Need to Know
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has created a technology and innovation banking group to offer financial solutions to Canada’s tech sector and assist with scaling, according to a Globe and Mail report.
- The group will be lead by former senior Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Systems (OMERS) venture-capital investor Sid Paquette.
- RBC has funded VC firms in the past, including iNovia Capital and its own former in-house venture fund manager, Information Venture Partners.
- RBC already runs an in-house ventures arm called RBC Ventures that manages smaller apps, platforms, and acquisitions.
Canada’s largest bank is set to increase its impact in the country’s rapidly growing tech sector with a newly-formed technology and innovation banking group. The group will provide financial support for tech-focused companies, but perhaps more interestingly, also offer insights into banking and venture, such as advice on how to scale successfully. A goal will be to provide added value for RBC’s existing venture clients.
“At RBC we’re reimagining the role we can play and the value we can add across the broader spectrum of our clients’ growth journey,” Greg Grice, RBC’s executive VP, business and financial services, said in a statement to The Globe and Mail. The unit, he said, “will focus on a more holistic approach to supporting our clients by complementing our financing offerings with industry-tailored business advice and solutions that go behind traditional banking to support their broader growth aspirations.”
Leading the group is one of Canad’s best-known venture-capital investors, former senior OMERS venture-capital investor, Sid Paquette. Paquette comes with deep industry experience and insights from helping tech darlings such as League scale.
RBC already has a successful ventures presence with its RBC Ventures arm. The goal of that organization is to move beyond banking and offer value for every Canadian, regardless if they are an RBC client. It is currently unclear if this new group will be similar to RBC Ventures, or if they will work together.
RBC Ventures has been hard at work lately. It recently announced its acquisition of Dr.Bill, expanding its portfolio of problem-solving solutions through its Ventures arm.
A well-rounded Ventures offering paired with a new tech and innovation banking group illustrates an overall shift in focus and desire to help its clients through every step of their financial journey—whether it’s scaling a startup or better managing billing processes.
The financing of Canadian tech companies has largely been dominated by American heavy-hitters US lenders such as Silicon Valley Bank and Comerica Inc., but RBC is ready to change that.
“We have a thriving tech sector that has tremendous untapped potential to bring to market the next great innovation and vector of economic growth,” Grice told the Globe and Mail.