StandUp Ventures: This VC Firm Is Helping Women-Led Startups Grow

By Amit Chowdhry ● June 6, 2019
  • Canada-based venture capital firm StandUp Ventures is focused on investing in women-led startups
  • Recently StandUp had a second close of its inaugural fund as it raised $18 million

StandUp Ventures is a Canada-based venture capital firm that is focused on investing in women-led startups. Recently, StandUp Ventures had a second close of its inaugural fund as it raised $18 million.

StandUp Ventures Fund I received additional commitments from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Export Development Canada, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund II, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Vancity according to PEHub. These new limited partners joined BDC Capital — which helped StandUp anchor its launch in 2017.

With this second close, the Fund I surpassed the original goal of $15 million and is now pushing for nearly $25 million. The plan is to have the fund invest in at least a dozen companies over the next 3-5 years.

StandUp Ventures is now investing in pre-seed and seed financings in women-led cleantech, IT, and life sciences companies in Canada.

To qualify for an investment from StandUp Ventures, startups must have at least one female in a C-level role with a significant ownership stake.

“Research has shown that investor bias accounts for a third of the gender disparity in high-growth startups, and venture capitalists invest in what they know,” said StandUp Ventures Managing Director Michelle McBane.

As StandUp focuses on female entrepreneurs, McBane pointed out that the venture firm is “helping to change the narrative and grow the talent pipeline of women in the technology sector.”

Fund I has invested in construction software company Bridgit (Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake), joint assessment solutions company Emovi (Michelle Laflamme), and digital product sampling company Sampler (Marie Chevrier). And StandUp also invested in Coconut Software, Nudge Rewards, and tealbook.

StandUp Ventures is affiliated with the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (linked to the Toronto-based innovation hub called MaRS Discovery District).

StandUp Ventures’ team also includes Managing Director Barry Gekiere and Investment Manager Snita Balsara.

Featured image: Michelle McBane