Reflecting and Getting Excited for 2019
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We recently had the opportunity to host our 2018 Annual Investor Conference in downtown Toronto with updates from our team, our portfolio companies and LPs. We thought this would be a great time to provide some highlights of our 2018 year:
👏 NEW TEAM MEMBERS
For this year, we are welcoming three new faces to the team:
- Richard Lipak/Director of Finance/Toronto
- Jordan Bruce/Associate/Toronto
- Jennifer Woo/General Counsel/Toronto
✨ COMPANY FUNDS HIGHLIGHTS
Kensington Private Equity Fund is +16% YOY net — We distributed approximately $33 million in 2018. On the direct investment side, returns were driven by the sale of Prodomax Automation, CGL, and continued growth in our White Swan Environmental investment. Among our fund investments, we also benefited from strong performances by Trivest, ONCAP, Providence Equity and Walden.
Launch of Kensington Venture Fund II — We announced the launch of our new Kensington Venture Fund II, under the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI), where our Kensington team was awarded a fresh mandate following a highly competitive selection process. The new Fund will follow the successful strategy of our first Kensington Venture Fund, which has a current IRR of 17.6% (gross) after less than four years.
Kensington Alternative Strategies Fund is +8% YOY — We took home two awards including second place in Best 5-Year Sharpe Ratio and third place in Best 1-year Return at the 2018 Canadian Hedge Fund Conference.
⚡ PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS
This year, we welcomed some new companies and new faces to our portfolio including Kenona Industries and Axis Auto Finance.
- Kenona Industries is a leading manufacturer of high volume precision machined parts for the automotive industry.
- Axis Auto Finance is an alternative lender that provides financing options to roughly 30% of Canadians that do not qualify for traditional bank financing.
For our venture investments, we welcomed IronNet Cybersecurity, Hopper, Qvella, and Eventbase in 2018 to the portfolio for our Kensington Venture Fund and BC Tech Fund.
Within our Kensington Alternative Strategies Fund, we welcome a new fund manager this year: NorthStream Capital.
We are proud to announce the exits of CGL; and, Prodomax Automation was acquired by Jenoptik. Congratulations to both companies!
🎥 YEAR IN REVIEW:
▶ KENSINGTON CAPITAL PARTNERS
- We Welcomed Barbara Stewart to the Kensington Advisory Board
- Kensington Rebrands Kensington Hedge Fund I to Kensington Alternative Strategies Fund
- Gerri Sinclair, Awarded Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award
- Kensington Capital Leads US$85 million Recapitalization of Kenona Industries LLC
- Ottawa Names Five Winning Funds to Receive $350 million in Latest Venture Capital Program
- Kensington Capital Announces the Sale of Prodomax Automation Ltd.
- Kensington Capital Participates in the latest financing of Eventbase Technology Inc.
▶️ PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS
- Kensington portfolio company, Blue Ant Media buys Australian geographic magazine | Read This
- Kensington portfolio company, Walker Glass partakes in the Completion of New Seattle Amazon Office | Read This
- Our portfolio company, TouchBistro raises $72 million in Series D round | Read More
- TouchBistro and Chase introduce the next generation of payment technology for restaurant | Read More
- SoundHound, an audio and speech recognition company, within our direct venture portfolio, is partnering up with Mercedes-Benz to create a highly personalized voice assistant that adapts to the user overtime | Read the press release.
- Our portfolio company, Mojio, the leading technology platform and SaaS provider for connected cars recently announced their partnership with MetroPCS to power the prepaid brand’s comprehensive connected car solution, MetroSMART RideTM. Curious about how it works? | Watch this video.
- Robert Bosch teams with startup Mojio to connect vehicles wirelessly| Read More
- Our portfolio company, Q4 Inc. raises US$38 million in Series C funding round led by Napier Park Financial Partners. Read the press release.
This year, Kensington was honoured to be the quarter note sponsor for the annual Crescendo event held by Regent Park School of Music (RPSM). This year, RPSM raised a record-breaking $305,000 from individuals, foundations and corporations. This donation will help young people aged 3–18 gain a high-quality music education at the central hub in Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park and in Jane and Finch and other high-priority neighbourhoods in Toronto.
💸 Time Flies
Here is to another year of supporting entrepreneurs, driving innovation, and making companies stronger for the future!
Visit us at www.kcpl.ca for more information. Follow us on Twitter @kensingtonfunds.