Fund I: Behind The Fundraise With Ripple Ventures
On Sept. 12, new Toronto-based VC, Ripple Ventures, announced the closing of their new CAD $10M early stage focused Fund I. The fund will focus on early-stage companies in Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, and Boston with preference given to software companies in healthcare and enterprise, as well as companies in industrial services, real estate, blockchain and media.
Fundraising kicked off in June 2018 and rapidly hit its goal. Ripple also plans to launch a Toronto-based incubator space in Toronto in October called The Tank. According to report from Betakit, The Tank’s objective is to allow founders to work with other like-minded entrepreneurs in the same stage.
The CVCA connected with Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner, Ripple Ventures to discuss the details behind the new fund.
What is the investment focus of the fund?
We invest in pre-seed to seed stage software companies with an enterprise focus. We don’t invest in hardware, medical devices or consumer goods. Our goal is to provide as much value to our companies as possible in industries that we are familiar with like:
- Enterprise Software
- Healthcare Technology
- Industrial Technology (i.e. Construction, Real Estate, etc.)
- Enterprise Blockchain
- Media Technology
Does the successful completion of the fund complement your firm’s thesis?
Our thesis is investing in pre-seed to seed stage software companies with an enterprise focus — B2B to enterprise. We will be leveraging our background and network to invest in these types of companies.
Is your firm interested in exploring any other strategies?
Besides opening our own incubator, The Tank, we are not focused on anything else.
Is there anything particularly interesting about this fundraising that you’d like to emphasize?
Ripple Ventures was launched this year with the belief that early-stage investments should be inclusive of ancillary services, beyond a typical capital injection, which is why we are taking an Operator First, Investor Second approach to our fund and opening an incubator for our portfolio companies to work from.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1=not at all challenging; 10=very challenging) how challenging did you find the fundraising to be?
7, given this was my first fund with outside investors and given I did not come from the venture capital industry, it was difficult to get people to believe in our story.
What single factor do you attribute to the success of your fund’s closing?
My partner, Michael Garbe, and I represent over 30% of the committed capital of the fund and the fact that I’ve had a decent track record of angel investing and Michael and I were both operators before starting the fund, it definitely helped. In addition, my network with family offices, HNW individuals and super angels was decently strong.