My Journey to Partner at Inovia

Growing up in Quebec and spending many summers on the West Coast as a kid, I’ve always been drawn towards new ideas. What wasn’t obvious to me at the time is how much Canadian culture has shaped that mindset — from Denis Villeneuve’s world of dreams and Leonard Cohen’s poetry to Drake, fresh bagels and coureur des bois. It’s a culture that embraces new things, new ideas.

Playing outside, exploring the great outdoors is another big part of my story. Climbing out of a canyon with a canoe on your back or committing to surf a set of waves that looked a lot smaller from the shore has a funny way of redefining your perception of risk. On the flip side, the rewards of pushing yourself feel almost infinite. Our two and half year old doesn’t know this yet but I just can’t wait to bring her along.

These experiences have inspired me in ways that are hard to put into words. In tech, I’ve found a tribe of entrepreneurs that share this same obsession for building something new while also finding their own ways to shape the future, often outside the beaten path. Inovia is no exception. We are a community of entrepreneurs defined by its people. Relationships are at the center of everything we do to build our ecosystem — from the entrepreneurs we back to the people we bring on the team and the LPs we work with.

Joining the firm’s partnership at the beginning of the year was a great opportunity to reflect on what our team has accomplished so far. Since I came on board six years ago, we’ve launched our growth strategy to become a multi-stage investor anchored in Canada and designed our firm to be able to support entrepreneurs from Seed to IPO and beyond. We’ve more than 10x our AUM to nearly $2B, expanded to the Bay Area and London/UK to broaden our reach, and assembled an amazing team of 39 people that I keep learning from every day.

As part of my journey at Inovia, I’ve had the chance to work closely with 17 of our companies helping them raise $1.7B across 25 transactions and driving great exits. I focus primarily on enterprise software companies at the Series B/C stage and invest out of our growth funds. Over the years, I’ve become fascinated by commerce enablement, specifically how software and data enable systems of records to expand into much broader platforms.

When we doubled down on Lightspeed before its IPO in 2018, the company had established itself as the operating system for retailers and restaurants. It had won the trust of customers as their system of record, which created compelling opportunities to expand by layering on payments, analytics and its own vendor marketplace ultimately reinforcing its stickiness and ability to grow with the success of its customers. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with AlayaCare, AppDirect, Top Hat, WorkJam, WorkFusion, Bench, Rewind and many other category leading enterprise software companies in our portfolio, helping them execute on similar growth strategies.

Looking ahead, it still feels like day one. Markets are larger than anyone expected and the way to dominate them comes in many new forms. The lines between SaaS and marketplace business models are blurring and are often combined to unlock new paths to category leadership. Local talent pools are opening up to global competition, which is forcing a default global mindset from the start. M&A is becoming more mainstream to accelerate a strong organic core. It’s also never been a better time for entrepreneurs to raise capital and deploy it against large market opportunities. The next decade will be an amazing time to build.