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”...
Brightspark's Managing Partner Mark was this week's guest on the Startup Canada podcast. Every week, Startup Canada speaks with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to give a glimpse into the future of business, and share insights on everything from social innovation to the future of work and investing.
Here is a compilation of the three most common questions I get, coupled with the answers honed by a career in entrepreneurship and a year working with the experienced Brightspark team.
In less than 12 months, we have grown our network to over 1,000 Canadian accredited investors! We credit this to our hard-working team, our track record, and the incredible quality of our investment opportunities.
Today, Hopper announced a financing of $82 million, with impressive milestones to back it up: They are the only company that can forecast future flight prices with 95% accuracy up to a year in advance of departure; Hopper collects five to eight billion airfare price quotes every day; has scaled to more than 10 Million users; and is now selling more than $1 million in flights per day!
As the first investors in Hopper, we thought we'd give you an exclusive look at why we believed the company had what it takes to make it a success.
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