Five years ago, a new odyssey began for me with an introduction to the team at iNovia Capital. After getting to know Shawn and Chris, I developed a tremendous respect for their entrepreneurial roots and the vision they had for iNovia. That vision was focused on building a relationship with the entrepreneur; based on an alignment of interests and investment terms that set the entire company up for success (rather than just the investors). More than anything, their passion for building technology companies was contagious. Putting aside my own operational ambitions, I quickly realized that building iNovia was in itself akin to startup, and jumped at the opportunity to join in that adventure.
The last 5 years have been an incredible journey, as we grasped that opportunity and took iNovia to new heights by partnering with an amazing collection of entrepreneurs, investors, and fellow iNovians. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a firm, and especially of the companies that we have backed. As many of them have also gone on to establish themselves as category leaders, I have found myself drawn to working closer with them on overcoming the obstacles that invariably reveal themselves along the way.
AppDirect is one of these companies that I have always admired and had a special connection with. It was the first investment I was involved with at iNovia. At that time, Nicolas and Daniel had only a few team members and no live customers – but one very bold vision. While the team and customer list is now much larger, their vision remains just as powerful. They have pioneered a new market, built enviable momentum amongst their peers, and now stand at the cusp of a tremendous opportunity. Once again, I am drawn to the chance of working with a group of people whom I respect and are working on a problem I am passionate about solving.
I have always been a builder at heart; now is the right time to go back building on the other side of the table.
I am excited to announce that I am joining AppDirect on a fulltime basis in order to lead Corporate Development efforts. I am honored to be joining an amazing team, and excited to contribute to their success. I will be based out of the San Francisco offices, and look forward to starting a new journey with the full support of my colleagues at iNovia.
More good news, my iNovia journey doesn’t end here. Over the last 5 years, I have had the fortune to be part of a fantastic team where the relationships are deep and valued. In that spirit, I am staying close to the firm and will continue my collaboration as an Investment Venture Partner. I will be remaining on the boards of the companies I represent on behalf of iNovia and will continue to collaborate on a number of interesting opportunities.
I take a tremendous amount of pride in the reputation iNovia has developed amongst our key stakeholders and the eco-system at large. We are honored and privileged to partner with so many great entrepreneurs, including the likes of Nicolas and Daniel at AppDirect. I am humbled by the performance they have helped us generate as a fund, and excited about the positions both AppDirect and iNovia are in moving forward.
Above photo: iNovia and AppDirect at Under the Radar in April 2011. (from left to right – Nicolas Desmarais, Paul Arnautoff, Daniel Saks, Kevin Swan and Chris Arsenault)