Dapper Labs co-founders and Clearco’s Michele Romanow among first LPs in LOI Venture Fund I
Pre-seed fund announces close of half of Fund I and a slate of high-profile advisors and partners.
LOI Venture, the $20 million pre-seed fund launched this past December by Ryan Holmes and Manny Padda, has announced the first close of its fund, LOI Venture Fund I.
The fund’s slate of limited partners (investors), which have so far committed about half of the fund total, includes a who’s who of Canadian tech industry royalty. They include Dapper Labs co-founders Roham and Sam Gharegozlou, Tiny’s Andrew Wilkinson and Clearco founder Michele Romanow. The fund has also attracted accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders like SmartSweets founder Tara Bosch, Vega founder Charles Chang, Hollyburn’s Mark Sander, Trainerize’s Sharad Mohan, Pioneer Square Labs’ Geoff Entress and Bosa Properties’ Darryl Bosa, among others.
The fund’s focus will be on investing in founders under 30, a demographic that Holmes has previously said lacks access to capital. A high percentage of companies funded through LOI Venture will be graduates of the League of Innovators (LOI) program, which was founded by Holmes, and which, according to the organization, has helped more than 250 graduate companies amass nearly $1 billion in combined value.
“These are the future leaders”
While the entrepreneurs LOI Venture will be investing in may be especially young, Padda, the fund’s managing director, says evidence shows they’re worth backing. “It’s an interesting concept, which has generated strong returns already,” Padda explained in an interview with Vancouver Tech Journal. “'It's not a concept of, ‘Oh, this is a charity venture capital firm.’ No, we're investing in a thesis that we think makes sense. We think these are the future leaders that are growing. We’ve seen it from the past LOI companies that have gone through the Boost program, which have experienced almost a billion dollars in enterprise valuation, an IRR most VC firms would be envious of or dream of.” (IRR, or internal rate of return, is a metric used to estimate profitability of investments.)
LOI Venture also shared details on its new venture advisors and partners. League of Innovators alumni Swish Goswami and Daniel Dubois will be joining the fund as venture advisors, supporting the fund by doing company analysis, selection and advising, among other things. The four venture partners include Quietly’s executive chairman Dario Meli, League of Innovators’ executive director Melissa Allen, Future Capital’s Marlon Thompson and Filament Health’s Tom Kineshanko. Padda said their support would be more significant and include tapping into their networks for resources.
First cheque of the first fund
As fast as LOI Venture is receiving money, it’s investing it. Within 48 hours of announcing the fund, it had already allocated its first cheque to Canadian startup WFHomie in a USD $1.5M round.
LOI Venture’s cheque sizes typically range from $100,000 to $300,000, with the potential for special purpose vehicles to extend investment cheques into the $1 million range.
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