“Are you going to change the world? The reality is, if you’re going to succeed in this business, you need to dedicate 24 hours/day for the next 5 or 10 years of your life. You need to throw absolutely every piece of energy into it so you may as well take on a big idea, because it’s as hard to do a small idea as a big idea.”
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! I was happy that we had snow this year up in Collingwood and we had great family time on the ski hills and snowshoe trails.
The Holiday break was also a great occasion to reflect on some of my work at Brightspark. In my capacity of VP, Investor Community, I have spoken to hundreds of investors over the past year or so. I am fortunate to spend a good part of my days working closely with very accomplished accredited investors who are desirous of diversifying their portfolio and have a keen interest in leveraging the outsized returns from technology start-ups.
Early in 2016, we grew our team to scale up what we believed is an amazing business model: making our venture capital investments available to Canadian individual investors. We knew we were on to something big with promising investments under our belt and a little over 200 investors in our network.
In less than 12 months, we have grown our network to over 1,000 Canadian accredited investors! We credit this to our hard-working team, our track record, and the incredible quality of our investment opportunities.
Last week, we dissected popular financial metrics and wrote about how they apply – or rather don’t apply – to most startup investments. This week, we look at Gross Margins and what startup investors should really look for, especially in a service-based model.
Today, Hopper announced a financing of $82 million, with impressive milestones to back it up: They are the only company that can forecast future flight prices with 95% accuracy up to a year in advance of departure; Hopper collects five to eight billion airfare price quotes every day; has scaled to more than 10 Million users; and is now selling more than $1 million in flights per day!
New to startup investing? So am I.
A few months ago, I jumped ship from the audit practice of a Big 4 accounting firm to join an innovative, entrepreneurial, striving venture capital firm. I knew it would be night and day, notably because startups financials have little in common with large corporations and that accounting principles often clash with startups economics.
Welcome to our December Newsletter!
It has been a really good year for Brightspark and we are thrilled with the progress we have made in our growth.
During the last quarter, we completed two investments. We were thrilled by our investors’ interest and are very proud that both financings were over-subscribed!
Toronto startup Hubba Inc. has landed a venture capital investment from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, an early backer of Uber, Facebook and Pinterest, as it aims to ramp up efforts to build a business-to-business marketplace for consumer product information.
Le 24 novembre dernier, Brightspark Ventures, 500 Startups Canada ainsi que les CEOs de Hopper et AmpMe ont tenu un panel à Montréal pour discuter d’investissement dans de jeunes compagnies technologiques. Plus de 50 investisseurs et professionnels se sont joints à nous pour discuter de stratégies et conseils en matière de capital de risque.
Last week, I presented at an AGM of a large institutional Fund from Toronto. Out of the dozens presenters, a mix of tech companies and Funds, I was the only woman. This situation did not surprise me at all and I find that worrisome. For 20 years, I have been the only managing partner of a VC fund in Canada and I have often been the only woman at Board meetings.