Brightspark Insider | December 2016
Welcome to our December Newsletter!
It has been a really good year for Brightspark and we are thrilled with the progress we have made in our growth.
During the last quarter, we completed two investments. We were thrilled by our investors’ interest and are very proud that both financings were over-subscribed!
Some recent fundings
Nudge Rewards successfully raised a Seed round led by Brightspark Ventures. Over 50 individual investors from the Brightspark network participated in this over-subscribed round. Nudge Rewards will use this capital to continue their ambitious growth plans.
Hubba secured a significant investment from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners - the same group that invested in Uber, Facebook, Pinterest and Spotify - along with additional participation from existing investors Brightspark Ventures, Real Ventures, and the Kensington Venture Fund. This marks the groups very first investment in a Canadian tech company! Many existing LPs in Brightspark’s Hubba Fund along with some new Brightspark Hubba Fund investors invested in this follow-up round and this Brightspark Hubba financing was over-subscribed! Hubba will use this capital to accelerate their growth and secure their place as a leader in their market.
An important milestone
As you know, we launched our new model - opening up Venture Capital to individual investors in Canada - over the last two years. We took a lesson from our startups and pivoted our business model to lead a new movement in the investment industry. We entered 2016 with a couple of hundred members in our network and are thrilled to have celebrated a meaningful milestone of over 1,000 members. We now have the critical mass of interested Accredited Investors in Canada to scale up and invest in even more growth opportunities.
A positive outlook
Overall, the public markets seem less exciting in technology compared to the private markets. When we see massive IPOs like Snapchat in the tens of billions, we are convinced that the value growth is in the private markets, and especially at earlier stages. Our model of opening Venture Capital investments to individual investors is one of the only reliable avenues for investors to access these private marketplaces.
The tech industry has seen some interesting changes worldwide, but most interestingly the Canadian industry is finally maturing into a more complete and meaningful infrastructure of technology. For us, this means that we are seeing many interesting businesses looking for our kind of funding – we continue to see hundreds of potential companies in Canada; and we dig deep into 10s and invest in a selected few. At any given time, we have quite a few companies in the diligence phase, and we are close to investing in some that we think you will find very interesting – stay tuned!
In January, we will summarize our year and let you know about some of the exciting plans we have for 2017. We remain enthused by the market trends for our investors: We are seeing many great early Series A investment opportunities and continue to see the “best deals” in Canada. We believe that many individual accredited investors are looking for our model of open Venture Capital which gives individual investors access to professionally managed VC opportunities; and we think the opportunity is ready for new and growing models.
We wish you all a happy Holiday season, and a great 2017!
- Hubba secures a significant investment from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners
- Hopper wins Deloitte Canada Fast 50 - Companies to Watch Award
- nGUVU partners with IVADO to advance their machine learning application
- Hopper shines in The Wall Street Journal as they put airfare prediction apps to the test
- gShift CEO Krista LaRivière named Arch Brown Entrepreneur of the Year
- Hubba CEO Ben Zifkin featured in Globe and Mail talking about raising venture capital
- nGUVU launches a series of online webinars for small businesses
Mobile VS Desktop - Usage & Predictions
We've said it many times before - the world is going mobile.
A recent article published in DigiDay shows 5 graphs that truly demonstrate how habits and behaviours are changing in favor of mobile VS desktop internet usage. By 2018, it is predicted that people will spend 3 hours and 20 minutes using the net on their phone, compared to just 40 minutes on the computer!
In Canada, we are very excited by the tech companies we see that are all capitalizing on the massive growth of mobile, and we think that there is still huge amount of value to be created.
Thank you for funding Canada's best early-stage companies with us, and have a happy Holidays!