North Innovation Fund (NIF), a privately-held alternative financing firm providing ongoing SR&ED accrual loans to early stage Canadian companies in a variety of technology-based sectors, today announced the launch of its first Fund. The Fund was created to identify high growth and innovative companies that are in need of non-dilutive growth capital to accelerate their transition from early stage to commercialization.
NIF’s objective is to play a role in Canada’s ecosystem through ongoing SR&ED accrual debt financing. The SR&ED program, a federal tax incentive program that encourages research and development activities in Canada, has long been the primary source of funding for early stage companies in Canada.
According to Thompson Reuters Canada, between 2000 and 2010, venture capital investment decreased by more than 80 percent from approximately $5.9 billion to $1.1 billion. During the same period, the number of companies receiving venture capital decreased by more than 64 per cent from 1007 to only 357 during that same period.
“We have identified an important gap in the early stage capital markets ecosystem. There needs to be more non-equity (i.e., non-dilutive) funding sources to bridge the funding gap. The SR&ED program in Canada works and provides much needed funding to early stage companies – the only problem I see, is the fact that they have to wait over 12 months to receive their cash”, explained James Ro, Managing Director of North Innovation Fund. “We want to play a role in helping Canadian technology companies reach their next level of growth by financing ongoing SR&ED accruals in advance so that they can use the proceeds to hire more staff, fund working capital needs and execute their growth plan”.