StandUp Ventures wraps up debut fund

StandUp Ventures, a Canadian women-focused early-stage venture capital firm, closed its inaugural fund at more than C$21 million.

StandUp Ventures, a Canadian women-focused early-stage venture capital firm, closed its inaugural fund at more than C$21 million. Investors in the final close included Teralys Capital, Globalive Capital, and several entrepreneurs including Jeff Fettes, founder of 24-7 Intouch, and Amar Varma, co-founder of Autonomic. Prior investors included BDC Capital, CIBC, Export Development Canada, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund II, RBC and Vancity.

PRESS RELEASE

Toronto, Ontario (March 5, 2020)- Women entrepreneurs in Canada, who often face unconscious bias when pitching their companies to investors, now have a deeper well of financing to draw upon.

Today StandUp Ventures LP I, a seed-stage fund investing in women-led or co-led Canadian high growth ventures, announces a final close with new funding commitments from Teralys Capital, Globalive Capital, and several accomplished entrepreneurs including Jeff Fettes, founder of 24-7 Intouch, and Amar Varma, co-founder of Autonomic. The new commitments close the fund at over $21 million, well above the initial $15 million target.
StandUp Ventures invests in Canadian pre-seed and seed-stage high growth technology ventures across sectors. Qualifying investments must have one woman founder in a “C level” role with a significant ownership position commensurate with the stage of the company.

“This follow-on funding from top financial institutions demonstrates that investors are actively beginning to support women entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Michelle McBane, Managing Director at StandUp Ventures. “Research has shown that investor bias accounts for a third of the gender disparity in high-growth startups, and venture capitalists invest in what they know. By making a concerted effort to fund women entrepreneurs, StandUp Ventures is helping to change the narrative and grow the talent pipeline of women in the technology sector.”

StandUp Ventures announced earlier funding commitments from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), CIBC, Export Development Canada (EDC), Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund II (NVCF II), RBC, and Vancity. StandUp Ventures launched in 2017 with a commitment from BDC as the fund’s founding and anchor Limited Partner.
Since its inception, StandUp Ventures has made nine investments, with the latest going towards two AI-enabled ventures including Montreal-based MiMS and Toronto-based ODAIA. Other portfolio companies include Aya Payments, Bridgit Solutions, Coconut Software, Emovi, Nudge Rewards, Sampler, and tealbook.

“Advancing the gender diversity agenda and providing new sources of capital for women entrepreneurs is a core pillar of our firm”, said Cédric Bisson, Partner at Teralys Capital. “With our commitment to StandUp Ventures and its focus on women-led or co-led ventures, we are proud to continue our leading efforts in building a balanced and inclusive Canadian venture capital ecosystem where all entrepreneurs can access capital to start, grow and expand their businesses.”

This infusion of capital reflects a growing interest and commitment from both new and existing investor groups to support the needs of women-owned and women-led businesses. StandUp Ventures LP has received commitments from two institutions managing funds for the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). The current fund will invest in approximately 12 to 20 ventures over the next three to five years.

About StandUp Ventures
StandUp Ventures invests in breakthrough companies led or co-led by women. We believe that women-led companies think outside the box, recruit great talent, and serve bigger markets. We invest in Canadian pre-seed and seed-stage technology companies with at least one woman in a C-level leadership position within the company. The fund leverages the MaRS IAF platform and was launched in May 2017 with an anchor investment from BDC Capital. For more information, please visit www.standupvc.com.

About Teralys Capital
Teralys Capital is a private fund manager financing private venture capital funds investing in innovative businesses in information technologies, life sciences, and clean & industrial innovations. Our partner funds cover the entire investment spectrum from early-stage start-ups to expansion, growth and technology buy-outs. With more than $2 billion in assets under management across four venture capital funds of funds and two additional legacy portfolios of funds, Teralys Capital is the largest innovation-focused investor in Canada. For more information, visit www.teralyscapital.com