Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought, if only I’d gotten in on the ground floor of Airbnb, Instagram, or any of the scads of breakthrough tech startups.
Now lower your hand and give yourself a break, because even if you’d had a pile of cash to invest, you still probably wouldn’t have had any way to get in before those companies went public.
Why is that? Because putting money into venture funds is almost exclusively available to institutional investors, or industry insiders with the right connections and a lot of cash to plunk down.
The new fund offers an opportunity for Canadian accredited investors to gain exposure to privately-held companies, a part of the real economy traditionally reserved for institutional investors.
The Access Fund will have exposure to Georgian’s curated set of privately-held North American software companies that focus on areas such as cybersecurity, social engagement, and industrial automation. Collectively, these companies have established market demand, attractive growth prospects and a history of working with Georgian built through years of prior investment.
“We are excited to offer a ladder into the walled garden of private markets. Investing in privately-held technology companies has long been among the most successful strategies to grow wealth, and could play an important role in appropriately diversified portfolios,” said Jeffrey Shell, Head of Alternative Investments, BMO Global Asset Management.
“The Access Fund provides an exclusive opportunity for accredited investors to gain exposure to established companies in areas essential to today’s economy and forming the backbone of where we’re headed. These companies benefit from Georgian’s impressive approach to achieve their true potential, leveraging bespoke technology tools, advanced research and development and customized guidance from experienced senior leadership.”
Earlier this year fintech upstart Wealthsimple launched a similar fund, the Wealthsimple Venture Fund I. In partnership with Washington, D.C.-based alternative asset firm Accolade Partners, the new fund focuses primarily on technology and healthcare companies.
Wealthsimple said contributions allocated to venture capital will invest in firms over their full lifecycle, including from the seed stage, or the stage where the idea for a new business or product idea is still in development.