May 26, 2023 by CVCA Staff
Toronto, ON – May 26, 2023 – The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) today announced the winners of the 2023 CVCA Awards ahead of the association’s annual Invest Canada ’23 conference.
CVCA’s most distinguished honour, the Deal of the Year recognitions went to:
- Toronto-based Imperial Capital won the 2023 Private Equity (PE) Deal of the Year award for their investment in Guelph, Ontario-headquartered Gateway Services Inc.
- Vancouver-headquartered Vanedge Capital
won the 2023 Venture Capital (VC) Deal of the Year award for its investment in Vancouver-based Canalyst.
For general partners operating on the global stage, CVCA’s Global Dealmaker awards went to:
- Toronto-based Clairvest Group Inc. won the 2023 PE Global Dealmaker Award for its investment in Colorado-based Also Energy.
- Vancouver-headquartered Vanedge Capital won the new 2023 VC Global Dealmaker Award for its investment in California-based Raxium.
In recognition of outstanding contributions made throughout their career, serving to advance excellence in the Canadian private capital industry:
- Peter van der Velden, Managing General Partner, Lumira Ventures, is the recipient of the 2023 Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award.
In recognition of remarkable commitment of time and effort to a community organization or cause, we honour:
- Alfred Chuang, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Kensington Capital Partners, as the recipient of the 2023 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award
CVCA’s regional impact awards:
- Toronto-based ScaleUP Ventures won the 2023 VC Regional Impact Award for Western Canada for its investment in Vancouver-headquartered Canalyst.
Novacap won the 2023 PE Regional Impact Award for Central Canada for its investment in Greenwood Mushrooms Holdings Corporation.
“The CVCA Awards provide a unique opportunity to showcase the exceptional work of our industry leaders and celebrate their contributions to building a prosperous and sustainable future for all Canadians,” said Kim Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, CVCA. “We are thrilled to honour these outstanding individuals and firms and look forward to seeing their continued success."
"As Chair of the CVCA Awards Committee, it's an honour to recognize the remarkable achievements of our industry's top performers,” said Tracey McVicar, Partner, CAI Capital Partners, and Chair, CVCA Awards Committee. “The private equity and venture capital sectors play a critical role in driving innovation, job creation, and economic growth in Canada, and this year's winners are shining examples of that. Their inspiring work and dedication to excellence will undoubtedly inspire others in our community to strive for greatness, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve next."
CVCA Award committee members were recused from reviewing those nominations where a conflict of interest existed but were permitted to review all others.
2023 PE Deal of the Year Award
Imperial Capital has won the 2023 Private Equity (PE) Deal of the Year award for its investment in Gateway Services.
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, Gateway is North America’s leading pet aftercare provider with over 140 locations across the U.S and Canada. The company partners with veterinary clinics to deliver its service offerings such as, pet cremation, 24/7 grief support and memorial keepsake products such as paw prints. Differentiated by the use of its proprietary ERP system, Paws e-Track, Gateway offers a differentiated and high value service to veterinary clinics, enabling the company to offer the best turnaround times and the highest overall customer satisfaction in the veterinary industry. After investing in Gateway in 2015, Imperial Capital contributed both tactically and strategically to the company’s success by working closely with management to grow and differentiate the business. The dedication and leadership demonstrated by the founder and CEO along with the company’s executive team were integral to growing Gateway into the industry leader that it is today, and we are proud to recognize their exceptional work with the PE Deal of the Year award.
2023 VC Deal of the Year Award
Vanedge Capital has been awarded the VC Deal of the Year Award for their investment in Canalyst.
Canalyst was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, with another office in New York, United States. The startup has built a next-generation, independent equity research platform that provides access to up-to-date forward-looking financial models for publicly traded equities on major exchanges across the globe, democratizing the advanced analysis of equities and scenarios that was previously available only to the largest financial asset managers. With over 200 employees across its New York and Vancouver offices, Canalyst has become a leader in equity research. Over the years, Vanedge Capital has made multiple investments (9) in Canalyst, with the first investment in 2016, showcasing their trust in Canalyst's platform and the startup's continued growth. Canalyst was acquired by Tegus in 2022.
2023 PE Global Deal Maker Award
Clairvest Group Inc. has been awarded the PE Global Deal Maker Award for their investment in AlsoEnergy.
Founded in 2007, AlsoEnergy is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado with offices in multiple countries including Germany, Japan, and India. AlsoEnergy leads the market in edge-to-cloud portfolio management solutions that make clean energy more resilient and scalable. The Company’s flagship portfolio management application, PowerTrack, provides asset owners and operators real-time operating and financial data, analytics, and reporting to drive meaningful insights. At the time of sale, AlsoEnergy had more than 300 employees and monitored over 180,000 unique sites in 50+ countries. Clairvest partnered with the two co-founders, Robert Schaefer and Holden Caine, in August 2017 through a minority growth investment, consistent with Clairvest’s strategy of backing owner-operators. During the partnership, Clairvest supported AlsoEnergy in expanding its executive team, executing a successful growth plan through the acquisition and integration of three highly strategic companies, building a global operating footprint, and broadening its service offerings through innovation. Clairvest and Management sold the business to STEM inc, in January of 2022. We are proud to be recognized alongside our partners in building an industry leading company with the PE Global Deal of the Year award.
Read more about this deal here.
2023 VC Global Deal Maker Award
Vanedge Capital has won the 2023 VC Global Dealmaker Award for their investment in Raxium.
Raxium, headquartered in California, United States, is a semiconductor technology company that develops full-colour monolithic MicroLED displays for consumer devices, enabling unprecedented brightness and pixel density for AR & VR glasses, mobile phones, televisions, and more. Founded in 2017, Raxium had 33 employees at the time of Vanedge Capital's investment. Vanedge Capital led Raxium's final private financing round in 2021, acting as the main institutional financial investor. This allowed Raxium to unlock a large amount of capital from several new major strategic investors and existing investors to accelerate the company's world-leading technology development. Thanks to Vanedge's investment and support, Raxium was acquired by Google in 2022. This investment underscores Vanedge Capital's expertise in identifying and supporting groundbreaking technology companies, and their commitment to generating strong returns for their investors.
Read more about this deal here.
2023 Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award
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. To keep Barry's memory alive and remember his impact, the CVCA named the Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award in memoriam.
Peter van der Velden, Managing General Partner of Lumira Ventures, has received the 2023 Barry Gekiere Lifetime Legacy Award for his outstanding achievements in the venture capital industry. With over 34 years of experience, Peter has an impressive track record of accomplishments, successful investments, ecosystem building, and engaged community-centric philanthropy. In 2007, Peter led the management buyout of MDS Capital to form Lumira Ventures. The goal at the time was to rebuild the firm into the leading Canadian-domiciled life sciences VC. In 2012, Peter's efforts to successfully reposition Lumira were recognized by the Canadian Federal Government, with Lumira Ventures being selected as one of only four VC firms identified as "High Performing”. Since then, the firm has supported and funded dozens of transformative life sciences companies and has raised 5 funds including 2 with aggregate capital of CAD $350M in 2021. One of these funds is the largest life sciences fund ever raised in Canada by a Canadian GP, and the other is a new strategic fund managed on behalf of a European pharma company.
Throughout his career, Peter has been very active in promoting and supporting life sciences innovation and venture capital investing in Canada and around the world. He has been a board member of OBIO, Life Sciences Ontario, and The World Health Innovation Network. He has participated as an advisor on many important government initiatives like OHIC, and in 2011 as Chairman of the CVCA, he led the organization’s transformative repositioning which included bringing in all new leadership and reforming the organization as the industry thought leader and an important voice in Canada’s innovation ecosystem.
Peter has also been the driving force behind Lumira's impact agenda. This manifests itself both in the firm’s double-bottom-line driven investments (patient impact / financial performance) and community-centric philanthropic engagement. In 2018, Lumira Ventures was the first General Partner in the country to donate Carry for philanthropy (donated to 12 of Canada's leading healthcare foundations). During covid, the firm was deeply focused on supporting those less fortunate, and in 2021 the firm established the Lumira Foundation.
The Lumira Foundation will be donating $10,000 to The Barry Gekiere Memorial Fund. This charity supports 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.
2023 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award
Alfred Chuang, Managing Director and CFO at Kensington Capital Partners, has won the 2023 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award, given to CVCA members who demonstrate active commitment to community engagement and provide substantial value to a not-for-profit organization or cause through personal time and fundraising efforts. Alfred's dedication to making a positive impact on society is rooted in his belief that every individual has a role to play in contributing to their community. He has been involved in various organizations over the years, particularly in promoting mental health and affordable housing, and has played a crucial role in building the infrastructure, fundraising, and operations of HPC Housing Investment Corporation, a social impact fund that provides low-cost financing to housing non-profits. Alfred's contributions to various organizations make him a well deserving recipient of the 2023 presentation of this award.
2023 VC Regional Impact Award (Western Canada)
The 2023 VC Regional Impact Award for Western Canada goes to ScaleUP Ventures for their investment in Canalyst.
Canalyst has grown from 50 to 150 full-time employees since ScaleUP Venture’s initial investment in August 2019, with a 44% average annual growth rate. The company has a diversity rate of 25% among current employees. In 2021, Canalyst was named Canada's top growing company by The Globe and Mail, and in August 2022, it was acquired by Tegus. Read more about Canalyst under the VC Deal of the Year Award.
2023 PE Regional Impact Award (Central Canada)
Leading private equity firm, Montreal-based Novacap, has been awarded the 2023 PE Regional Impact Award for Central Canada for their investment in Greenwood Mushroom Holdings Corporation.
Greenwood Mushroom Farms, headquartered in Ontario, has been providing premium-quality, organic mushrooms to customers across Canada and the United States year-round since the early 1960s.
Under Novacap's guidance, Greenwood's headcount grew from 310 in 2016 to 436 in June 2022 and with the farm emphasis on hiring locally and using local suppliers for materials and services, has made a significant contribution to the economic growth of the rural area in which it is based, creating a ripple effect that has benefited many in the area. The total workforce is made up of 50% women and 50% men, while all farm staff and some office staff are from minority groups such as Guatemala and Thailand.
In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint and endorse eco-friendly farming practices, Greenwood has implemented several environmental initiatives. One such effort is its innovative indoor composting technique, which effectively controls emissions while producing organic products free of pesticides or harmful chemicals. Additionally, the farm employs scrubber and biofilter technology during the composting process, substantially diminishing emissions compared to conventional methods and further promoting sustainable agriculture. To optimize water usage, Greenwood has also adopted a computerized irrigation system, positioning the farm as one of the most resource-efficient in Canada.