Ramen Ventures announces angel fund is winding down

ramen ventures
The ex-Shopify leaders plan to “go back to building.”

Toronto-based angel fund Ramen Ventures, which was co-founded by a pair of former Shopify leaders five years ago, is winding down its operations.

In a Twitter thread posted today, Founding Partner Adam McNamara announced that he and fellow Founding Partner Joshua Tessier are winding down Ramen Ventures, a $10 million angel fund focused on investing in Toronto software startups at the pre-seed stage.

McNamara said that amid a shifting investment landscape populated by “a flood of new angels” and “world class” programs increasingly focused on backing Canadian founders, to continue with Ramen, they would “have to turn Ramen from a passion project to a truly world-class investing brand.” Instead, McNamara said he and Tessier plan to return to building. McNamara did not expand on what those “building” plans might look like.

Amid a shifting investment landscape populated by “a flood of new angels” and “world class” programs, McNamara and Tessier plan to “go back to building.”

“The world is full of investors who love the investing game: meeting founders and building their brand,” wrote McNamara in the Twitter thread. “We just love tech and betting on the future. So, we’re winding down and [going] back to building.”

After their startup, Select Start Studios, was acquired by Shopify in 2012, McNamara and Tessier worked at Shopify as VP of product and head of core product engineering, respectively, before Shopify underwent its IPO in 2015. The pair launched Ramen Ventures in 2016.

According to McNamara, he and Tessier started Ramen to pay their fortune forward and “help founders build moonshots that improve the lives of people and the planet”

The ex-Shopify leaders allocated $10 million—$5 million for initial investment, and $5 million for follow-on funding—to invest in 100 Toronto companies through Ramen Ventures.

The fund’s investments include Ada, ALT TEX, Eli Health, ChefHero (now Notch), and Phenomic AI.

But since Ramen Ventures’ founding, McNamara said “a lot has changed in that short time,” citing the support “world-class programs” like Y Combinator and IndieBio, and the fact that AngelList, Spearhead, and private secondaries have “created a flood of new angels.”

“A flood of capital means everything is getting funded,” he wrote. “To continue, we’d have to turn Ramen from a passion project to a truly world-class investing brand. In the spirit of “Hell yes or no”, @joshuatessier and I are saying no.”

Going forward, McNamara said the pair will continue to serve as an LP to “world-class funds and angels that align with our moonshots for people and planet mission,” support people they know and trust, and back founders they’ve already invested in, but will no longer take pitches or try to get into deals.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling and breaking Canadian tech and innovation stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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