Alberta Enterprise Corporation invests in new fund that aligns with Alberta’s strengths in industrial innovation and AI

CALGARY, Sept. 17, 2019 /CNW/ - Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) is joining institutional investors and industry leaders such as Cisco Systems and Shell in investing in a new venture capital fund focused on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

AEC has announced a CDN $10M investment in McRock Fund II, LP. The new fund has reached over 80% of its CDN $100 million target on its initial closing. It will invest in high-growth IIoT companies across Canada, the US, and Europe.

The IIoT is a key driving force in the next wave of digital industrial transformation. Advanced hardware sensors are now being integrated into machines, fleets and physical assets, allowing meaningful data to be captured, relayed and leveraged in real-time. The next phase of the IIoT involves using advanced analytics powered by artificial intelligence to enable new efficiencies and disruptive industrial solutions.

Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation, noted that Alberta is well positioned to take advantage of the IIoT, and the opportunities this fund seeks to invest in.

"We see McRock Capital's new fund as a strategic investment that will facilitate the continued development of IIoT technology in the province of Alberta. It will strengthen our foundational industries of agriculture, oil and gas, and help propel Alberta's growth in machine learning and artificial intelligence," Williams said.

Alberta Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Tanya Fir said that attracting tech funds to Alberta benefits the province and its entrepreneurs.

"This investment showcases the important work Alberta Enterprise Corporation does to help companies innovate, invest and create much-needed jobs in our province. I look forward to seeing how this latest investment into McRock Fund II will help Alberta's entrepreneurs and visionaries tap into the potential of the digital innovation space and pursue new opportunities that will grow our economy," Fir said.

Headquartered in Toronto, with an office in Calgary, McRock Capital has a proven track record of building high growth companies, in Alberta and around the world. Established in 2012, McRock was the first dedicated venture capital firm in the Industrial Internet of Things space. Alberta Enterprise invested in McRock Capital's first fund in 2015.

McRock Capital's founding partners, Scott MacDonald and Whitney Rockley, have a unique mix of investment and operating experience focused on large industrial markets and have demonstrated an ability to invest, scale and achieve exits.

Rockley, who completed her MBA at the University of Calgary, commented that Alberta-based companies are ideally positioned in the IIoT given the world-class customer base in its own backyard and highly technical and commercially savvy teams.

"At McRock Capital, we have an extremely disciplined investment approach for identifying high growth investment opportunities. Alberta tech companies continue to be at the forefront of developing and scaling IIoT solutions to transform operational efficiencies, notably in oil and gas and agriculture.

"Our current investment in Decisive Farming™ is a perfect example of a top performing precision agriculture company that uses advanced analytics to maximize productivity on the farm. Proudly headquartered in Irricana, Alberta, Decisive is led by fourth-generation farmers who intimately understand farming and the power of analytics," Rockley added.

McRock Capital continues to be a leader in diversity with half of its team members being women and visible minorities. McRock will continue to operate a Calgary office, led by Vice President, Ha Nguyen.

As IIoT thought leaders, McRock Capital has played an active role in nurturing Alberta's technology ecosystem. Alberta Enterprise's Kristina Williams cited two examples.

"McRock Capital co-founded the Alberta Female Founders, Funders and Fortifiers group and were instrumental in launching the Women in Tech track as part of the Accelerate Alberta 2019 Conference.  Their ongoing support and mentorship reflects McRock Capital's belief in the strength and potential of the world-class technology sector that is developing right here in Alberta."

About McRock Capital
McRock is an investment firm co-founded by venture capital veterans Scott MacDonald and Whitney Rockley and invests in Industrial Internet companies predominantly across Canada and the US. The Industrial Internet is about the intersection of sensors & software and large industrial markets.  For more information, visit www.mcrockcapital.com. Follow McRock Capital on Twitter @McRockCapital

About Alberta Enterprise Corporation:
Alberta Enterprise Corporation promotes the development of Alberta's venture capital industry by investing in venture capital funds that finance early-stage technology companies. We focus on funds that have a strong commitment to Alberta, including a full-time presence in the province. In addition to capital, we support Alberta's venture capital ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology executives who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta.

Since our inception we have committed $183 million for investment to 17 VC funds, covering a diverse range of forward-looking industries including information technology, industrial technology, and life sciences. Our funds and their partners have invested more than $496 million into Alberta technology companies.
www.alberta-enterprise.ca

SOURCE Alberta Enterprise Corporation

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