What happened to OpenView and will Canada see zombie funds?

OpenView Venture Partners
The sudden demise of Boston’s stalwart SaaS fund might be a sign of things to come.

The tech world was shocked this week when The Information broke the news that Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners would no longer be making new investments after abruptly laying off most of its staff.

“When I heard the news, I was stunned … Absolutely, it is going to be happening in Canada.”

Matt Roberts, CMD Capital

The venture capital firm, which has backed companies such as Calendly and Expensify—as well as Canadian firms Voiceflow and Loopio, among others—and coined the term product-led growth, had just announced a $570-million USD seventh fund in March of this year. 

So why did this happen, and will this happen to other VC firms, including those in Canada?

I have no idea. But our guest this week is CMD Capital general partner Matt Roberts, and we get into all of it: OpenView’s poor fund six performance and recent partner departures, which may have triggered a key person clause in the firm’s LPAC agreement; and reports from Forbes that some version of the firm could resume new investments in the future.

As our guest put it on the pod, if the firm does return, “it won’t be OpenView as you and I know it.”

And as for the Canada question? Well, the tea leaves point to zombie funds rising once again, so strap yourself in and sound the emergency podcast alarm: it’s time to dig in. 

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Produced & edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Float.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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