San Francisco-based seed-stage investment firm Maple VC has secured $16.5 million USD for Fund II to support its plans to back more Canadian entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2016 by General Partner Andre Charoo, an entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist who was born and raised in Canada, Maple VC focuses on “exceptional Canadian founders, regardless of their location.”
Maple VC has fully deployed its first $1.2 million USD fund into nine companies, and the firm has already invested $9 million of Fund II’s capital. Charoo told BetaKit that Maple VC has made 18 investments through Fund II to date, 72 percent of the way towards its goal of backing 25 companies.
Maple VC’s portfolio of early-stage investments includes Canadian tech startups like Ritual, RenoRun, ResQ, Neo Financial, and AutoLeap.
The San Francisco-based fund has quietly made early-stage investments in a list of Canadian tech startups that includes Toronto-based social ordering app Ritual, Montréal construction materials delivery startup RenoRun, Toronto-based restaurant software company ResQ, Calgary FinTech firm Neo Financial, and Toronto-based auto repair software startup AutoLeap. Many of these companies have raised major funding rounds amid an explosion in venture capital activity (VC) in Canada over the past year.
Despite this increase in activity, Charoo believes “there is more that can be done to foster and support Canadian entrepreneurs—both at home and abroad—and to highlight Canada’s largest and most influential export: talent.”
Prior to launching Maple VC, Charoo served as an early employee at Uber, where he helped the company launch its Canadian operations. In addition to running Maple VC, he currently serves as a venture partner at Montréal-based VC firm Inovia Capital, and as co-chair of The C100, an organization focused on supporting and connecting Canadian tech leaders.
Through Maple VC, Charoo said his goal is to “invest in and be a strategic partner to promising Canadian entrepreneurs in the areas of international expansion, talent acquisition and attracting follow-on funding.” To date, Charoo said he has written 27 cheques totalling $12 million through the sector-agnostic fund.
The investors in Maple VC’s initial fund included the co-founders of Hired, Crosslink Capital, Hans Tung, and some early Uber employees.
Maple VC Fund II’s limited partners (LPs) include Insight Partners, Tiger Global, Foundry Group, Recast Capital, and Plexo Capital. Charoo’s firm plans to deploy the remaining capital from Fund II into seven more companies, with investments in the $500,000 to $1 million range.
For New York-based Insight Partners, the decision to back Maple VC’s second fund comes as the firm has ramped up its Canadian funding activity by backing companies like Toronto-based visitor management tech startup iLobby, Ottawa-based no-code platform Knak, Newfoundland’s CoLab Software, and Toronto document intelligence firm Zuva.
The same is true of Maple VC LP Tiger Global, which has poured money into Float, Wrapbook, Dooly, and ResQ, a Maple VC portfolio firm. Tiger Global’s hyper-aggressive tech investment approach is reflected in its Canadian investments, including, most recently, Klue’s $79.2 million CAD Series B round where Klue CEO Jason Smith told BetaKit that “Tiger wanted to take the whole round and invest as much as possible.”
UPDATE (12/01/21): This story was updated to note responses from Andre Charoo.
Feature image of Andre Charoo from The C100