Kent Thexton has been selected to head ScaleUP Ventures, a Toronto-based venture capital firm launched last year. He has assumed the role of general partner and will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s early-stage investment activity in Ontario. Prior to joining ScaleUp, Thexton was a managing director at OMERS Ventures. He also spent close to 25 years as a founder and operator of a number of technology companies. ScaleUP is currently raising its debut fund, ScaleUP Ventures Fund I, which received a $25 million commitment from the Ontario government in April 2015. With Thexton’s hire, the firm announced the fund’s target has been increased from $50 million to $75 million.
Photo: Kent Thexton, general partner, ScaleUP Ventures.
ScaleUP Ventures’ Announces Kent Thexton as General Partner
Increasing Fund Target to $75 Million
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 24, 2016) – ScaleUP Ventures Inc. announced today that Kent Thexton has joined to lead the fund. In this role, Mr. Thexton will be responsible for overseeing the investment activities of the firm and will serve as the General Partner for ScaleUP Ventures Fund I.
ScaleUP Ventures brings together two key components: a venture capital fund and a Leadership Council comprised of some of Canada’s most successful business leaders, start-up entrepreneurs, and technology investors. Leadership Council members will provide strategic guidance and mentorship to high-potential companies in Ontario and give them exposure to leading edge innovation.
ScaleUP was the vision of Nadir Mohamed, former CEO of Rogers Communications, and Sheldon Levy, former President of Ryerson University and now Deputy Minister Training, Colleges and Universities for Ontario, to fill a gap in the venture capital ecosystem, and to help Ontario and Canada create more global-scale technology businesses and high-tech jobs. That vision has been endorsed by the Ontario Government, which is committed to be a significant investor in Fund I. ScaleUP Ventures will enable a new generation of Ontario-based start-ups and entrepreneurs to succeed.
“We are thrilled to announce Kent as the GP for ScaleUP Ventures”, said Nadir Mohamed, Chair of ScaleUP Ventures. “Kent is extremely well regarded within the Canadian and international venture capital and investment communities. He brings a wealth of experience in developing high-growth technology companies, and, coupled with his strategic mindset, he will provide the kind of energy and leadership that is needed in the venture capital space here in Canada.”
Mr. Thexton has spent almost 25 years in both founder and operational management positions at growth companies globally, including Founder, Chairman, President and CEO. He most recently served as Managing Director at OMERS Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over $77 billion in net assets.
His career highlights include serving as Chief Data and Marketing Officer and board member at European telecom firm O2 Group plc, which sold to Telefonica S.A. in 2005 for $35 billion. Mr. Thexton also founded venture-backed i-wireless, one of the largest MVNO’s in the US with over one million subscribers. He is also Chairman of Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR)(TSX:SW) and Redknee (TSX:RKN) and has been an active and successful angel investor for a number of years.
“I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs scale up to global success,” said Mr. Thexton. “Canada needs more technology success stories and ScaleUP brings capital and expertise to help achieve this. I am excited to lead ScaleUP and work with Nadir and the Leadership Council to help nurture Canadian entrepreneurs.”
ScaleUP Ventures Fund I is a $75 million fund with investors from private industry plus a commitment of up to $25 million from the Province of Ontario. The fund will target early stage investments in high growth technology companies in large, growing markets that have begun to show traction. ScaleUP is currently closing on funding commitments, building out a small and talented team, and will start investing immediately.
About ScaleUP Ventures:
ScaleUP Ventures is an initiative designed to assist Ontario’s most promising new start-ups by providing a unique combination of venture capital funding and strong connections to corporate Canada via seasoned executives, entrepreneurs, and investors. The fund will target Seed and Series A sized investments in high growth technology companies in large, growing markets that have begun to show traction. ScaleUP brings Capital + Connections – providing start-up capital, strong board expertise to help entrepreneurs, and connections to corporate Canada to help scale more rapidly. For more information please visit www.suv.vc.
Photo courtesy of LinkedIn