The entrepreneurs and investors behind Launch Academy, Victory Square Labs and PM Search Partners have announced the launch of a new $30 million venture fund, Victory Square Ventures, which will invest in technology companies and entrepreneurs in the sports, health, and entertainment spaces. They made the announcement this evening at the Traction Conference.
Victory Square Ventures is a fund with engaged and participatory investors, created for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. The partners behind the fund are Ray Walia, the founder of Launch Academy and Managing Director of the fund, Shafin Diamond Tejani, the founder of Victory Square Labs, and Manny Padda, founder of PM Search Partners. Combined, they have participated in the launch of 40 start-ups in 21 countries, generating over $100 million in revenue.
The decision to collaborate developed organically out of an understanding of the complementary strengths, networks, and experiences each of their individual partners and organizations presented. Together, the partners intend to offer international, entrepreneurial and operational experience, a philosophy of active mentorship, and a background in executive search and management recruitment as part of a fund that can actively accelerate the growth of companies in the sports, health, and entertainment domains.
The partners have already had a tremendous amount of recognition and impact on entrepreneurship in Canada and abroad. They created the fund so that entrepreneurs could have access to the combined resources and competencies that each of the partners brings.
‘We understand how difficult it is to build a great company,” Padda said. “This is why we provide more than just capital. We’re not passive, we are active investors. We get in there and help these companies from incubating, to accelerating, to recruiting the right talent.”
One of the goals of the fund is to accelerate the trajectory of growth and scale by removing the entrepreneurs’ time and energy sinks. Typically, an entrepreneur has to wear numerous hats by necessity – HR, operations, finance, and marketing. Through the partners’ experience, relationships established through their various organizations, and active mentorship, entrepreneurs can expect guidance and a measure of relief with respect to these responsibilities, allowing them to devote the maximum amount of their time possible to value-creating activities.
This guidance and navigation is critical to entrepreneurs at this stage. Walia said, “It’s never been easier to build a product, but it’s never been harder to build a business. You have a lot of people who know how to build a product, but they’re getting out there and they don’t know how to run a business, in terms of proper governance, board structure and employment standards. We help build the business around the product ideas.”
Tejani elaborated on their role: “We’re value-add VCs. We’re not just the cheque. We’re coming in and helping with mentorship, guidance, resources, but also our personal business experiences, our rolodex, our connections, and then also the international side. We’re running Traction Conference. The whole concept around Traction Conference is you need to think big. You need to scale and grow your customer base, and that’s what we have access to.”
The fund will be looking to invest in companies worldwide that have demonstrated viability. The companies can be in web, mobile, wearables, or SAAS. Padda said, “They have to have some traction on what they’re building out and then we can come in and assist in moving the organization forward.”
“We have a combination of talent, resources and expertise that is now 100% accessible to the companies that we invest in,” said Tejani. “We’re entrepreneurs at heart. We want to build companies.”
You can follow Victory Square Ventures on Twitter with the handle @VictorySquareVC.