We hear great questions daily from investors, entrepreneurs, our limited partners and the media. Here are answers to frequently asked questions.
Where does Yaletown’s capital come from?
Yaletown’s capital comes from pension funds, funds-of-funds, family offices and sophisticated individual investors in Canada and the United States.
Will Yaletown lead my deal?
Yes. We prefer to lead or co-lead the initial venture capital funds in our portfolio companies. We typically partner with other venture capital funds to form an investment syndicate with the financial stamina to go the distance.
How does Yaletown identify potential investments?
Entrepreneurs find us, or we find them. We attend most closely to opportunities that are referred to us through our industry networks, which is comprised of a diverse group of technology angels, entrepreneurs, executives, researchers, economic development partners and service providers.
How much does Yaletown typically invest?
Depending on stage, we look to invest between $500,000 and $2.5 million initially. We reserve ample capital to participate in follow-on financings for a typical total of $5 – $15 million.
What other venture funds does Yaletown collaborate with?
We are open to co-investing with any like-minded venture capital funds. Some partners we have worked with to date include GE Capital, GrowthWorks, BDC, EDC, Ventures West, Cisco and Austin Ventures.
When does Yaletown seek to exit its investments?
Our goal is to exit our investments in about four years. We discuss exit objectives and strategies up front with entrepreneurs and co-investors, and we review those objectives periodically as the business develops.
Why is Yaletown’s overall strategy, unique from other firms?
In Canada and the US Pacific Northwest we have experienced and analyzed a persistent imbalance between the large number of technology companies seeking emerging-growth financing and the amount of capital targeting post-startup companies, especially in Western Canada. This emerging-growth financing gap slows development, delays exits and limits how businesses scale. Financing this emerging-growth gap is Yaletown’s focus. It is how we support innovation by North American entrepreneurs and bring an attractive risk-return opportunity to investors.
What is Yaletown’s investment focus?
We invest in privately-owned emerging-growth stage technology companies focused on sustainability innovation and intelligent enterprise in Canada and the US Pacific Northwest. This means companies need to have revenues, in-market product, experienced leadership and be demonstrating traction on a commercialization path.
What is your sector focus?
Yaletown has two themes of focus: sustainability innovation and intelligent enterprise. Sustainability innovation encompasses the smart grid, energy efficiency, transportation efficiency (including innovations in electric and hybrid propulsion) and technologies for natural resource, agriculture and power generation industries – a subset of what’s historically been called cleantech. Intelligent enterprise includes information and communication technology (ICT) companies serving business and industrial organizations with products related to software (SAAS), Internet of Things, and big data analytics. We do not invest in consumer, social and digital media business models.
Why choose Canada and the US Pacific Northwest as a regional focus?
Western Canada, Central Canada and the US Pacific Northwest together represent the top 16 regions of North America in terms of venture capital dollars invested. These markets are home to vibrant and fast-growing technology businesses that benefit from established infrastructure, including global industry anchor companies, corporate and government research institutions, a sizeable entrepreneurial talent pool, and a growing international reputation for innovation.
Why trust the Yaletown team to work hard for me?
Ask around – we have earned a reputation for being approachable, straightforward and committed with a strong track record of realizing growth. When Yaletown invests in a company, every member of our investment team is a material investor alongside the institutional and individual investors in our funds. Yaletown’s investment team makes money only if you make money. One lead partner is dedicated to each portfolio company, while every member of the Yaletown team contributes his unique skills and perspective to all of our portfolio companies behind the scenes.
Is Yaletown open to seed investments?
Complementing Yaletown’s emerging-growth focus, Yaletown selectively invests in a small number of seed-stage companies led by founders with exceptional track records. Like all Yaletown investments, seed investments need a focus on sustainability innovation and intelligent enterprise and be companies in Canada or the US Pacific Northwest.
Is Yaletown actively seeking new investment opportunities?
We are continuously interested in meeting standout innovators. If you are fit with our investment focus and are at a revenue growth stage, we invite you to get introduced through our network or contact us.