Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund commits $10 million, supporting continued Canadian expansion of Versant Ventures

Investment will support development of life sciences incubators and bolster capital available to fund promising Canadian companies

TORONTO (June 24, 2014) – Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund (NVCF) today announced that it has committed $10 million to leading global healthcare venture capital manager Versant Ventures.

“This is a unique opportunity for NVCF to support investment in Canada’s early-stage life sciences industry by a top-tier global firm,” said Ian Carew, Director of Northleaf Capital Partners, the manager of NVCF. “Versant has already begun implementing its specialized and successful model for investing in, and launching, early-stage companies in Canada. Versant will not only contribute to growing the most promising Canadian life sciences companies, but will also help anchor the development of a robust biotechnology and medical technology eco-system in Canada going forward.”

Versant Ventures’ established and growing presence in Canada, with incubators in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, supports the development of successful companies by local academics and entrepreneurs with a focus on building companies around Canadian intellectual property.  Versant will invest in companies that emerge from these incubators and often structures partnerships between these enterprises and leading global pharmaceutical companies.

“We are investing in Canada to develop early-stage companies because we believe there is a strong combination of drug discovery talent and leading academic research across the country,” said Brad Bolzon, PhD., Managing Director of Versant Ventures. “Our firm has a track record of investing in early-stage research as well as partnering with global pharmaceutical companies to launch novel therapeutics companies. We want to accelerate the creation of new biotech companies that can flourish here in Canada.”

Through investments in venture capital funds and direct co-investments, NVCF seeks to generate attractive returns and strengthen the ability of the Canadian venture capital sector to support innovative, high-growth Canadian companies. NVCF’s primary objective is to generate attractive, long-term returns for its investors.  By demonstrating the significant opportunities available to investors in venture capital and growth equity funds and companies, NVCF will contribute to the development of a profitable, globally competitive and self-sustaining venture capital industry in Canada.

About Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund

Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund is a joint initiative between major Canadian institutional investors and the Governments of Canada and Ontario to invest primarily in Canada-based venture capital and growth equity funds and direct co-investments that support innovative, high growth companies. NVCF is structured as a fund of funds with the primary objective of generating attractive returns for its investors. The Fund is managed by Northleaf Capital Partners. For more information on Northleaf, visit

About Versant Ventures

Versant Ventures is a global venture capital firm that invests in innovative, groundbreaking bio-pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other life science opportunities. Founded in 1999, the firm consists of an experienced team committed to helping entrepreneurs build successful companies that impact healthcare and improve quality of life. For more information on Versant, visit

For further information, please contact:
Jeff Pentland
Managing Director

Northleaf Capital Partners