Victoria-based tech holding company Tiny Capital has invested and acquired a majority stake in government software startup Button. The companies did not disclose the size of Tiny’s investment in Button.
“We really aligned with Tiny on growth, creating impact, and building the business for the long term.”
Following the investment, which Button confirmed to BetaKit was not part of a larger equity round, Tiny now holds a 60 percent stake in the company. The deal closed in May, with Button noting to BetaKit it was adjusting to a new reality under the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for delaying the announcement.
Under the terms of the deal, Tiny’s managing partner Chris Sparling, chairman Andrew Wilkinson, and chief financial officer Carla Matheson have joined Button’s board of directors. Button’s other board members have not been disclosed. Button’s team will stay in place and Button will continue to run as an independent business.
“From day one, we really aligned with Tiny on growth, creating impact, and building the business for the long term,” said Alec Wenzowski, co-founder of Button. “They are community-oriented, put a special focus on growing developer communities, and will leave us to operate independently with our unique culture. The investment gives Button the stability and capital of a much larger company.”
Founded by Hamza Javed and Wenzowski, Button is a Victoria-based software startup that partners with governments on open-source projects. The company is made up of developers, designers, scientists, and technologists.
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One of Button’s current projects includes a partnership with the government of British Columbia’s CleanBC program. The project saw Button produce software to track whether industrial operations were meeting greenhouse gas emissions benchmarks.
“Alec and Hamza have built an incredible team focused on creating impact within the government ecosystem and we want to give them some extra rocket fuel,” said Wilkinson. “We want to help boost their ability to take on more audacious projects and build a local firm that is capable of tackling what has previously been outsourced to US corporations.”
Tiny Capital starts, buys, and invests in Internet-based businesses. Tiny has either founded or acquired over 25 tech companies, including MetaLab and Dribbble, in addition to open-source projects like Meteor. Tiny typically looks for companies that have three to five years of operating history and a minimum annual profit of $500,000 and a maximum annual profit of $15 million.
During the pandemic, Tiny Capital has made available zero-interest loans from $500 to $2,500 for businesses in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries.
Image source Button.