Real Ventures Fund III reaches $75M with expanded presence in Toronto Waterloo

We are excited to announce an additional $25M in commitments led by several major institutional investors taking fund III to $75M.

With this increased investment, we will be expanding our activities in Ontario supported by two significant new appointments. Joining as a General Partner is former eBay and Kijiji executive, Janet Bannister, together with former consultant and startup entrepreneur, Omar Dhalla, who is joining as a Principal. While all the team will be engaged across Canada, these Toronto based investment professionals will enable the fund to be more proactively involved in the startup communities along the Toronto-Waterloo corridor.

Janet helped turn eBay into a mainstream marketplace, led the Kijiji Global business, and grew The Coveteur into a leading fashion destination, while Omar co-founded Play Taxi Media after starting his career in strategy consulting with Mckinsey and Accenture. Their strong track records and operating experience will be of great value in supporting existing and future portfolio companies.

 “We’re delighted to have Janet and Omar join our team” said John Stokes, General Partner at Real Ventures, “their combined experience in digital media, e-commerce and corporate strategy will be a great asset to early companies across Canada.”

The principal investors in this close are the Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada and Fondaction CSN. Participating alongside are a select number of family offices and individuals, in addition to Real Ventures’ General Partners. They join earlier investors, Teralys Capital, FIER Partenaires L.P. and the Government of Canada, via its Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP).

“We’re delighted to be continuing BDC Capital’s longstanding partnership with Real Ventures in committing to their Fund III, ” said Neal Hill, VP, Fund of Funds at BDC. “From their creation of FounderFuel, through their catalytic role in the establishment of the Notman House innovation centre, to the raising of their third venture fund, we have worked closely with Real Ventures. We look forward to extending that relationship over the next 10 years, as Fund III is invested into the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The third fund, as with previous funds, will be invested in entrepreneur-led companies that are building the Internet experiences of the future or that are using the power of the Internet to transform industries. The vast majority of the funds will be invested in Canadian companies.

“Helping young companies that have an inherently global product and a strategy to grow internationally, is a focus of EDC’s Investment strategy,” said Warren Plunkett, Investment Manager, EDC. “Real Ventures has developed a strong reputation of capitalizing and accelerating the growth of seed-stage companies in Canada. We look forward to collaborating with Real to explore ways where we can bring additional value to their portfolio companies by leveraging our strong international network and developing new growth opportunities.”

About Business Development Bank of Canada

A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital offers a full spectrum of specialized financing and investment solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full growth potential. With more than $1 billion under management, BDC Capital takes a strategic, patient approach to nurture companies’ development over the long term.

From venture capital to equity to growth and transition capital, our team of over 100 experienced, local professionals partner with entrepreneurs to identify and meet their needs on flexible terms. Some of the sectors in which we specialize include IT, industrial/clean/energy technology, and healthcare. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @BDC_Capital.

About Export Development Canada

EDC is Canada’s trade finance agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private- and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment. For more information please visit

About Fondaction CSN

Fondaction invests in Québec SMEs in order to help maintain and create jobs in Québec, within a context of sustainable development. It manages $1.2 billion in assets from retirement savings collected from 128,000 shareholders. Through its investments or commitments, either directly or by way of partner or specialized funds, Fondaction supports the development of more than 850 Québec SMEs, many of which represent different components of the social economy.

* Reuters PE HUB