We strongly believe that diverse teams will significantly outperform others in the long run. As stewards of capital and contributors to the tech ecosystem, it is in our best interest to champion efforts to build diverse teams in our portfolio companies and at our fund. We recognize that this is not a linear path, but a journey that we have committed to for the long term. We expect to make mistakes along the way and learn from them.
Most of all, it is our sincere hope that we can be part of a greater shift in the venture capital and technology industries recognizing the inequality with the status quo and striving to be better.
Reviewing More Companies Led by Under Represented Founders
- After we raised Fund III in 2017, we began tracking the number of companies led by women and people of colour in our investment funnel; As of September 2020, we have started tracking founders from under-represented groups
- As of Oct 2020, we are tracking our access to founders from under-represented groups, starting at top of funnel
- We have widened the scope of companies/sectors we invest in (as of Fund II, we were largely focused on mobile) which has improved top of funnel diversity
- Independently, the General Partners (GPs) in our fund have invested capital into funds led by GPs from under represented groups and spend time mentoring future GPs and angel investors
- We are actively building relationships with funds that have done better at backing under- represented founders in hopes that we can participate in their deal flow
- We are staying active in the community, and specifically hosting events (with a diverse set of speakers, guests, etc)
- We are putting our money where our mouth is, supporting organizations that are addressing the gaps in funding, support for under-represented groups. We have sponsored the following:
- Black Innovation Fellowship
- Female Funders Angel Mentorship
- Conference Board of Canada Research on Female-led Startups
- We co-founded and provided the initial funding for Prospect.fyi to democratize access to opportunities in Canada's tech ecosystem
Diversifying Our Team and Thinking
- We believe that in order to diversify the venture capital industry, we need to collectively start by increasing the number of under-represented groups that have exposure to the industry, either by working directly in the industry or receiving funding
- We believe that by diversifying our team and those involved in the investment decision process, more under-represented groups will be funded
- All team members have partaken in a Code of Conduct review and unconscious bias training
- We understand that unlearning is an iterative process, and continue to strive to improve over time
- We believe that diversifying our team also means diversifying our investment decision-making process
- Our investment committee includes the Partners and Associates at our fund
- This is largely a consensus driven between the various groups, and everyone is encouraged to share their opinion and voice concerns along the way
Promoting D&I in The Companies We Back
- We continue to take proactive measures in engaging companies around how they think about D&I in their teams pre-investment and post-investment.
- Our fund subsidizes companies to go through a talent function assessment, followed by an execution plan to design and execute a sustainable HR organization
- We actively promote the creation of a diverse management team and board of directors
- We negotiate priority access and discounts to software tools that help our teams measure the inclusivity of their hiring processes, track belonging in their org
- We are currently tracking and sharing metrics that we can follow across our fund's history. We will continue to be transparent around more comprehensive data (such as our funnel) as we build and improve on our tracking mechanisms.
Portfolio Companies with Women Founders
Portfolio Companies with People of Colour Founders
- Note: these both show companies with at least one woman founder, one founder that is a person of colour