500 Startups has been one of the most prolific investment firms over the past few years. Specifically, the group has been way ahead of the curve when it comes to international startup investing. 500 Startups has made investments in well over 1500 startups, from more than 50 different countries. What’s more, the group operates more than 13 different microfunds that have either a geographic or sector vertical focus. Last Thursday, 500 Startups announced the formation of a new geographic microfund: 500 Canada. The group is no stranger to the country, having already made 37 investments within Canada.
As the name of the fund implies, 500 Canada will focus on investments within the country. The $30M regional fund will “focus investments on capital-efficient businesses that can achieve profitability with less than $1M in total investment. The fund will be truly national in scope, with partners or associates in each major innovation centre, including Vancouver, Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Fredericton,” and will look to make somewhere around 150 investments over the next few years.1
500 Startups has already laid out a timeline for the fund. Ultimately, the goal of the fund, “will be helping these companies internationalize faster and get access to venture capital and mentorship from Silicon Valley.”2 To get to this point, 500 Canada will launch a Distro Dojo program this June. This program, already launched in several different countries, is an “investment and training program for post-seed companies ready to level up with intensive focus on growth marketing and fundraising.”3 Acceptance into the program also comes with an investment of $100-250,000 with $50,000 being allocated as a program fee.
500 Canada is just the latest in a long line of international bets from the Silicon Valley firm. For more info, check out 500.co and follow @500Canada.