Briefing

Caisse clashes with Quebec government over potential $100-million Element AI investment

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Quebec Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said the province is investing $25 million and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is investing up to $75 million. Caisse said it has not decided whether or not to invest. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Element AI’s fundraising ambitions have fallen since July 2018, when it was looking to raise as much as $250 million at a valuation of $1 billion. Now, the company is looking to raise about $200 million total, but at a valuation of just $832 million. Caisse’s reticence follows a difficult year for Element AI that included trouble getting products to market, ballooning operating costs and a dearth of patents. It also comes as the pension fund is overhauling its tech investing. Earlier in August, The Logic reported the Caisse is planning a new portfolio of up to $2 billion focused on “disruptive technologies,” and is also building out a new strategy for how it invests in innovative companies across its more than $309.5-billion portfolio.