One of Canada’s most notable venture firms has added big names to their roster and is planning a massive expansion.
iNovia Capital has announced they have added two new managing partners to their firm, both hailing from multi-billion dollar companies. Patrick Pichette, the former CFO of Google; and Dennis Kavelman, the former CFO of RIM/BlackBerry, are joining iNovia to help expand the venture’s presence not only in Canada but across the world.
That global presence comes in the form of a new U.K. office based in London, as well as a new focus on what’s called growth investing. The goal is to raise a brand new $500 million USD fund, according to a Globe and Mail report.
Growth investing revolves around investing larger amounts of funding (typically over $25 million) for companies that are past the early-stage and making millions in revenue with no signs of slowing down. Many VC firms in Canada right now cannot handle this size of investment, so iNovia is looking to become a leader in the country when it comes to large Series A, B and C rounds.
“We have been supporting our portfolio of innovative high-growth companies, including Lightspeed POS, WorkFusion, AppDirect, Clearpath Robotics and Top Hat, with both capital and insights for years,” said Chris Arsenault, managing partner at iNovia Capital. “While the costs of starting a company have never been lower, the challenges in scaling businesses have never been more complex. We believe that startups need a full-stack venture capital firm that can grow with them. Patrick and Dennis both bring a hard-to-match expertise of scaling businesses.”
The companies Arsenault mentioned raised some of the largest rounds Canadian companies have seen over the past two years. Lightspeed’s $166 million (all funds USD) round is among the country’s highest funding rounds ever, while Top Hat’s $22.5 million and Clearpath’s $30 million were leaders in their industries.
Pichette and Kavelman will bring their experience from multi-billion dollar companies to iNovia as the fund continues to look at larger rounds and bigger Canadian companies. Two-thirds of iNovia’s portfolio are Canadian companies, and as the country grows as a global tech presence, more unicorns (or narwhals, as Canada likes to dub them) will continue to pop up, all looking for funding. Often these companies look to domestic VC firms first, and iNovia will now hopefully be able to step up and fill that void.
“Today, great companies can scale from zero to multinational status in just a few years,” said Pichette. “When startups hit their hyper-growth stage, founders are confronted with high-stakes issues from all fronts. I look forward to mentoring and coaching them to help successfully navigate the many challenges of exponential growth.”
“Over the next decade, massive technological innovations, including machine learning, will completely redefine industries,” said Kavelman. “Many of the world’s top founders will come from Canada—a hotbed in AI innovation—as well as the U.S. and the U.K. By leveraging iNovia’s extensive reach and its proven acceleration practices we have a rare opportunity to turn these companies into global leaders.”
iNovia has led three separate funds now totalling $500 million, so this goal to raise an additional $500 million will double their assets managed and push them into becoming a billion dollar fund.