberta technology businesses focused on modernizing industries including real estate and construction, agriculture, healthcare and industrials. Builders co-led a $7.4 million Series A funding round for Calgary’s VEERUM, an investment from its prior fund, and recently announced a $2.5 million Seed funding round into Edmonton’s QuoteToMe from its Fund II.
“At the core of Alberta’s startup community are technology businesses that are stepping up the performance of industry, including energy,” commented Kristina Williams, CEO Alberta Enterprise Corporation. “With investment from Builders, these founders gain access to smart capital including an expert and well-connected team in San Francisco, and world-class local growth support from Mark and his team in Alberta.”
Builders is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing where technology meets new business models in traditional sectors. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in San Antonio and Calgary. With over USD $250M committed to their most recent Fund II, Builders believes there are significant openings for venture-backed technology companies to drive new capabilities and efficiencies in critical but under-invested industries such as energy, agriculture, real estate, health and manufacturing. This is Alberta Enterprise’s second investment in a Builders’ fund.
Builders’ Canadian office in Calgary is led by Mark Blackwell and supported by part-time venture partners, Alison Sunstrum and Paul Verhesen. After beginning his career as an investment banker at CIBC World Markets and Investment Manager with the Cenovus Energy’s corporate venture fund, Blackwell moved to Silicon Valley to be COO and Co-Founder of GNS3 Technologies. GNS3 was acquired by SolarWinds in 2015 for $30 million. Since returning to Calgary, Blackwell is actively involved in the Alberta innovation ecosystem, as current Executive Chair of the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF), and as a CDL Rockies Associate.
“There’s an incredibly strong fit between Builders and Alberta as the province witnesses an explosion of innovation in food and agriculture, industrials and manufacturing with a rich pool of talented innovators and investment opportunities,” said Blackwell, General Partner at Builders. “It is deeply personally rewarding to see the growth in the quality of investment opportunities being led by Alberta entrepreneurs.”
“Alberta’s tech sector is thriving and continues to be a key driver of economic growth, diversification and employment in our province,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. “This investment will help Alberta Enterprise continue to lead the charge in giving local startups access to much-needed capital and expertise, creating jobs across Alberta.”
About Alberta Enterprise Corporation: www.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 presence in the province. In addition to 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. Since our inception we have committed C$256 million for investment to twenty-four VC funds including Accelerate Funds I, II and III, covering a diverse range of forward-looking industries including information technology, industrial technology and life sciences.
About Builders: www.builders.vc
Builders VC is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing where technology meets new business models to modernize antiquated industries including healthcare, agriculture, industrials and real-estate. Its thesis involves applying technology and new business models to sectors where the percentage of IT spending vs. revenue is minimal. In these sectors, there exists a significant gap between what is technically possible versus what is presently implemented.
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