White Star Capital, a New York-based venture firm that invests in businesses in Europe and North America, is looking to expand its Canadian footprint, with changes to its team and plans to open a new office in Toronto.
Julie Plouffe, White Star Capital’s CFO, has been promoted to general partner and named chief people officer of the firm. Plouffe is based in Montreal and has been with White Star Capital for over two years. In her new role, Plouffe has become the second general partner in Canada for White Star Capital.
“I am proud to see how our Canadian team has evolved since 2014 to a solid team of eight individuals across Montreal and Toronto.”
White Star Capital announced the Toronto office plans on Tuesday. However, a spokesperson for the firm told BetaKit a space has not yet been secured and White Star Capital is exploring locations in the downtown area, with plans to open an office once it is safe to do so. The spokesperson noted that the firm is following government guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. White Star Capital’s team is currently working remotely.
White Star Capital Canadian lead and general partner Christophe Bourque will split his time between Montreal and Toronto. The Toronto team also includes new vice president of finance Tandis Azarbad and Sanjay Zimmermann, who joined White Star Capital’s Montreal office as an associate in 2017. Zimmermann has been promoted to the role of principal and recently moved to Toronto.
Zimmermann, Azarbad, and Bourque will be responsible for establishing White Star’s office in Toronto in the coming months. In addition to opening the new office, the firm will also be expanding its existing Montreal office with the addition of new team members.
“I am proud to see how our Canadian team has evolved since 2014 to a solid team of eight individuals across Montreal and Toronto, which puts us in a great position to continue backing exceptional Canadian entrepreneurs,” said Jean-Francois Marcoux, co-founder and managing partner at White Star Capital.
Founded in 2007, White Star Capital leads or co-leads investments in Series A stage technology companies. it operates out of New York, Montreal, Toronto, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
White Star Capital opened its first Canadian office in Montreal in 2014 and has invested in several prominent Canadian technology startups, participating in Borrowell’s $57 million Series A round, Dialogue’s $12 million Series A round, and Mnubo’s $6 million Series A round.
Since 2017, White Star Capital has also released annual deep dives surveying the Canadian venture capital ecosystem. The reports outline specific activity happening in Canada that is setting the foundation for a strong tech ecosystem, including recent exits, active investors, and corporates setting up R&D centres in Canada.
In addition to Plouffe’s promotion, the expansion of White Star Capital’s Montreal office includes the addition of Jonathan Brun as associate. Brun joined White Star Capital over the summer after spending five years in investment banking at Scotiabank. Brun’s appointment is aimed to help White Star Capital bolster its presence in Quebec and support the Canadian investment team.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Touann Gatouillat Vergos.