Sandpiper Ventures, Atlantic Canada's female-focused venture capital firm, has closed its flagship SVF fund, having raised over $20 million.

The SVF fund is the second-largest female-focused VC fund in Canada, Sandpiper said in a statement, after Toronto’s Stand Up Ventures, which previously raised $35 million.

Sandpiper invests mostly in seed-stage companies, and has backed such East Coast startups as ProcedureFlow, the Saint John maker of knowledge-sharing software for enterprise clients that raised nearly $12 million last month, and Pasadena, NL’s Swiftsure Innovations, a medtech specialist that raised $1.05 million in November.

“We have arrived at an exciting nexus point for women in the investment space and we are here to change the narrative around traditional VC,” said Co-Founder Rhiannon Davies.

“The close of this fund is a commentary around priorities in the investment landscape and how those decision-makers are connecting their investments to performance, with women at the helm.”

Sandpiper is the first venture capital fund in Atlantic Canada to specifically target companies led by women. Its limited partners include four of the country’s big five banks — the only one not among the fund’s investors is RBC — and a slate of local entrepreneurs like Mariner Partners Chairman Gerry Pond, Killick Capital President Mark Dobbin and Verschuren Centre namesake Annette Verschuren.

The firm announced a $10 million first close of the SVF fund last September.

Davies has also previously said the case for backing female entrepreneurs is not just one of social responsibility, but also good business.

San Francisco’s First Round Capital calculates that its portfolio companies run by women produce a return on investment that is fully 63 percent better than its male-led startups. And Boston Consulting Group estimates that female founders generate 78 cents of revenue for every dollar invested, compared to just 31 cents from male founders.