RIP Ventures West - Original Heavyweight VC Firm To Officially Wind DownWednesday, October 2, 2013
Five Corners Capital Inc. Appointed as New General Partner for Former Ventures West-Managed Funds
Vancouver, BC, October 2, 2013--(T-Net)--RIP Ventures West. A quick tweet by entrepreneur and VC Chris Arsenault told the story this morning.
"Ouch. Venture West closed down officially. Now GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Files for Creditor Protection http://buff.ly/19fghYH "
Ventures West was one of the first, if not the first, major tech venture capital firms in BC and has made major contributions to the BC technology industry and literally dozens of major BC tech companies, since its original founding in 1972-1973. The firm will officially wind down active operations in October.
Ventures West was founded by a number of now legendary VC investors including Michael Brown (now Chairman of the Board of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital), Haig Farris (now President at Fractal Capital Corp.), Jim Fletcher (now chairs the Boards of Vision Critical Communications Inc., Recombo Inc. and Tyze Personal Networks), and a number of other co-founders and partners over the years.
Ventures West made pioneering investments in a number of the major now anchor tech companies in BC including MacDonald Dettwiler, Ballard Power Systems, MDI Mobile Data International Inc (acquired by Motorola), Chancery Software (acquired by Pearson), Convedia Corp (Acquired by Radison), Epic Data, Octiga Bay (acquired by Cray), Statpower Technologies (acquired by Xantrex), Zeugma Systems (acquired by TellLabs), and literally dozens of other well known tech companies in BC (both those still operating as independant companies, and those acquired by other larger well known companies).
The good news is that most of the original founders and partners over the years are still active in investing and local tech circles - some of them in a major way (some noted above).
The track record of Ventures West speaks for itself (the attached is a partial list of investments made by the company over the years).
A short press release does not really do justice to the contributions made by this firm, its original founders, and the partners over 40 years, and we may well have more on this later.
A new venture capital firm (Five Corners Capital Inc. (5CC)) has been founded and will manage the remaining portfolio of Ventures West, but the company has indicated that it does not plan to make additional new investments at this time.
In related venture capital news, GrowthWorks Canadian Fund was Granted Creditor Protection this morning. GrowthWorks Canadian Fund was the original Working Ventures fund purchased by GrowthWorks in 2002.
Canadian Fund also announced the termination of the amended and restated management agreement dated as of July 15, 2006 between GrowthWorks WV Management Ltd. and Canadian Fund in accordance with its terms and the removal of David Levi as President and Chief Executive Officer, Clint Matthews as Chief Financial Officer and David Jennings as Secretary of Canadian Fund.
The press release from GrowthWorks Canadian Fund ("GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Granted Creditor Protection") can be read here.
Here is the official press release and main news below regarding the wind down of Ventures West:
Vancouver, BC, October 2, 2013--Five Corners Capital Inc. (5CC), a newly formed investment firm, announced today that is has been appointed as the General Partner to manage the remaining portfolio of biotechnology and technology investments of VW8LP and VW7LP, formerly managed by subsidiaries of Ventures West Capital Ltd. Ventures West Capital, one of Canada's oldest, largest and most established venture capital firms, will wind down active operations in October after being in business since 1973.
5CC was recently formed by Kenneth Galbraith, who has been a General Partner at Ventures West Capital since 2007 and Dr. Gary Bridger, who served as a Venture Partner for Ventures West Capital from 2010 to 2012. Galbraith and Bridger collectively have more than fifty years of operating and investing experience gained principally in the North American biotechnology sector.
The principals of 5CC have built a solid reputation, global networks and track record of successful investments within the biotechnology sector having previously been involved as executives, directors, advisors and investors in many biotechnology companies in North America, including QLT ( NASDAQ:QLTI), AnorMED ( acquired by Genzyme), Genzyme (acquired by Sanofi ) (NYSE:SNY), Oncogenex (NASDAQ:OGXI), Novadaq (NASDAQ:NVDQ), Angiotech (NASDAQ:ANPI), Tekmira (NASDAQ:TKMR) and Cardiome (NASDAQ:CRME).
"We are extremely pleased to be able to continue working proactively with world-class management teams and our co-investors to help the companies held in these funds achieve their potential success, and provide our fund holders with investment returns," said Kenneth Galbraith, Managing Director of 5CC.
"After years of development and investment, many of the remaining portfolio companies are close to achieving value-driving milestones within the next several years in a rapidly improving exit environment for private-stage companies," Galbraith added.
Among the remaining active portfolio investments of VW7LP and VW8LP are the following companies:
ABOUT FIVE CORNERS CAPITAL INC.
Five Corners Capital Inc. (5CC) is a newly formed investment management company with responsibility as the General Partner of investment partnerships, VW8LP and VW7LP, formerly managed by subsidiaries of Ventures West Capital Ltd. Managing Directors of 5CC, Mr. Kenneth Galbraith and Dr. Gary Bridger, collectively have more than 50 years of operating and investment experience gained primarily in the healthcare sector.
Mr. Galbraith began his career in 1987 with Canada's first biotechnology company, QLT, where he worked as an executive until departing in 2000 when QLT's market capitalization exceeded US$5 billion. He also previously served as Chairman and Acting CEO of AnorMED until its sale to Genzyme Corp in 2006 for $600 million in an all-cash acquisition and as a General Partner at Ventures West Capital since 2007.
Dr. Bridger received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (United Kingdom) and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Boston College. He co-founded AnorMED in 1996 and served as its Chief Scientific Officer at the time of its acquisition by Genzyme in 2006. Dr. Bridger served as a Venture Partner for Ventures West Capital from 2010 to 2012.
Additional information is available at www.fivecornerscapital.com.
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