Montréal-headquartered venture capital (VC) firm Brightspark Ventures has promoted Éléonore Jarry-Ferron to partner, as Pablo Srugo has been promoted to partner at Mistral.
Jarry-Ferron and Srugo have been promoted to partners after working as principals for a number of years at their respective firms.
Founded in 2014, Ottawa and Toronto-based Mistral invests in seed-stage companies. According to Crunchbase data, the VC firm has raised approximately $103 million to date, across three separate funds.
Mistral’s founder managing director, Code Cubitt, told BetaKit that Srugo has taken part in six deals through the VC firm; Symend, Edly, Visualping, Salus, Curbo, and PainWorth.
“The most important reason we promoted [Srugo], aside from his amazing work ethic and accomplishments … is that we are working hard to ensure our firm has a solid succession plan in place,” said Cubitt. Along with Cubitt, Mistral is also led by managing partner Bernie Zeisig who has been with the firm since 2012.
In a LinkedIn post, Srugo said that it was Keynote Search CEO James Baker that introduced him to Mistral. Around this time, Srugo had been a founder for six years, “trying to figure out what to build next.”
Prior to joining Mistral as an associate in 2019, Srugo co-founded fitness tracking software startup Gymtrack and online tutoring platform MyTutor.ca, which was acquired in 2014. Srugo was also an entrepreneur in residence at Invest Ottawa until 2018. Currently, Srugo is the founder and host of The Product Market Fit Show.
Jarry-Ferron first joined Brightspark over six years ago as a member of the firm’s investment team. According to Brightspark head of growth Emilie Jones, her promotion to partner has been a long time coming.
“We wanted to build a diverse team that is made up of industry veterans who have decades of experience being VCs in many economic cycles, working alongside exceptional next-generation VCs that bring a fresh outlook and perspective,” said Jones.
Brightspark, which was founded in 1999, has raised three funds in the course of its history. In 2020, Brightspark announced it had raised $60 million for its third fund, which Jones told BetaKit had a final close of $66.5 million in 2021, shy of its $75 million target.
Brightspark previously raised $60 million in 2006 for its second fund, and $65 million in 2000 for its debut fund, according to data from Crunchbase.
Part of the financing for Brightspark’s third fund came from the federal government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). In a recent interview with The Globe and Mail, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) CEO Kim Furlong hinted at the potential end of VCCI.
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More than just having recent promotions in common, both Jarry-Ferron and Srugo are among the co-founders of VCHOURS, an initiative launched in 2020 as a way to support Canadian startups during the COVID-19 pandemic. VCHOURS provides members in the Canadian startup community access to one-on-one calls with any VCs that have committed to the program.
Along with Jarry and Srugo, VCHOURS’ co-founders also include Laviva Mazhar, an investment associate at Luge Capital; Nicolas Jacques-Bouchard, principal at Panache Ventures; as well as Marko Jelavic, principal at Ferst Capital Partners.