The future of OMERS Ventures with Michael Yang

Michael Yang OMERS Ventures
Canada’s preeminent pension-backed VC firm got stuck in a “constant state of change.” What’s next for OV 3.0?

At the beginning of 2023, BetaKit sat down with OMERS Ventures managing partner Damien Steel about his bold vision for the pension-backed venture firm, which included a fifth fund and a unified global investment team.

“If you’re pension-backed you gotta deliver returns, buddy.”

Michael Yang,
OMERS Ventures

At the end of the year, things look a lot different: Steel is now gone, CEO of portfolio company Deep Sky, and OMERS Ventures has pulled out of the European market. US-based managing partner Michael Yang is now running the show, and those investment commitments? Well, as Yang put it in his recent OV 3.0 post on LinkedIn, “2023 has been quiet.”

So what’s the plan for 2024?

On this episode, Yang walks us through OMERS’ investment focus, target stage, and three hubs in Toronto, SF, and New York. We also get into the changing market dynamics of a ‘quiet’ 2023, and what it means that Canada’s most prominent pension-backed VC firm is being led for the first time by an American.

It’s a lot of ground to cover, and Yang seemed to me to be hedging his bets a little, but give the guy a break—he’s only been running the show for a few months in one of the craziest periods in tech for some time (example: the several OpenAI references made on the podcast, which was recorded prior to last week’s brouhaha).

So what does OV 3.0 look like? Let’s dig in.

The BetaKit Podcast is sponsored by Cisco.

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys and Rob Kenedi. Produced by Kattie Laur, edited by Kattie Laur and Poncho Navarro. Sponsored by Cisco Secure Firewall and Ada (a full customer service team, powered by AI). Feature image courtesy OMERS Ventures.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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