Panache Ventures acquires Bay Area VC Commonwealth Ventures

Panache Ventures is announcing the acquisition of San Francisco-based Commonwealth Ventures. Along with that, the firm is unveiling its second fund, Panache Ventures Fund II.

Chris Neumann, Commonwealth’s founder, will join Panache as a west coast partner based in Vancouver/San Francisco.

“The addition of Chris and Commonwealth gives us the most credible path for Canadian startups to Silicon Valley investors.” said Panache Ventures’ managing partner, Patrick Lor.

Panache said it will integrate Commonwealth Ventures’ growth and fundraising programs across its portfolio of 90+ companies. Those programs focus on “bridging the gap between international startups and Silicon Valley investors.” The two firms previously invested together in Vancouver-based Dooly’s US$80 million series B, and Montreal-based Botpress’ $15 million earlier this year.

“I am thrilled to bring Commonwealth’s platform to the largest portfolio of early stage companies in Canada,” said Chris Neumann, Partner at Panache Ventures. “After nearly 20 years in the US, this was a golden opportunity to bring Silicon Valley
best practices and mindset to a high-potential group of Canadian founders. As a result, we’re expecting to deliver outsized returns to our investors.”

Panache Ventures Fund II

The new pre-seed fund will target more than 75 companies across Canada with initial investments of up to $1 million each.

Mike Cegelski, a founding partner at Panache Ventures, said the new Panache Ventures Fund II “represents the next step in our quest to build Canada’s next billion-dollar venture capital firm.”

“We are now the only pre-seed fund with partners in each of Canada’s four largest cities and the first fund with a platform dedicated to helping founders across Canada access investors in Silicon Valley,” said Cegelski.

As for Panache Ventures Fund II, The fund has added two senior hires to support the portfolio.

Business lawyer and entrepreneur Scott Loong joins the team as a Montreal-based partner. Loong previously founded, an insurance-focused startup that automated insurance renewal shopping. Prior to that, he was principal and entrepreneur in residence at one of Canada’s pioneering fintech venture funds. Loong has a history of advising regulators on  innovation issues, and is a mentor at Concordia’s District 3 and Creative Destruction Labs.

Roxanne Leduc, a former management consultant and marketing director with Bell and Car2Go, will lead community development initiatives out of the Montreal office.

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