Western Canada-focused early-stage venture capital firm Metiquity Ventures has launched its inaugural fund. The target was not disclosed. Metiquity Ventures Fund I is expected to raise capital from high-net worth individuals and family offices in Alberta and Western Canada. Metiquity in June closed its first deal, investing C$300,000 in Calgary-based cash flow management software company Helm.
With the close of its first investment, Metiquity Ventures is excited to announce the official launch of its inaugural investment fund. Metiquity Ventures Fund I is a Calgary-based early-stage growth equity fund created to help modernize Alberta’s early-stage funding ecosystem by unlocking growth potential for innovative founders on-the-cusp of growth and pioneering investors who invest capital alongside them.
Metiquity believes Alberta’s early-stage risk capital market is broken.
Pre-revenue and early-revenue start-ups on-the-cusp of growth are in desperate need of capital that traditional venture capital funds are not going to provide and local investors are not ready to provide. Alberta’s early-stage capital market is very unstable as a result. A substantial early-stage funding gap persists where promising companies cannot access the capital they need when they need it the most.
Metiquity will make meaningful lead investments in up-and-coming companies using technology to digitally transform and fundamentally disrupt the way traditional industries operate. With the close of its first investment, a $300,000 lead investment in Calgary-based Helm, Metiquity is expanding formal fundraising and will continue to make investments as it works towards its fundraising goal. The fund expects to raise capital primarily from high net worth individual and family office investors in Alberta and western Canada.
“We need to demystify the innovation ecosystem and make early-stage investing more accessible to our local high net-worth investment communities to unlock this important source of capital” said Bryan Slauko, co-founder of Metiquity.
“We are investors first and use a disciplined investment process to rigorously evaluate investment potential. But we know that capital alone is not enough. If the potential is there, we offer our operational expertise to actively support and encourage companies to develop strong business fundamentals. We want to allow founders to focus on stability and long-term value creation over short-term growth at all costs.”
The fund partners with founders in emerging innovation hubs who are creating long-term, systemic business value and are on the cusp of commercialization and significant growth, regardless of industry. Metiquity will make early-stage investments where it can amplify the impact of its expertise and help partner companies accelerate growth by implementing the efficient use of systems, processes, and a well-defined purpose.
Metiquity is partnering with pre-seed and seed stage founders, acting as a strong lead investor and investing $250,000 to $750,000 per portfolio company. With a target size of $15 million, the fund will partner with 20 to 30 companies across Alberta and western Canada. Metiquity will leverage its investment and expertise to help companies access additional equity investment and to unlock non-dilutive funding available through publicly funded programs.
The group behind Metiquity Ventures has been active in the Alberta entrepreneurial and technology communities for many years as investors, advisors and founders. Metiquity is co-founded by Bryan Slauko, Dennis Nerland and Jacques LaPointe.
Jacques LaPointe brings over 25 years of experience in the Alberta technology ecosystem including 13 years in operational roles in industry and 12 years as an investment portfolio manager, angel investor, director and advisor. Most recently, Jacques was a co-founder and former President of Calgary-based Attabotics. He led Attabotics through its very first equity and grant funding and the significant investment and growth that followed during his three-year tenure. Jacques is keenly aware of the significant funding gap that exists for true early-stage risk capital in Alberta.
“Alberta is home to many strong, emerging early-stage businesses with the potential to do great things outside of Alberta’s borders. But it is extremely difficult for founders to go out and raise that first $500,000 from investors. Particularly for businesses that are pre-revenue or early revenue. So many are on-the-cusp of something great but don’t make it because they can’t find the capital and guidance they need to get there.”
Dennis Nerland is an experienced angel investor and respected member of the Canadian legal and business communities. He is a co-founder of the law firm Nerland Lindsey LLP, practicing primarily in the areas of tax and estate planning. Dennis has also been active as a trustee of several private investment trusts and as a director of several public and private boards in the energy, technology and services sectors.
“We need Albertans to support the growth of our early-stage innovation ecosystem. Many of the natural investors in these up-and-coming companies are the families who earned most of their wealth right here as innovators in the energy sector. Our challenge is in mobilizing their capital. Many of these investors and the children they are now transferring their wealth to are not experienced with investing in today’s ecosystem.”
“With Metiquity we’ve created a professionally managed investment fund designed to focus exclusively on investing the smaller dollar amounts needed by early-stage startups in Calgary, Edmonton and other emerging regional markets. We have a team that knows how to evaluate risk and effectively lead these early-stage investments. We believe we can help mobilize capital that’s sitting on the sidelines and start to fill the major funding gap founders are experiencing here in Alberta.”
Bryan Slauko manages the daily activity of the fund. Bryan brings over 20 years of experience as an investment professional, advisor, entrepreneur and director. For the past 10 years Bryan has combined his expertise in investment analysis, market research, due diligence and early-stage growth equity with experience in business strategy, corporate governance and business building, to help unlock growth opportunities, create value and effectively manage risk for investors, early-stage companies and the communities he works in.
Metiquity looks forward to adding new investors and growing the fund over the coming months. The need in Alberta is greater than ever. The pace of digital transformation has accelerated. The opportunity to partner with high-growth innovators, job and wealth creators is real.