Version One Ventures just launched the “Version One Opportunity Fund,” an $18 million ($25 million CAD) investment vehicle that lets the firm continue backing existing portfolio companies.
“While raising a new fund is never an achievement per se (returning the fund profitably is!), I am very excited about our new Opportunity Fund as it gives us the chance to have an even closer and longer relationship with some of our portfolio entrepreneurs and partnering with them to build category-leading companies,” Boris Wertz, partner at Version One Ventures, wrote in a blog post.
Wertz told GeekWire that Version One will make 5-to-7 investments out of the new fund. Wertz is based in Vancouver, B.C., and runs the firm along with Angela Tran Kingyens, who is based in Silicon Valley.
Version One typically writes checks between $500,000 to $750,000 for early-stage startups. It focuses on four geographies — Vancouver, B.C., Silicon Valley, Toronto/Waterloo, and Seattle — and announced a $45 million fund, its third, in 2018.
The firm has backed Seattle startups such as Outreach, Julep, Front Desk, Yapta, Dwellable, and Booster Fuels, which relocated to the Bay Area.
Wertz said Version One “missed out big” on investing more cash in Outreach, which is now valued at more than $1 billion. The Opportunity Fund will help address those situations.
Seattle-based firm Madrona Venture Group launched its own Opportunity Fund last year.
Wertz said Version One is telling portfolio startups to watch the coronavirus situation and prepare for Plan B in case of a prolonged economic downturn. The U.S. stock market saw its worst drop on Monday since 2008. He noted that companies with a high burn rate or those affected by coronavirus because they have physical presences might have to react much quicker than a profitable, software-only company.