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.
Will Yaletown lead my deal?
Yes. We prefer to lead or co-lead the initial funding of our portfolio companies. We typically partner with other 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?
For our emerging-growth portfolio we look to invest between $2 and $4 million initially, with capital reserved for follow-on financings for a total of $6 – $12 million. We also participate in select early-stage deals in Alberta as Manager of the Accelerate Fund II.
What other funds does Yaletown collaborate with?
We are open to co-investing with any like-minded 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 three to 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?
While Canada has a growing international reputation for innovation, many Canadian technology companies are insufficiently financed to achieve their growth potential. Yaletown’s analysis and years of investment and operating experience in Canada highlights a persistent imbalance between the large number of technology companies seeking emerging-growth financing and the amount of capital targeting companies in their initial growth phase. 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 Canadian entrepreneurs and bring an attractive risk-return opportunity to investors.
What is Yaletown’s investment focus?
We invest in privately-owned emerging-growth technology companies in Canada that enhance sustainability and productivity for industrial and enterprise customers. This means companies need to have revenues, in-market product, experienced leadership and be demonstrating traction on a commercialization path. The majority of our investments are at emerging-growth stage. We also make select early-stage investments in Alberta as Manager of the Accelerate Fund II.
What is your sector focus?
Yaletown invests in promising technology companies with a customer focus in two dynamic sectors:
1) Intelligent Industry focuses on companies helping enhance physical capital productivity for industrial businesses and their customers. Companies focused on intelligent industry may draw upon the Smart Grid, and analogous Internet of Things technologies and apply innovation in traditional industries such as natural resources, manufacturing, transportation and agriculture. Intelligent industry has enormous potential to enhance environmental sustainability by reducing resource consumption, and improving energy efficiency.
2) Intelligent Enterprise focuses on companies helping customers to increase knowledge worker productivity and enhance the competitive fitness of medium and larger enterprises. Companies focused on intelligent enterprise may draw upon a diverse range of existing and emerging information technologies such as cloud computing, as-a-service and subscription business models, and advanced analytics (Big Data).
Why choose Canada as a regional focus?
Canada is 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 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.