Making Moves

by on July 24, 2012

One of the worst kept secrets in the start-up world has been the emergence of Southern Ontario as a hotbed of entrepreneurial excellence. Our investments in Chango, Fixmo, Well.ca, Peraso, Vidyard and Top Hat Monocle are a testament to this trend, not to say the least of other standout performers such as Freshbooks, Achievers, Syncapse, Kik, Wattpad, Xtreme Labs, Kontagent, Wave Accounting, Polar Mobile, Enflick, mDialog, Pair, TeamBuy, 500px, Piccsy, Guardly, Attachments.me, TribeHR, Massive Damage, ScribbleLive, Uken Games, SweetTooth Rewards, Upverter, etc. These are all world class companies with the talent, vision and desire to match. It is no coincidence that they have attracted investment dollars from all over the globe, and even less of a coincidence that their growth has served as a catalyst for an expanded iNovia Capital presence in the region.

I’m happy to announce that I will be channelling much of my own energies into establishing this presence as a Principal at iNovia, operating primarily out of Toronto/Waterloo. It is a homecoming of sorts for me, having been born and raised in Kitchener, before moving on to the University of Waterloo and professional and post-graduate life in Toronto and London. That being said, I don’t anticipate spending much time reminiscing on the past, but rather aim to stay focused on the future. On that front, I’m looking forward to building deeper ties within the local ecosystems, and carrying forth in a manner that reflects the fibre of our firm. Our core values have always revolved around a passion for disruption and a willingness to sacrifice for success. I’d like to thank Chris, John, Shawn, Geoff and Francois for placing their faith in me to keep those values front and centre as we move into the future. I’m looking forward to the new role and responsibility, and doing my best to repay that faith through my actions rather than just these words.

At iNovia, we’ve always believed that actions do speak louder than words. In that regard, it’s been a busy few years for our team (and one hell of a steep learning curve for me). Since I joined iNovia in 2010, we’ve made 25 new investments (including half that were pre-revenue) across 10 cities. Over that time, our team has helped generate several meaningful exits, as well as fought some extremely tough struggles on the road to failure. There have been more highs than lows, but we’ve continued to work hard and battle for every last cent on behalf of our entrepreneurs and investors. In turn, they have supported us, with the $110M first close of iNovia Fund III bringing our total capital under management to almost $275M. It’s been a grind at times, but it’s a price that we’re more than willing to pay. Our current portfolio will generate at least $500M in aggregate revenues this year, with over a dozen companies now generating $10M+ in annual revenues. We have never been ones to stand on the sidelines and shout criticism, nor used our successes as a platform to denigrate others. There’s just simply too much that remains to be done as we strive to meet our ever expanding aspirations. It’s about inspiration and perspiration – if you’re lacking in either, you are not welcome at iNovia. Otherwise, please drop me a line! – karam@inovia.vc