Brightspark has closed a $6 million financing round.
The Toronto-based venture capital firm saw the round led by another local investor, Kensington Capital Partners, and will use the new money to double its team across Canada. The financing will also help Brightspark accelerate its investment pace from the equivalent of a $100 million fund to $120 million, with an estimated $20 to $30 million invested annually.
Brightspark is a firm that looks to democratize early-stage Canadian technology investments through a new model that enables any kind of accredited investor or family office in the country to easily participate in venture capital rounds. Unlike larger venture capitals, Brightspark does not manage an institutional fund, but rather creates a new fund unique to each new investment. Prior to the new model, Brightspark invested in startups like Radian6, Jewlr and Hopper.
“Brightspark was the first to establish a model that opens VC investment to individuals in Canada, allowing us to set the standard for a new approach to venture investing in this market,” said Mark Skapinker, managing partner at Brightspark.
“With this injection of capital into our innovative model, we can focus on growing what is now one of the country’s largest and most diverse VC investment teams. We can also continue to find and invest in the best early-stage tech company opportunities for our investor network,” added Skapinker.
The team at Brightspark is able to use its venture capital experience to identify portfolio companies and research them before creating a new fund. After an investment, Brightspark will take a seat on the Board and work with the founders, imparting their knowledge to help the company scale. This new model has opened the door to a previously inaccessible asset class for accredited investors, allowing them to finance companies they see as high-growth without opening up their own venture fund.
“One of the most exciting things about our model is that we are bringing new investors to the table in Canada. Models like ours are opening up venture capital opportunities to many new accredited investors, and we are proud to be part of this growth,” said Sophie Forest, managing partner at Brightspark. Earlier this year Forest won a NACO award for Canadian Angel of the Year.
“All of our investments are net new money to Canada’s tech industry,” she added.
More traditional firms—like Kensington, that led this financing round for Brightspark—have taken notice, seeing a high demand for individual investors. The firm’s investment will allow this new model to reach more investors than ever before.
Brightspark also recently launched Brightspark Reserve, an automated way for investors to finance multiple tech companies. It is a tool built to champion diversification through many investors while also making it easy for them to participate in any kind of Brightspark venture deal.