PEHub this morning reported that Real Ventures is approaching its “first close of its third $100 million partnership,” but a quick chat with the Montreal-based partners revealed that nothing is set in stone.
To be clear it is set to be the firm’s third fund, but not its “third $100 million” fund, as neither of the previous funds have been worth that much. While its safe to assume that Real Ventures is working towards a $100 million fund, the partners said even they don’t know at this point how much it will be. All we know for certain is what was reported back in December, that the fund should be “north of $50 million”.
The fund was launched six years ago and is one of the most active investors in seed-stage startups. In late 2013 the government of Canada recognized Real Ventures as a “high-performing fund” and awarded it $10 million through its Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP).
PEHub gave some insightful background into what was originally Real Ventures, or “Montreal Start Up”. That was the first fund aimed to be a “test” to see if there was enough depth in the Montreal community to provide the guidance that a seed fund would. “The timing of Montréal Start Up was perfect,” Stokes told PEHub. “Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator was just getting underway, and Real Ventures perceived that opportunities were also possible for new Canadian web enterprises to get up-and-running at a faster pace and at less cost.”
That fund would go on to make 15 investments, including a well-known one into Montreal’s Beyond the Rack, the company that recently raised $25 million in November, bringing its total to $70 million in total capital raised.
Montreal Start Up morphed into Real Ventures in 2010, with the $50 million second fund as well as the creation of the FounderFuel accelerator program. That fund has resulted in 55 portfolio startups and well over 100 founders over three years, as well as the potential for up to $3 million to those that graduate to Series A money.
Stokes has pointed several times, both through the PEhub article this morning and one this past summer when Extreme Venture Partners shuttered, that Real Ventures would be actively targeting more than just Quebec in its investments. Its safe to assume with this new fund, however much it ends up being, that startups in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and several other Canadian locals will be receiving interest from the Montreal firm.