Winning Ways: OMERS Ventures One of Many Shining Lights at Second Annual Canadian FinTech Awards
By the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association
Here in Canada we have a lot to brag about when it comes to growth and innovation in the financial technology (FinTech) industry.
Not only are we producing a growing number of FinTech success stories, but Canada is also quickly emerging as a global FinTech hub with startups attracting sizable investments. Technology spending by the Canadian financial sector is expected to hit $14.8 billion by 2018, up from $12 billion in 2013.
We were thrilled to see one of our members, OMERS Ventures, recently recognized at the second annual Canadian FinTech Awards for its important role in helping to support Canada’s fast-growing FinTech industry.
OMERS took home the prestigious Investor of the Year award, which goes to a firm or individual whose financial support did the most to help develop the FinTech space in Canada.
The company has long been a leader in this category, having co-invested in an impressive 30 VC deals totaling $768 million since 2013. The largest of those was the US$165-million Series B financing of Hootsuite Media in 2013. The average of the 30 deals was $26 million.
OMERS Ventures received a number of nominations for this year’s awards, according to Christine Duhaime, founder and executive director of the Digital Finance Institute, which is behind the Canadian FinTech Awards.
“It was clear that they are well regarded by the FinTech ecosystem, not just for financing, but also for mentorship of FinTechs,” says Duhaime, adding that VC and investment firms “play a vital role in supporting FinTech growth.”
Jim Orlando, a managing partner at OMERS Ventures, says his firm is honoured to be recognized for its role in building and expanding Canada’s FinTech industry.
“Our job is to make venture investments in great entrepreneurs who serve large markets with differentiated technologies,” Orlando explains. “It always feels great working with smart and hard-charging entrepreneurs who want to bring real innovation to a sector.”
Orlando told the CVCA he expects innovation and investment to continue driving Canada’s FinTech industry for the foreseeable future.
“New technologies and new platforms present further opportunities for new and different services to be built,” he says.
OMERS Ventures is keeping an eye on a wide range of technologies that are powering industry expansion, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as blockchain, which is the underlying technology behind bitcoin.
“We continue to look at all of these technologies that can impact a number of different industries.”
The Canadian FinTech Awards showcases the incredible innovation talent and ecosystem breadth across Canada. That includes FinTechs, innovators, leaders and professional advisors behind Canada’s most successful and up-and-coming FinTech companies and financial institutions.
Winners are chosen by a panel of executives from across Canada’s financial services industry. CVCA CEO Mike Woollatt was part of the awards presenter panel.
Other winners this year include:
- FinTech of the Year, Start-up — Wealthsimple
- FinTech of the Year, Incumbent — Thinking Capital
- Financial Institution Innovator of the Year — CIBC
- Professional Services Firm of the Year — Wildeboer Dellelce LLP
- Governance, Thought Leader or Organization — FinTech Association of Canada
- Academic Institution Most Supportive of FinTech — Zone Startups
- Accelerator, Incubator or Entrepreneurial Network Most Supportive of FinTech — DMZ
- Global Impact — Kosta Peric from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and SWIFT/Innotribe
- Judges’ Choice Awards — Tapscott Group and Ferst Capital Partners