in Startups

VenturesWest shuttering offices, several people gone

After a day of posting great news from three startups, I hate to end things on a sad note.

The Canadian VC community is getting hit hard again, this time it looks like VenturesWest is on its heels. The Ottawa office has been shuttered several key folks have left.

Departures appear to include Chris Laird, David Mcintyre, Maha Katabi as well as Robin Axon, who has been a supporter of the startup community here in Toronto.

There is no official word yet as to what is going on and whether this is a reshuffling or whether the fund is being wound down. There have been persistent rumors lately indicating the latter. We will try to get some word tomorrow when someone is picking up the phone.

The Canadian VC industry in general seems to be paying the price for poor returns in the last few years with more and more of the talk on the street focusing on funds being unable to raise new rounds from LPs and the mood was decidedly bleak at the recent CVCA National Convention. Is this the beginning of a trend, or just a bad blip in the Canadian VC story?

23 Comments

  1. Really interested to find out more on this one. Why? What does this mean? Are VW investments performing worse than other VC’s causing them unique problems (highly doubt it). More questions than answers from this one.

  2. Really interested to find out more on this one. Why? What does this mean? Are VW investments performing worse than other VC’s causing them unique problems (highly doubt it). More questions than answers from this one.

  3. David McIntyre is a great guy as well… he left VW a while ago but had a really good outlook and was very supportive on us founders.

  4. David McIntyre is a great guy as well… he left VW a while ago but had a really good outlook and was very supportive on us founders.

  5. They also deleted Paul Kedrosky’s name from their “team” page.

  6. They also deleted Paul Kedrosky’s name from their “team” page.

  7. Well, the chickens have come home to roost. This is what you get when you have a VC industry that has no idea what the word “venture” means, doesn’t embrace risk and innovation and demands terms that throttle entrepreneurs. Let’s face it, Canada doesn’t have a venture capital industry. We should all be ashamed but not surprised by this outcome. Next up: JL Albright? There would be many applause and high fives in the tech sector if Rick Segal and his smug mug was forced to post his CV on Monster.ca. They don’t call him Rick the Prick for nothin’ you know.

  8. Well, the chickens have come home to roost. This is what you get when you have a VC industry that has no idea what the word “venture” means, doesn’t embrace risk and innovation and demands terms that throttle entrepreneurs. Let’s face it, Canada doesn’t have a venture capital industry. We should all be ashamed but not surprised by this outcome. Next up: JL Albright? There would be many applause and high fives in the tech sector if Rick Segal and his smug mug was forced to post his CV on Monster.ca. They don’t call him Rick the Prick for nothin’ you know.

  9. I work in the VC industry in the USA and know the team at Ventures West. It is well known that VW has had their share of problems, like many funds in the USA and Canada. However, it is clear to myself and likely all LPs that VW is making a huge mistake. The senior partners want to continue collecting their lucrative management fee ( 2% of fund) and have released the junior partners. There is no way any LP is going to back the senior team that approved the deals in the last several portfolios; unfortunately, this is the end of VW. The senior partners will collect as much money as possible until the fund dies. Personally, I believe the LPs are correct and market forces need to allocate funding to teams that have a track record or the potential to achieve superior returns. I have talked with several LPs and I am paraphrasing their reaction. I’m afraid that several, if not most of the senior partners should have looked at their personal track record and retired long ago. This would have given the new partners a chance to prove themselves and save the fund. Too late now, greed is a destructive force. The same dynamic occurs in USA funds over and over again. The sad part is that Canada has very few VC funds and every loss cuts deeply.

  10. I work in the VC industry in the USA and know the team at Ventures West. It is well known that VW has had their share of problems, like many funds in the USA and Canada. However, it is clear to myself and likely all LPs that VW is making a huge mistake. The senior partners want to continue collecting their lucrative management fee ( 2% of fund) and have released the junior partners. There is no way any LP is going to back the senior team that approved the deals in the last several portfolios; unfortunately, this is the end of VW. The senior partners will collect as much money as possible until the fund dies. Personally, I believe the LPs are correct and market forces need to allocate funding to teams that have a track record or the potential to achieve superior returns. I have talked with several LPs and I am paraphrasing their reaction. I’m afraid that several, if not most of the senior partners should have looked at their personal track record and retired long ago. This would have given the new partners a chance to prove themselves and save the fund. Too late now, greed is a destructive force. The same dynamic occurs in USA funds over and over again. The sad part is that Canada has very few VC funds and every loss cuts deeply.

  11. After a day of posting great news from three startups, I hate to end things on a sad note. The Canadian VC community is getting hit hard again, this time it looks like VenturesWest is on its heels.

  12. After a day of posting great news from three startups, I hate to end things on a sad note. The Canadian VC community is getting hit hard again, this time it looks like VenturesWest is on its heels.

  13. When the time you have that should be spent doing things that build your company, or put food on your table, etc, are instead spent pondering, wondering, etc,. there is a danger that you won't create things., which is my point. It is rewarding to create. Even the painter has to put his/her brush to the canvas at some point. Or usually does at least.

    I expect everyone to keep close guard of a lot of leisure time and to use it for all sorts of things, like pondering how things might work.

Comments are closed.