Jun. 04, 2021 by CVCA Staff

Toronto, ON – June 4, 2021 – The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) today announced the winners of the 2021 CVCA Awards ahead of the association’s annual Invest Canada ’21 conference.

CVCA’s most distinguished honour, the Deal of the Year recognition went to:

For general partners operating on the global stage, CVCA’s new Global Dealmaker award went to:

In recognition of outstanding contributions made throughout their career, serving to advance excellence in the Canadian private capital industry:

  • Kerri Golden Partner and Chief Financial Officer, Information Venture Partners is the recipient of the first 2021 Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award

CVCA’s regional impact awards:

  • Toronto-based Imperial Capital won the PE Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Central Canada for its investment in Woodbridge, ON-headquartered VetStrategy
  • Toronto-based Lumira Ventures has won the VC Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Western Canada for its investment in Vancouver-based Zymeworks
  • Montreal-based Real Ventures won the VC Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Central Canada for their investment in Montreal-based Vanilla Forums

“Every year during the CVCA’s Invest Canada conference, we come together as a community and take the time to celebrate CVCA members who have knocked it out of the park and the list of awarded deals this year is stellar,” said Kim Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, CVCA. “Recognizing industry successes serves to shine a spotlight on how private capital investors are contributing to the broader Canadian economy.”

“The nominations submitted this year in the midst of economic uncertainty, a global health pandemic, and an overall disrupted environment—demonstrates the level of innovation taking place in the Canadian private capital industry," said Beth Maliakkal, ofImperial Capital and Chair, CVCA Awards Committee. "Recognizing the success and contributions of this year’s winners, the annual CVCA awards continue to inspire leadership among the community empowering participants to reach new heights while building great companies."

2021 PE Deal of the Year Award

Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with more than CAD $8B of AUM that has invested in more than 90 platform companies and completed more than 140 add-on acquisitions. Applying its sector-focused approach since 2007 in TMT, Industries and now Financial Services, Novacap has deep domain expertise to accelerate growth and create long-term value. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Quebec, and Toronto, Ontario. Novacap has won the 2021 Private Equity (PE) Deal of the Year award for its investment in Montreal-based Intelerad Medical Systems Inc.

Founded in 1999 in Montreal, Intelerad provides enterprise workflow and medical image archiving solutions for all types of healthcare organizations. Intelerad has four global offices, a head office in Montreal, and employs over 434 globally, with women comprising 37.5% of the executive team. Novacap originally invested in Intelerad Medical Systems in February 2016 and sold its stake to Hg Capital in February 2020.

Read more about this deal here.

2021 VC Deal of the Year Award

Evok Innovations is a fund that offers a unique approach to innovation, combining the pace and creativity of a Silicon Valley startup with the experience and insight of industry insiders. Evok drives innovation by deeply understanding industrial challenges, leveraging a global network of entrepreneurs to find solutions, and providing the investment, mentorship, and market access to accelerate deployment for game-changing results. Through established partnerships with industry, Evok invests in a global portfolio of innovative companies to address the most pressing economic and environmental challenges.

In 2011, BDC Capital, the investment arm of BDC, launched the Industrial, Clean, and Energy Technology (ICE) Venture Fund with the goal of supporting innovative Canadian entrepreneurs who are leading the way in the transition to a low-carbon economy. With more than $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to Canada's most innovative and high potential firms. It offers a range of equity, venture capital, and flexible growth and transition capital solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs scale their businesses into global champions.

Evok Innovations and BDC Capital’s ICE Venture Fund have won the 2021 Venture Capital (VC) Deal of the Year award for their investment in Vancouver-based DarkVision.

Founded in 2013 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Darkvision Technologies has developed the world's most advanced ultrasound-based imaging platform for industrial imaging and asset integrity-related inspection, giving oil and gas operators a set of eyes inside their wells. Evok Innovations and BDC Capital Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology Fund originally invested in DarkVision Technologies in June 2016 until selling their stake to Koch Engineered Solutions.

Read more about this deal here.

2021 PE Global Dealmaker Award

Founded in 1987 by a group of successful Canadian entrepreneurs, Toronto-based Clairvest Group is a top-performing private equity management firm with over CAD $2.5B of capital under management. Clairvest invests its own capital and that of third parties through the Clairvest Equity Partners limited partnerships in owner-led businesses. Under the current management team, Clairvest has initiated investments in 56 different platform companies and generated top quartile performance over an extended period. Clairvest Group has won the 2021 PE Global Dealmaker Award for their investment in County Waste of Virginia.

Headquartered in Clifton Park, New York, County Waste of Virginia serves the majority of Virginia and parts of eastern Pennsylvania by providing solid waste, recycling, and construction or demolition collection and processing services. Clairvest made its initial investment in County Waste in 2013 following a prior partnership with the Company’s management at Hudson Valley Waste Inc. Clairvest and management sold County Waste of Virginia to GFL Environmental on January 1, 2020.

Read more about this deal here.

2021 VC Global Dealmaker Award

White Star Capital is a global multi-stage technology investment platform that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, international businesses. Operating out of Guernsey, Hong Kong, London, Montreal, New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Toronto our presence, perspective, and people enable us to partner closely with our Founders to help them scale internationally from Series A onwards. White Star Capital has won the 2021 VC Global Dealmaker Award for their investment in Freshly.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, New York, Freshly allows customers to choose meals each week and sends freshly cooked meals, ready to eat. Freshly has democratized access to low cost, healthy, and fresh prepared meals, and reduced waste along with costs through its fully vertically integrated solution. Delivering healthy meals from farm to doorstep. White Star Capital originally invested in Freshly in February 2015 and building on the relationship with the corporate VC arm of Nestle as part of the Series C financing of the company in 2017, set the scene for them to become the ultimate acquirer.

Read more about this deal here.

2021 Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award

In 2020, the CVCA announced a new award to recognize individuals for outstanding contributions made throughout their career which have served to advance excellence in the Canadian private capital industry.

Barry Gekiere, Managing Director of MaRS IAF, passed away in 2020. Barry is a legend in the venture capital space in Canada, and his achievements were profound. But what was exceptional is Barry, the human being. He was wise and provided thoughtful insights and no-nonsense advice. Barry had decades of experience in venture capital, private equity, and operations. He was able to take all his learning and experiences and help those around him learn, be better, and to make an impact. To know Barry was to love Barry. In order to keep Barry's memory alive and remember his impact as we name the new Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award in his memory.

Kerri Golden, Partner and Chief Financial Officer, Information Venture Partners has won the 2021 Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award. Kerri Golden has been a trailblazing financial professional for almost 40 years and a pioneer in the private capital industry in Canada. Kerri has a proven and outstanding track record in finance, investing and entrepreneurship while being a catalyst and promoter of equality, fairness, and supporter of the next generation of private capital professionals. Like Barry, Kerri’s legacy will leave an indelible impression on our industry.

The Barry Gekiere Memorial Fund is a charitable fund that will support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures, and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients (90% of proceeds) and The Upside Foundation’s work encouraging giving from the Canadian tech community (10% of proceeds). If you are someone who was touched by Barry Gekiere, we invite you to join this initiative, band together with other leaders and honour Barry’s legacy.Donate to The Upside Foundation Barry Gekiere Memorial Fund.

Read more about Kerri Golden’s win here.

2021 PE Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Central Canada

Founded in 1989, Toronto‐based Imperial Capital is a leading lower middle-market private equity firm focused on North American opportunities to build or acquire growth‐oriented platform investments in targeted industry niches within healthcare, business, and consumer services industries. Imperial Capital has won the new 2021 PE Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Central Canada for their investment in VetStrategy.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario, VetStrategy combines professional management experience and veterinary expertise, allowing veterinarians in their clinics to focus completely on caring for people's pets. Under Imperial Capital's ownership, VetStrategy grew from having 15 clinics in 4 provinces to become Canada's largest veterinary practices company with over 165 clinics in 9 provinces. VetStrategy has created 2,722 jobs over the last 5 years and 3,252 jobs since inception and 50% of their executive team are women.

Read more about the community impact of this investment here.

2021 VC Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Western Canada

Lumira Ventures is a North American healthcare venture capital firm that invests in innovative companies in the biotechnology, medical device, and digital health sectors Lumira is a multi-stage investor that partners with entrepreneurs to build companies whose products offer the potential for transformative improvements in the lives of patients and meaningful economic value to society.

Lumira’s current portfolio includes over two dozen companies and we’re actively building on that portfolio as we invest from our new Fund IV raised in 2021. To date, Lumira’s companies have brought dozens of biomedical innovations to the market, impacting the lives of over 1 billion patients, and generating over $70 billion of cumulative revenue. Lumira Ventures manages its activities from offices in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, and Boston. Lumira Ventures has won the 2021 VC Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Western Canada for its investment in Zymeworks.

Vancouver-based Zymeworks is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics. Zymeworks’ suite of therapeutic platforms and its fully-integrated drug development engine enable precise engineering of highly differentiated product candidates. Additionally, its therapeutic platforms are being leveraged through strategic partnerships with nine biopharmaceutical companies. Since Lumira Ventures' 2016 investment in Zymework’s pre-IPO ‘Crossover’ round and IPO, the company has grown its staff to 450. In 2020, the company grew its staff by 35 percent, and that growth trajectory is expected to continue through this year.

Read more about the community impact of this investment here.

2021 VC Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Central Canada

Real Ventures is an early-stage venture firm focused on serving daring entrepreneurs with the ambition to create successful, global companies. Since 2007, Real Ventures has dedicated itself to building the Canadian startup ecosystem on the belief that people, not money, build game-changing companies. Real Ventures provides stage-specific guidance, mentorship, and access to networks and resources to fast-track founders’ personal and company growth. Real Ventures manages $325 million across five funds and its active portfolio of 100+ companies are currently valued at $10 billion. Real Ventures has won the 2021 VC Private Capital Regional Impact Award for Central Canada for their investment in Vanilla Forums.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Montreal, Vanilla Forums allows its users to use their open-source and hosted products to create an online community to increase loyalty, brand advocacy and reduce customer service costs. Since its inception, Vanilla Forums increased its employee base to 40+. 15% of the executive team are women. At the time of initial investment, Vanilla Forums had just graduated from Techstars Accelerator in Boulder, Colorado. Although the founders were Canadian, they were planning on building their company in Boulder. Real Ventures’ fund, however, had a geographic restriction to only invest in companies based on the Island of Montréal. The Real team, therefore, convinced the founders to move to Montréal so that Real was able to invest and provided positive signaling to entrepreneurs and non-Quebec investors showcasing Montreal as a place to build companies.

Read more about the community impact of this investment here.

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