Briefing

Scotiabank launches partnership, leads investment in women-focused venture fund

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The Bank of Nova Scotia is leading a $13-million round in the startup fund for women-led companies. Disruption Ventures, backed by Relay Ventures, aims to raise $30 million, which would make it the largest private, independent, women-focused venture fund in Canada. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: In the past five years, Relay has participated in 64 investments, just six of which went to companies with at least one female founder, according to Crunchbase data. Disruption’s raise comes amid heightened urgency for VCs to boost their perennially low investments in women-founded companies. Last month, the Billion Dollar Fund for Women launched in Canada, to which six local funds pledged investments in women-led companies. The Business Development Bank of Canada has a $200-million Women in Technology Fund, and MaRS IAF’s StandUp Ventures has invested an undisclosed sum in women-led companies since launching in 2017.