Most people know me as an early-stage investor in now over 30 internet companies through w media ventures and more recently, as a co-founder of the Vancouver-based start-up accelerator GrowLab. Lesser known is the fact that I also work as a venture partner for Munich-based Acton Capital. So what does a venture partner actually do?
Venture Partners are not full partners of a VC firm (who can write cheques for investments) but are usually brought in by a partnership to find new investment opportunities and manage portfolio companies. This is exactly my role with Acton Capital – while the fund is primarily focused on European investments, my role is to help with North-American deal flow. At the beginning of the week we announced our first deal on this side of the pond, a $6 million Series B investment in cloud-based legal management platform Clio. I am very excited to join the board of the company and work with the two founders Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau to help build their company.
So as an entrepreneur, if you work with a venture partner of a VC firm, you need to understand his/her role. One the upside, venture partners are usually seasoned entrepreneurs and executives that have generally a deep understanding of your space and your company. At the same time, they are not the ones writing the cheques which might lead to complications in the investment process as they have to build internal support for the deal.
- Clio focuses on legal space that’s ‘ripe for disruption’ (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- Vancouver’s Clio secures US$6-million venture capital investment (business.financialpost.com)