OMERS Ventures, the investment arm of pension fund OMERS, has a core focus in the technology, media, telecommunications, clean tech and life sciences sectors and has backed a number of powerful Canadian brands, namely Hootsuite and Shopify.
Jim Orlando, the firms managing director, recently appeared on Business News Network (BNN) and gave a some solid insight into how they approach a deal. Orlando says there are generally three attributes that OMERS takes when assessing investing into a company:
1. Strong core management team (Passionate entrepreneurs)
2. Large market opportunity (Potential leaders in a big market)
3. Competitive advantage (Capitalize on competitive edge)
“We are looking for great management teams, first and foremost,” said Orlando. Second, a big market opportunity that the company addresses, and the company “has to have something different that no one else can do and seize the market.” A deal is not done overnight with OMERS.
Orlando added that “the due diligence we do and the time we spend to understanding those three points is a months long process for each investment.”
Orlando talked a great deal about a number of OMERS-backed startups: InteraXon’s Muse, Wattpad, and its latest with a Series A round into Montreal’s Busbud (a total of $9 million was raised from various companies). During the International Startupfest 2014 we spoke with Busbud founder LP Maurice and his goal is to go global with its bus ticketing platform. Busbud currently has 30 employees and its service is available in 90 countries and 10,000 cities and aims to expand into additional locations and make the experience “event better, “so it definately made sense to raise more money at this point,” said Maurice.
You can check out the full interview here at BNN.