New MaRS investment platform to mobilize private capital for public good
TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – MaRS Discovery District officially
launched its new impact investing platform, SVX (Social Venture
Connexion), in an announcement this morning at the Toronto Stock
Exchange. It is the first local impact investment platform of its kind
in North America.
To celebrate the launch, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District,
joined Tom Kloet, CEO, TMX Group, the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister
of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, and Adam Spence,
Associate Director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, to open trading
this morning at 9:30 a.m.
SVX started from a simple idea: mobilize private capital for public good by
driving investment in organizations and companies that will, in turn,
better our world.
The online platform will connect investors and funds with local
ventures–including not-for-profits, co-operatives and for-profit
corporations–that have a demonstrated social and/or environmental
impact and the potential for financial return. The platform allows
investors to identify screened investment opportunities, reducing the
time and cost burden of due diligence, and provides ventures and funds
with increased access to capital and financial expertise at low cost.
“SVX provides a single access point for impact ventures and impact
investors looking to connect,” said Spence, who heads up SVX on behalf
of MaRS. “Until now there has been no platform for investors to
identify ventures with a positive impact. We’re also opening the door
to high-impact ventures that need funding to grow and scale.” The
project is led by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, in close
collaboration with TMX Group and with support from the Government of
Ontario, Torys LLP, KPMG, RBC, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and
a host of other partners.
“SVX places Canada at the forefront of the global impact investing
market,” said Ronald Alepian, Vice President and Group Head, Corporate
Marketing and Communications, TMX. “TMX Group looks forward to working
with MaRS to build a unique model to help mobilize private capital to
drive social and environmental impact.”
As a co-founder of the project, TMX Group has provided vital talent,
advice and financial support to SVX since the concept was first
developed. Six years in the making, SVX amassed a cross-sectoral group
of expert advisors with decades of experience in mainstream capital
markets and securities law and regulations, and engaged in meticulous
market research in an effort to understand barriers and opportunities.
SVX is targeted towards Ontario-based small- and medium-sized
enterprises with less than $25 million in revenues in sectors
including: affordable housing, employment services, food security,
education, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and initiatives
for First Nations and new Canadians.
The impact ventures and funds on SVX’s directory must meet rigorous
criteria and standards to access the platform. This includes a minimum
impact rating via the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) in
the case of for-profit ventures and funds.
SVX is accessible to Ontario-based accredited investors. This list
includes impact-focused angel investors, impact capital funds, fund
managers, asset managers, philanthropists, family offices, and
foundations looking for mission-related investments.
Each impact venture accessing SVX also has the opportunity to engage
with investors face-to-face through pitch sessions and investor
breakfasts. “SVX will also function as a network,” Spence said. “We
believe that this component of in-person connection is critical.”
“I’m proud Ontario is home to North America’s first online platform to
connect social ventures and impact investors,” said Hon. Dr. Eric
Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. “Our
goal is to make Ontario the best place in the world to invest in social
enterprise and, in the process, to help build a stronger economy and
fairer society. The new SVX is an important step in the right direction
to unlock capital for social entrepreneurs so that they can grow their
businesses and the economy.” Spence noted that if, as projected, one
per cent of total globally-managed assets moved in this direction, $500 billion could flow to these ventures over the next ten years. In Canada, it is expected the impact investing sector will grow from
$5.3 billion to $30 billion over the next decade. “This is the very
real premise of the emerging impact investing sector,” said Spence.
“With SVX, MaRS aims to put Ontario on the leading edge of this global
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works
with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS
supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth
companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup clients have raised
over $750 million in capital, earned over $375 million in revenue and
hired well over 3,500 workers into knowledge economy jobs.
SVX (Twitter: @theSVX) is a private investment platform built to connect impact ventures,
funds and investors in order to catalyze new debt and equity investment
capital for ventures that have demonstrable social and/or environmental
impact and the potential for financial return. SVX is registered as a
restricted dealer with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) as MaRS
VX and adheres to all relevant and applicable securities legislation;
it is incorporated as a non-profit corporation.
About TMX Group (TSX:X)
TMX Group’s key subsidiaries operate cash and derivative markets and clearinghouses
for multiple asset classes including equities, fixed income and energy.
Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange, TMX Select, Alpha Group,
The Canadian Depository for Securities, Montreal Exchange, Canadian
Derivatives Clearing Corporation, Natural Gas Exchange, BOX Options
Exchange, Shorcan, Shorcan Energy Brokers, Equicom and other TMX Group
companies provide listing markets, trading markets, clearing
facilities, depository services, data products and other services to
the global financial community. TMX Group is headquartered in Toronto
and operates offices across Canada (Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver),
in key U.S. markets (New York, Houston, Boston and Chicago) as well as
in London, Beijing and Sydney. For more information about TMX Group,
visit our website at www.tmx.com. Follow TMX Group on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tmxgroup.
SOURCE MaRS Discovery District