MONTREAL, Qc (December 13, 2022) – Montreal-based Innovobot Resonance Ventures is pleased to announce the first close of its debut seed-stage Deep Tech for Good venture capital fund. This CAN$14 million raise marks a major step towards its CAN$40 million target, set for next year. The Fund is part of Innovobot, an investment and innovation platform founded in 2018. It is headed by Managing Partner Zoya Shchupak, one of the few women currently leading a Deep Tech investment fund.
The Lorne Trottier Holding Company took the lead for this first close and was joined by several notable tech investors and entrepreneurs. These include angel investors Nadine Martel and Jean-Michel Lemieux, former CTO/VP-Eng at Shopify and Atlassian, Peter Nicholson from Tiger 21, Adviso co-founders Jean-François Renaud and Simon Lamarche, Flinks CEO Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf and Paul Lowenstein, investment industry expert and Innovobot advisor. The founders of Heyday, one of Innovobot’s pre-fund investments, also joined the group. Innovobot’s partners were equally significant contributors to this round.
Innovobot Resonance Ventures is committed to a results-driven double bottom-line approach. It invests in companies with breakthrough technologies that are mature enough to address today’s real-world problems, while generating positive impact and outsized returns.
The Fund will invest across Canada, leading seed rounds with initial tickets from CAD$500,000 to CAD$2 million, reserving capital to support its portfolio companies in subsequent rounds. The management team has developed a high conviction investment strategy leading to a concentrated portfolio with a maximum of 16 companies.
Deep tech is at an inflection point and is poised for significant growth. “The world is facing real challenges. For all its promise, software alone is not the solution,” says Zoya Shchupak. “We believe that solving humanity’s pressing problems requires the development and deployment of complex systems that combine the physical and digital worlds.”
Today, significantly lower component costs, exponentially increasing computing power and rapid prototyping are galvanizing the market and creating exciting investment opportunities. According to a BCG/Hello Tomorrow white paper, Deep Tech investments could triple from USD$62 billion in 2020 to USD$209 billion by 2025, but the traditional Venture Capital model needs to change.
Investing in Deep Tech requires a different skillset. VCs need engineers, scientists and PhDs to look behind the touchscreen to validate if a company has developed a true breakthrough innovation or just a marginal improvement to existing tech.
Furthermore, capital is not enough. “Deep Tech VCs need to be highly engaged with their portfolio companies and help them address the challenges of building a business. They need operating expertise to help technical founders understand how to productize, industrialize and scale” adds Shchupak.
Differentiated VC Model
“Innovobot Resonance Ventures is uniquely positioned to address the emerging whitespace opportunity in Deep Tech,” explains General Partner and Tech for Good Lead, Sylvain Carle. “The Innovobot team has the unparalleled technical expertise and entrepreneurial know-how needed to source complex deals, conduct in-depth due diligence and transform lab-scale tech into successful companies,” he says.
Innovobot Resonance Ventures takes a differentiated “Private Equity approach to Venture Capital”, partnering closely with founders to help address challenges. This is made possible through Innovobot Labs, and the active involvement of the operating partners. While the Labs’ engineering teams contribute tech expertise and insights, the operating partners coach and mentor the founders.
“The Innovobot investment model is a novel approach to funding and scaling disruptive innovation. It also has the added advantage of significantly reducing execution risk, while accelerating commercialization and growth. Our track record backs this up,” says Innovobot CEO and Founding Partner, Mario Venditti.
Innovobot’s approach has generated impressive results. Its first exit was the strategic sale in August 2021 of conversational AI chatbot Heyday to Hootsuite for CAN$60M. CarbiCrete, maker of cement-free carbon-negative concrete, is another successful pre-fund investment. It completed a CAN$23.5M Series A financing round in May and Innovobot’s investment in CarbiCrete is being rolled into the Fund as its first portfolio company.
Managing Partner Zoya Shchupak is a CPA, MBA and finance industry veteran. She brings over 25 years of indepth experience in corporate finance, as well as alternative investments. She is seconded by General Partner and Tech for Good Lead Sylvain Carle, who has spent the last 25 years building companies and investing in emerging
technologies. He has played a key role in nurturing the Montreal tech ecosystem through organizations such as Real Ventures, FounderFuel, Techstars, Startup Fest and Réseau Capital.
Innovobot’s founding partners, Mario Venditti, a successful entrepreneur and Danny Grant, a highly respected technology thought leader, complete the Fund team. Together with the operating partners, their operational expertise and extensive knowledge of advanced technologies provide Innovobot Resonance Ventures with an unfair advantage.
About Innovobot Resonance Ventures
Innovobot Resonance Ventures is a woman-led Tech for Good seed-stage fund based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It invests in Canadian Deep Tech startups, leveraging the operating expertise and track record of its team of engineers and entrepreneurs.
Website: Innovobot Resonance Ventures