O’Connor announced the move on Sept. 5 via LinkedIn. Kyle Scott, who has served as co-managing director alongside O’Connor since 2021, will continue to head the two funds. In the post, O’Connor described Scott as “the ideal person to lead our ongoing efforts.”
Going forward, O’Connor plans to continue to support Conexus Venture Capital and Emmertech as an advisor. He said in the post that he will “remain closely involved with Emmertech” in his next role, which he plans to announce in the coming weeks.
Conexus Venture Capital has played an important role in the growth of the tech ecosystem in both Saskatchewan and across the Prairies.
BetaKit has reached out to O’Connor for comment, but he did not respond by publication time.
“Sean has been integral in building the Saskatchewan tech ecosystem and has been a pillar of Western Canada venture investing for the past five years,” Scott told BetaKit. “He has had an undeniably positive impact and we expect he will continue to be an important part of the Canadian tech community.”
Under O’Connor’s leadership, per CVCA reports, Conexus Venture Capital has grown into one of the country’s most active early-stage VC funds and played an important role in the growth of the tech ecosystem in both Saskatchewan and the Prairies. With AgTech-focused Emmertech, its impact has been felt across Canada.
Five years ago, with the blessing of Conexus Credit Union, O’Connor began building Conexus Venture Capital. As O’Connor noted in his post, back in 2018, the Saskatchewan tech ecosystem faced challenges accessing venture capital (VC) funding.
“Our mission was clear: to establish a venture capital fund manager with a specific focus on catalyzing the Saskatchewan tech ecosystem,” O’Connor wrote in the post. “Looking back, I am immensely proud of the impact we’ve had on the SK tech ecosystem through CVC Fund #1 and the broader Canadian AgTech ecosystem through Emmertech.”
Conexus Venture Capital launched its first, sector-agnostic, $32-million CAD fund in 2019 to back Prairie-based tech startups. Two years later, Conexus Venture Capital launched its second fund, Emmertech, a now $60-million VC fund targeting Canadian AgTech startups.
Alongside a slew of other Saskatchewan-based investors and organizations, Conexus Venture Capital helped infuse the province’s tech sector with more venture funding. Through its first fund, Conexus Venture Capital wrote the first VC cheques to Saskatchewan firms like SalonScale, Rivercity Innovations, Cadence, Prairie Robotics, and Cubbi.
“Together, Innovation Sask, Cultivator, CoLabs, and Conexus Venture Capital played a pivotal role in levelling the playing field for our province’s startups, leading to a remarkable transformation—from $16 million of venture capital deployed in 2018, to a staggering $210 million in 2021,” wrote O’Connor in the post.
Feature image courtesy Conexus Venture Capital.