Ha Nguyen has taken on the role of partner at McRock Capital, becoming the venture firm’s third partner.
The expansion of McRock’s partner suite comes as the firm targets a $200 million third fund, nearly double the size of its prior fund.
Nguyen originally joined McRock in 2016 as an associate, serving as McRock’s Western Canada lead and vice president for the last four years. She marks the first partner addition to the McRock team outside of its founding partners Whitney Rockley and Scott MacDonald.
McRock’s founders described Nguyen as pivotal to their firm and key to helping shape the strategy for its next fund.
Both Rockley and MacDonald spoke highly of Nguyen, describing her as pivotal to their firm and key to helping shape the strategy for its next fund.
“She’s our deal flow Jedi,” Rockley said in an interview with BetaKit. “She’s immersed herself in our specialization as a fund, and frankly has been incredibly insightful and inspirational in the direction we are taking the firm because of her depth and understanding of her sector.”
For her part, Nguyen sees great potential in the industrial sector that McRock focuses on, noting that industrial IoT has grown by more than 100 times since McRock was first launched.
Toronto-based McRock was co-founded by Rockley and MacDonald in 2012. It invests exclusively in industrial Internet of Things (IoT) companies in Canada, the US, and Europe. McRock closed its first fund in 2015 with more than $65 million after an initial close of $50 million in 2013. The firm also found itself with a good amount of dry powder near the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as it closed $112 million in June 2020 for its second fund.
McRock hopes to start actively raising for its third fund in the first quarter of next year—possibly a tall order given the current fundraising environment and target size in relation to the firm’s past funds. Still, McRock is confident in its thesis and strategy, thanks in no small part to Nguyen.
Nguyen has been in the venture capital space for a decade, starting her career in Vietnam as both an investor and consultant, and has worked with a number of industrial companies.
Wanting to find new opportunities in the venture capital sector, Nguyen emigrated to Canada in 2016. After meeting an Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan investor at a networking event, Nguyen was introduced to Rockley and subsequently began working at McRock in early 2017.
Earlier this year, Nguyen received her Canadian citizenship.
During her time at McRock, Nguyen’s investment history has included ThoughtTrace, which she brought into the firm. Two years later, in early 2020, ThoughtTrace was sold to Thomson Reuters. Nguyen also identified Edmonton-based Samdesk and California-based Landing AI as investments for McRock.
Joining McRock as a partner, Nguyen is open about the fact that she is one of few women of colour in a decision-making role at a Canadian venture firm. She told BetaKit that she hopes her promotion will send a message about the need for a more diverse set of voices around the investment table, and how that can bring in a stronger set of investments and lead to more diverse capital distribution.
“We’re going to be the best venture capital firm in IoT industrial, and we’re going to do that in our own way, in the McRock way, which is kindness, competitiveness, and compassion,” said Nguyen.