Former Google and RIM execs join iNovia as general partners

inovia capital

iNovia Capital has added two new general partners that were former execs at Google and RIM.

The new GPs include Patrick Pichette, who has over 25 years of operational experience, including seven years at Google as senior vice president and CFO. Pichette was involved in over 200 successful acquisitions, including Motorola Mobility ($12.5 billion), Nest ($3.2 billion), and Waze ($1.3 billion).

Dennis Kavelman helped grow RIM from just a few employees to over 14,000 people worldwide and $15 billion in revenue as VP of Finance and CFO, COO, and special advisor. He is a former COO of Desire2Learn and a founding partner of Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). Kavelman is also angel investor and board member of Vidyard and Thalmic Labs and a founder of The Kavelman Fonn Foundation.

“We have been supporting our portfolio of innovative high-growth companies, including Lightspeed POS, WorkFusion, AppDirect, Clearpath Robotics and Top Hat, with both capital and insights for years,” said Chris Arsenault, general partner at iNovia Capital. “While the costs of starting a company have never been lower, the challenges in scaling businesses have never been more complex. We believe that startups need a full-stack venture capital firm that can grow with them. Patrick and Dennis both bring a hard-to-match expertise of scaling businesses.”

iNovia is also expanding internationally with an office in London, and the formerly early-stage-focused firm is exploring growth investing. The firm is also expanding its presence in San Francisco with new team members.

“Today, great companies can scale from zero to multinational status in just a few years,” said Pichette. “When startups hit their hyper-growth stage, founders are confronted with high-stakes issues from all fronts. I look forward to mentoring and coaching them to help successfully navigate the many challenges of exponential growth.”

iNovia Managing Partner Chris Arsenault said that the firm had “substantial internal conversations about the impact of adding two male partners to an already male-dominated organization.”

iNovia, which has $500 million managed across three funds, now has five male general partners and three male partners, with no women at the equivalent level. The conversation around the lack of women in VC is an ongoing one, as women founders are more likely to struggle to get funding and support in an industry that is male-dominated.

Given the firm’s recent commitment to founder diversity, BetaKit reached out for comment on iNovia’s plan, if any, to diversify its investing team.

In a statement to BetaKit, iNovia Managing Partner Chris Arsenault said that the firm had “substantial internal conversations about the impact of adding two male partners to an already male-dominated organization.”

“We brought Patrick and Dennis on because they are singularly equipped to drive our next chapter of growth,” Arsenault said. “As two of the only Canadians in the world who have scaled technology companies to $75 billion and $15 billion in revenue respectively. Through their mentorship, we hope to grow the number of female and visible minority founders in our portfolio beyond the current 21 percent, and the number of underrepresented iNovia investment team members above 36 percent.”

Pertaining to the actual diversity of iNovia’s staff, Arsenault said that the firm is committed to growing talent internally, and “hiring and coaching underrepresented individuals in the hopes that the iNovia of the near future is more diverse than the iNovia of today.” Arsenault told BetaKit that the firm is doing that by actively tracking diversity statistics and conducting targeted outreach to ensure its applicant pool is representative.

iNovia currently features two women on its staff at the principal and associate level (the latter being Sarah Marion, who is also a contributing columnist on BetaKit’s Ask an Investor series).

Update (04/11/18 @ 2:43 EST): This story has been updated with additional statements from iNovia.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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