Founded in 2010, Vanedge Capital is a $137M Series A Venture Capital Fund based in Vancouver, BC Canada. Vanedge is focused on investments in interactive entertainment, digital media, and digital services tailored to specific industry verticals for mobile and cloud, as well as digital infrastructure. While they have done seed investments in the past, they prefer Series A deals of $2-5M in companies with a solid product, customers and revenue.
Recently, I had the pleasure of having coffee and catching up with Amy Rae, a Principal at Vanedge. Amy is focused on digital media investments at Vanedge. Her operational experience in online local search, advertising, small medium business market, and mobile and social commerce make her a great partner for technology entrepreneurs building digital media companies.
Maura: What kinds of companies/teams does Vanedge invest in? (what kind of qualities do you look for in a founder/ mixed teams etc?
Amy: Teams- Serial entrepreneurs who have done it before are always a plus, past experiences, passion, quality of the management team, fulsomeness of the management team (ie. are their holes in the mgmt team that need to be filled), how long they have worked together and who’s on their Advisory board.
After seeing the team and the pitch we will evaluate the team on the style of their pitch, how they answer their questions, how simply they can explain their business, how well they know their route to market, the ability to repeat their selling motion, industry knowledge, quality of customers. (Seems like a lot but we’re series A investors so companies should be looking to use the funds to scale.)
Why are you looking to invest in immigrant entrepreneurs? Have you invested in the past?
I think we’re looking to invest in any quality business regardless where the entrepreneurs come from. So many Canadians were immigrants at one point. A good business is a good business – we aren’t biased towards Canadians. We actually have a North American mandate. We want to see all business opportunities. Canada isn’t just a great place to live, but we are seeing some great companies that could use our help in looking beyond Canada and taking what they have and building it into a global leader. Canada has some great technology, great leadership and some great companies and we think being on the ground here gives us an advantage on this against our counterparts in the US. Canada also seems more open to great talent from around the world coming to join our companies, something that has been a real sore point and impediment to technology companies in the US.
What is the best way for immigrant entrepreneurs to contact you about investment and what should they send you?
Our website, www.vanedgecapital.com will give all entrepreneurs an idea of our mandate and what we’re looking for. A one pager is always a great way to start, you can email us at email@example.com. We look at interactive entertainment, digital media, digital services tailored to specific industry verticals for mobile and cloud, as well as digital infrastructure and gaming.
What is your selection process like?
We try our best to email everyone back (even if the one pager doesn’t fit our criteria) to explain what our mandate is. We invest $2-$5M (Series A) and look for companies with a product, customers and revenue. Although we do some seed deals and have invested in pre-revenue companies we do like to see the product close to completion and in beta testing to get some sense of market potential.
If you like what you see via email, what’s next?
If the introduction looks like it fits, our mandate is coffee or a meeting to learn more. A one pager only captures so much.
More on Vanedge & Amy
If you are a startup visa candidate and only looking for seed money, Vanedge may not be the best partner for you at this stage. But if you have some traction, check out Vanedge’s website to learn more about their mandate and portfolio before reaching out. You can also follow Amy on Twitter and check out her Linkedin profile to learn more about her thoughts and background.