Cross-Border Impact Ventures Launches New Fund

Donna Parr and Annie Thériault
Donna Parr and Annie Thériault

Cross-Border Impact Ventures, a Toronto, Canada-based impact venture capital firm, has launched the Women’s and Children’s Health Technology Fund, with US$30m in commitments.

Limited Partners (LPs) include :

  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), a philanthropic organization focused on transforming the lives of children and adolescents.
  • Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC), a non-profit organization catalyzing the development of technologies to improve health worldwide. GHIC is investing in the Women’s and Children’s Health Technology Fund with the financial support of the German government through its KfW Development Bank.
  • Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), a Canadian not-for-profit organization that invests in local innovations that address critical global health, humanitarian, and Indigenous community challenges in Canada and low-resource countries.
  • Hamilton Community Foundation, a public foundation whose activities include investing in organizations that create positive impact beyond financial returns.
  • Rally Total Impact Fund, a multi-asset class impact investment fund that uses capital to generate financial returns and create positive social and environmental impact. 
  • RockCreek, a leading global investment firm that applies data-driven technology and innovation to create long-term value.

CBIV also has the support of a strategic healthcare investor, as well as Sida – the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which provides a guarantee to investors in the fund to encourage private sector participation in the firm’s impact investing strategy.

The fund, which has an ultimate target of more than US$100, will invest in health technology companies that address the health needs of women, children, and adolescents or make health systems more resilient.

The vehcile will invest in health technology companies with global growth, high return, and impact potential. Its primary focus is on medical device, diagnostic, and digital health companies based in North America, Europe, and Israel. Its secondary focus is on commercial stage companies in emerging markets with global technology transfer potential.

Target investments include healthcare software companies with $1MM – $10MM in revenue, as well as companies developing technology that requires regulatory approval and have at least one product that is CE Mark or FDA approved. The fund will invest and will work with portfolio companies to improve their diversity and ensure products meet the needs of more users of diverse backgrounds.

Led by Managing Partners Donna Parr and Annie Thériault, CBIV Women’s and Children’s Health Technology Fund plans to make its first investments in Q1 2022. In addition to sourcing deals, undertaking due diligence, making investments, and working at the board level to support company growth and exit opportunities, CBIV will also target, measure, monitor, and report on impact in terms of health outcomes.

As an Impact Fund, the firm is working towards SFDR Article 9 compliance in Europe, and will be signing on to the UN-developed framework for the Principles for Responsible Investment and the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Operating Principles for Impact Management.

CBIV has a Scientific Advisory Board composed of medical experts in women’s, children’s, and adolescent’s health and innovation. This Board will provide the investment management team with objective and expert scientific views related to clinical trial protocols, product design needs, adoption issues, and trends in health technology.

Advisors include: 

  • Dr. Majorie Jenkins, Dean of UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and Chief Academic Officer for Prisma Health-Upstate with prior experience with the Office of Women’s Health at the FDA; 
  • Dr. Alyson McGregor, Director of the Division for Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine at Brown University’s Department of Emergency Medicine and expert on gender differences in chronic disease; 
  • Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Co-Director at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Centre for Global Child Health; and 
  • Dr. Mario Merialdi, former Senior Director at Becton Dickinson’s Global Health division and prior World Health Organization (WHO) research coordinator for maternal and perinatal health. 

CBIV’s Strategic Advisory Board includes experts in mergers and acquisitions, technology, international sales and marketing, strategic partnerships, and global health. Strategic advisors include: 

  • Sanjay Cherian, Chief Strategy Officer at ClearDATA, with past roles at TELUS Health, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Accenture’s Healthcare practice; 
  • Colleen Hancock, member of the mothers2mothers board of directors, and past COO at Baby Center and VP within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies; 
  • Renuke Gadde, global health leader and former business lead for the Becton Dickinson Global Health division; 
  • Alice Fabiano, Global Director, Social Innovation & Investment at Johnson & Johnson; and 
  • Karlee Silver, Co-CEO at Grand Challenges Canada. 

CBIV was incubated in partnership with Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), one of the country’s largest impact-first investors. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, GCC funds and supports innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada to seed and transition to scale their Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Over the past 11 years, GCC has funded over 1,300 projects in more than 105 countries. These innovations are expected to save up to 1.78 million lives and improve up to 64 million lives by 2030.

In addition to providing initial funding to develop the strategy and facilitate the first close of the Women’s and Children’s Health Technology Fund, GCC also supports CBIV with access to expertise in health and health impact modeling. CBIV also benefits from GCC’s connections with other global health organizations and on-the-ground implementation partners. While CBIV is an independent firm, GCC will remain an advisor to CBIV. This includes supporting the evaluation of portfolio company impact, and serving on several fund advisory committees, including the Impact Committee.