Ripple Ventures Closes $10 Million for Early-Stage Fund I

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Ripple Ventures, a new early-stage fund based in Toronto, has launched with $10 million closed.

Managed by Matt Cohen and Michael Garbe, Fund I has LPs based in the US and Canada, including Lorne Gertner, Devon Wright, and Michael Diamond. In the past, Cohen has invested in companies like Turnstyle, which was acquired by Yelp for $20 million USD last year, and Tokyo Smoke, which was acquired by Canopy for $250 million over the summer.

“Matt Cohen was the first person to support me and the team at Turnstyle back in 2012 when we started up the company,” said Turnstyle co-founder Wright, who is currently a GM at Yelp. “He can pick out the character of a winning team and push them to achieve more than they thought possible. Matt is exactly what early-stage companies need to get to the next stage. I am excited to be apart of the inaugural Ripple Ventures fund, and look forward to helping other entrepreneurs achieve success and fulfilment in building their business.”

Fund I’s first investments include virtual healthcare platform OnCall Health, and Techstars alumni Tread Technologies.

Preferring to lead deals, average cheque sizes from Ripple Ventures sit at $250,000 and $500,000, with a portion allocated to invest in follow-on rounds. Fund I’s first investments include virtual healthcare platform OnCall Health, and Techstars alumni Tread Technologies.

In addition to the fund, Ripple Ventures will launch a Toronto-based incubator space on October 1 called the Tank. The goal is to allow founders to work with other like-minded entrepreneurs in the same stage.

“Ripple Ventures was launched this year with the belief that early-stage investments should be inclusive of ancillary services, beyond a typical capital injection, which is why we are taking an ‘operator first, investor second’ approach to our fund and opening an incubator for our portfolio companies to work from,” said Cohen, founder and managing partner at Ripple Ventures.

Entrepreneurs-in-residence supporting the Tank include TWG director of product Oz Nazilli; former Achievers director of finance and FirstCFO principal Mark Halpren; and former Street Contxt chief of staff Elisha Gray. OMX founder Nicole Verkindt and Roche Molecular Systems research director Nancy Shoenbrunner are among its advisors.

Moving forward, the fund will focus on early-stage companies in Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, and Boston. Preferred verticals include software companies in healthcare and enterprise, as well as companies in blockchain, industrial services, media, and real estate.