BC Discovery Fund was formed in 2002 to make diverse investments in eligible small businesses under the venture capital program initiated by the government of British Columbia. As at May 31, 2019, the Fund held investments in seven portfolio companies operating in the areas of mobile, information and clean technology.
In March 2015, the Fund discontinued the sale of shares to new investors. The Fund is focussing on the management of its existing investments, the deployment of investment capital on hand into new or follow-on investments, and maximizing value from investment realizations for the benefit of existing shareholders.
In June 2017, the shareholders of the Fund voted by a 94% margin to approve special resolutions that converted the manner in which the Fund provides liquidity to investors to a dividend distribution model. The key elements of the dividend distribution model are summarized below:
• The Fund is no longer redeemable, except in the case of: (i) the death of a shareholder; (ii) the death of the annuitant of an RRSP or RRIF account that is a shareholder; or (iii) the death of the original purchaser of an RRSP or RRIF under which the original purchaser of those shares or his spouse or common law partner is the annuitant.
• Notwithstanding the foregoing, holders of Class A Shares who hold their shares coded as DCC400 shares on the FundSERV network can continue to fulfill a redemption at any time, which will be processed through the FundSERV network. The Fund retains sufficient funds to satisfy redemptions of all outstanding DCC400 shares.
It is the intention of the Fund to make distributions to shareholders as and when it realizes on its investments, subject to retaining sufficient funds to operate the Fund and make follow-on investments as required. The Fund will no longer make any new investments but may be required to make follow-on investments into existing portfolio companies in certain circumstances. The Fund cannot predict the amount or timing of future returns of capital and cash dividends to Shareholders. Distributions will depend on the timing and realizations of exits from existing portfolio investments, which is largely beyond the control of the Fund and, therefore, difficult to predict.
BC Discovery Fund is managed by Discovery Capital Management Corp. of Vancouver, B.C., an experienced technology venture capital manager in British Columbia. Some notable companies that the Fund has invested in include: TIR Systems (acquired by Philips Electronics in 2007), In Motion Technology (acquired by Sierra Wireless in 2014), Avigilon Corporation (IPO in 2011 and acquired by Motorola in 2018) and Rx Networks (acquired by BD Star in 2017).