In February, we released our 10-year net IRR: 66%, beating the S&P 500 almost tenfold.
We’re certainly not the first to beat the stock market, so I wondered: what do all the people “beating the stock market” have in common?
What is an accredited investor in Canada? We often get this question and it's time to demystify the rules regarding investing in startups and venture capital.
What's new with Brightspark this March? Well, quite a bit! Some of this month's highlights include portfolio company mentions on BNN, Bloomberg and Inc. as well as a new addition to our growing team.
In our last edition of Inside the Mind, we spoke to Mark about how pivoting stood the test of time to become one of the most important principles in startup businesses. As we journeyed through WinFax’s story, we discovered just how impactful a successful pivot can be. Today, we want to look a bit more into the practical side of pivoting and how market disruptions occur.
Pivot is a word that tends to be thrown around. You might have heard it in an infamous Friends episode, in basketball and, more recently, in the startup world... I sat down with Mark to get his understanding of the “startup pivot” and it brought us on a trip into the late 80s when WinFax - Delrina’s pet product - was only a concept in the making.
Today, we’re delighted to announce Brightspark’s 10 year performance of 66% net internal rate of return (IRR).
Because Brightspark as a VC firm has taken a few different forms in the last 10 years - two “traditional” funds and a new model of investment featuring single purpose funds - it took a little bit of elbow grease to calculate a net IRR we were confident was fair and transparent. Here’s a breakdown of our approach.
In many ways, building a business is like building a wild and exciting relationship. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and strangely, some adventures that take you in directions you never expected—in the startup community, we call those pivots.
However, the end goal is to find a partner you can stick with through the tough times and that’s where stability factors into the equation. Finding someone who builds with you over the years in a give and take relationship is a rare and difficult thing to achieve, but when you do, it’s worth it. For a VC, matching with the right CEO is like finding an ideal romantic partner in life.
Our first investment of the year is a memorable one for many reasons. Wysdom.AI (formerly known as CrowdCare), a Toronto-based company that has developed a solution for enterprise customer care using artificial intelligence, closed a round of Series A funding—from Mantella Ventures, ScaleUp Ventures, and Brightspark.
Venture capital returns are notoriously tricky to report and analyze. As I was working to prepare the Brightspark year-end reports, I looked back on our performance over the last 10 years (you can find a breakdown of our 66% IRR here) and thought it would make sense to first shed some light on the complexities of VC returns and what they can mean.
At Brightspark, we outline a set of “non-negotiable” criteria that guide our investments, and I believe it’s been a key factor to our success. The main criteria of selection will always be a team that we firmly “believe in”...
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