The ability of Canada’s venture capital sector to support the growing number of fast-growing startups took another solid step forward today when Round 13 Capital unveiled plans to create a $100-million fund focused providing startups with series A financing to accelerate their growth.
The new fund comes on the heels of Rho Canada launching a $100-million fund and Celtic House Venture Partners raising $105-million last month. Last year, iNovia raised a $110 million fund, while OMERS raised $180-million.
Round 13 aims to differentiate itself by focusing on startups with proven technology and customer traction that want to aggressively move forward. A key part of its funding will come from a group of successful entrepreneurs who have started, operated and sold companies.
The people behind Round 13 are Bruce Croxon, a judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and co-founder of LavaLife, John Eckert, the co-founder of McLean Watson, and Scott Pelton, who until recently was with GrowthWorks where his portfolio include Sysomos and BumpTop, which were acquired by Marketwire and Google respectively.
Croxon said Round 13 is focused on providing mentorship from people who have been in the trenches. “This not only makes us different, but it gives entrepreneurs a better chance of being successful. What’s unique about Round 13 is it’s more than just money; we are focused on providing companies with operational expertise to help them realize their potential.”
As important, he said Round 13 is focused on filling the gap that exists between early-stage startups and companies that need more support than an accelerator or incubator. “This gap is forcing many startups to go south of the border for capital, sell to larger players based mostly in the U.S, or, worse, their growth stalls and their potential withers on the vine”.
With major support from key investor groups, including high net worth investors and institutions, Round 13 is looking to raise at least $100 million. The focus will be growth companies with proven technology and the potential to become global leaders in the content, mobile, social media and networking enterprise sectors.