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EDMONTON, July 17th, 2012 — Alberta Enterprise today announced that it has invested US$10 million as a limited partner in Azure Capital Partners III, a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage information technology companies. With headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Menlo Park, California, Azure Capital brings its extensive connections from Silicon Valley to Alberta-based technology startups. The fund will hire an Alberta-based investment professional to cover investment opportunities across Canada.

“Azure’s experience and expertise connects Alberta technology startups and entrepreneurs to the world’s technology epicentre, Silicon Valley,” said Barry Heck, Vice Chairman and CEO of Alberta Enterprise. “This investment is consistent with our strategy of linking Alberta entrepreneurs to major markets and technology communities – which supports the successful commercialization of Alberta technologies and products.”

“The investments being made by Alberta Enterprise help entrepreneurs be successful by leveraging the expertise of investors with global industry experience.” said Stephen Khan, Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education. “This access to global expertise is critical to the growth of the technology sector in Alberta.”

“Although we have deep Silicon Valley roots, we have consistently invested a meaningful portion of our funds in North American regions outside of the Bay Area.” said Cameron Lester, General Partner at Azure. “We have been impressed with the entrepreneurial talent and the depth of the technology community across Canada and look forward to exploring investment opportunities in Alberta and other regions across Canada.”

With this investment in Azure’s latest fund, Alberta Enterprise has now committed for investment $64 million of its $100 million initial capital to five venture capital funds (previously announced were investments with Yaletown Venture Partners, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, iNovia Capital and EnerTech Capital). These investments have fostered a stronger Alberta VC environment, by forging connections to other institutional investors, portfolio companies, and other VC firms. As a result, Alberta entrepreneurs will have access to one expanded and four new VC offices in the province. These offices provide local “VC feet on the street” to help Alberta’s growing technology firms and entrepreneurs in knowledge-based industries.

About Alberta Enterprise
Alberta Enterprise promotes the development of Alberta’s venture capital industry by investing in VC funds that finance early stage technology companies. Launched with a $100 million investment from the Government of Alberta, Alberta Enterprise focuses on funds that have a strong commitment to Alberta – including a full-time presence in the province. The organization also supports Alberta’s VC ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology executives who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta. Visit www.alberta-enterprise.ca for more information.

About Azure
Founded in 2000, Azure is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm with over $750 million under management. Azure invests in early stage technology companies that are at the forefront of a transformative opportunity for growth. They have served as trusted advisors to some of the most successful and important technology companies created in the last decade, including VMware (NYSE: VMW), Bill Me Later (acquired by eBay), Calix (NYSE: CALX), Top Tier (acquired by SAP), TripIt (acquired by Concur Technologies), and World Wide Packets (acquired by Ciena), and have helped to generate billions of dollars of value in these companies for entrepreneurs and investors. The Azure team is recognized for industry thought leadership, a broad network of powerful industry relationships, and a unique professional investment approach to venture investing. They passionately support their portfolio companies with active guidance in all key aspects of team building, strategy, operations and governance.

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