CIBC and Microsoft Canada Promote New $50 Million Growth Fund For Canadian Independent Software Vendors

MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 12, 2000 — Microsoft Canada Co. today announced a joint initiative with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) that will provide growth funding for qualified Canadian independent software vendors (ISVs) in order to foster growth and innovation in the sector. Both Microsoft and CIBC understand the potential of bringing investment and technical resources to one of Canada fastest growing industries. CIBC will invest in Canadian ISVs that develop software applications that run on one or more Microsoft platforms, such as the Windows operating system, and Microsoft Canada will assist in candidate identification and referral. Through the fund, CIBC expects to invest up to $50 million to qualified ISVs over the next two-three years.

“Microsoft is proud to be taking a leadership role to help support the growth of the Canadian software industry as a whole,”
said Steve Ballmer, President and CEO, Microsoft Corp.
“As more and more Canadian businesses move rapidly to take part in the digital economy, Canada’s ISVs play an increasingly important role in enabling businesses to take full advantage of the Internet.”

“By reaching out to the ISV community with CIBC, we are working to make Canada’s software industry one of the most competitive in the world,”
said Simon Witts, President of Microsoft Canada Co.
“This is another step in Microsoft Canada’s continued efforts to encourage innovation and grow Canada’s IT industry.”

“The phenomenal growth we’re seeing in the ISV sector means enormous export potential for made-in-Canada technologies,
“said Ken Kilgour, managing director and head of CIBC’s merchant bank, CIBC Capital Partners.”
We’re pleased to have the opportunity to help seed their future success.

A recent IDC Canada study found that of the $6.4 billion per year generated domestically by the Canadian software market, the ISV industry was responsible for approximately $4.7 billion. IDC predicts the Canadian software industry will grow to as much as $9.9 billion in 2002.

“Clearly the ISV sector plays a critical role in driving Canada’s economy,”
said David Marshall, Director of Canadian Software Research, IDC Canada.
“However, as most ISVs are small to medium sized organizations, accessing the capital they need in order to pursue aggressive growth or acquisition strategies can be an exceedingly difficult task. As such, this joint initiative between Microsoft Canada and CIBC is uniquely positioned to help address the funding gap in the Canadian ISV sector.”

Microsoft offers numerous free and fee-based services to ISVs, including reduced prices on development tools, the award-winning services of MSDN-The Microsoft Developer Network, world class technical support, and co-marketing programs, to mention a few. On July 30 th , more information will be available at

About CIBC

CIBC is one of North America’s leading financial institutions with more than eight million customers, and is the leading investment bank to Canadian technology companies. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its North American electronic banking network, as well as branches and offices across Canada and around the world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows and MSDN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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