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InBC investing $29M in venture funds, two West Coast companies

Investments aim to boost growth in areas such as agritech, life sciences and biomanufacturing
InBC Investment Corp. CEO Leah Nguyen. The Crown corporation announced Thursday new investments in Canadian venture funds and B.C. tech companies. | Telus

InBC Investment Corp. is investing $29 million in a pair of venture funds and two B.C. tech companies.

The investment fund created by the provincial government revealed Thursday that $4 million will be headed to 4AG Robotics Inc., an agritech company developing robots that help farmers increase yields and operational efficiencies in the mushroom industry.

Another $5 million is being invested in Clarius Mobile Health Corp., a producer of wireless handheld ultrasound scanners enabling health-care practitioners to manage and perform exams from anywhere.

The Crown corporation is also investing $10 million each in two venture funds supporting B.C. companies.

Amplitude Ventures Fund II invests in life sciences and biotechnology companies. Pender Technology Inflection Fund II invests in health-tech and B2B-focused tech startups.

“These investments we announce today are catalyzing impact across sectors and geographic regions in our province. They’re driving innovation, creating quality, family-supporting jobs and building an economic future for B.C. that is more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive," Leah Nguyen, chief investment officer of InBC, said in a statement.

Sean O’Connor, CEO of 4AG Robotics, said the company will use the fund to scale its manufacturing capacity in Salmon Arm, B.C.

“We’re taking on the task of building a globally leading robotics company in a small town, and InBC’s belief in our company means the world to our whole team,” said O’Connor in a statement.

In addition to the $4 million from InBC, 4AG Robotics revealed Wednesday it also received funding from BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund and angel investors from across Canada, for a total of $17.5 million in equity financing announced this week.

With $500 million in funds, InBC invests in companies that show potential for financial returns, strong connections to B.C. and have social and environmental impacts. Investments aim to boost the growth of sectors that play an important role in the B.C. economy, such as agritech, life sciences and biomanufacturing, according to the Crown corporation.

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