Written by Silvio Memme

As we have continued to expand the team globally at OMERS Ventures, we’ve talked a lot about the value of bringing in investors from non-traditional backgrounds. In fact, our UK-based Managing Partner Jambu Palaniappan blogged about it earlier this year when we were hiring in the UK. And our global head of ventures, Damien Steel, also alluded to it when he wrote about the Partnership group.

I was told more times than I can count that venture capital really wasn’t ‘the place for me’ — but somehow, here I am reflecting on my first year as…

Written by Shawn Chance, Partner, OMERS Ventures

A few years ago, I made the jump from startup operator to venture capitalist. It’s been a wild, humbling and rewarding ride so far. I must confess that although the pandemic has taught me a lot and allowed me to meet with and invest in several great companies over the last 18 months, I’m very much looking forward to getting back face-to-face and adding the human element back into our business.

Having now crossed the 2 year mark, I’ve been reflecting on some of the perceptions I had about VCs when I was…

Written by Eugene Lee, Principal, OMERS Ventures

Something Harley Finkelstein, of Shopify, said a couple of weeks ago has really stuck with me “You can have the greatest product in the world, but if people don’t understand your why or what your product is being hired to do, you aren’t going to go far. The number one skill every entrepreneur needs to learn is how to be a strong storyteller.”

Instinctively we know that’s true. But the art of good storytelling is exactly that…an art. It takes patience and practice and it helps to study those who are best at…

Written by Damien Steel, Managing Partner, OMERS Ventures

A startup’s board of directors plays a critical role in steering the direction of a business, so being intentional about who sits on it makes sense. But that’s easier said than done — especially for first-time founders who might not have the experience to know what a high value board should look like. It’s a question we get asked regularly by founders.

To understand the challenges around board composition and identify the best strategies to address them, I sat down for a discussion with two of our partners in the US and…

Written by Shawn Chance, Partner, OMERS Ventures

It’s not a question of whether or not self-driving will reach mass adoption: it’s a question of when, and perhaps more interestingly for investors, how.

I like to think of self-driving as one of the rare and radical tectonic shifts that will inevitably shape the way many industries operate. In the modern era, it sits alongside important R&D-intensive sectors such as quantum computing, genome sequencing and blockchain.

If we look back at history, we can see that important technologies tend to evolve following a non-linear pattern:

It’s not a stretch to suggest that for many start-ups, building their teams as they grow is one of — if not the — top priority. And that priority doesn’t ever go away. In fact, the more successful you are, the more investment you raise, the more challenging talent management and building the right team becomes. It is a topic that all of our portfolio company founders have faced at one point or another in their own growth journey. …

Written by Michelle Killoran and Thom Ryan

With record-low interest rates and the great remote work domestic migration driving home refinancing and purchasing activity respectively, the United States mortgage market has heated up significantly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the $3.8T worth of mortgages originated over the past year has cemented 2020 as the largest year for mortgage origination volume ever in the United States. This surge in mortgage activity prompted us to consider the opportunities and challenges associated with this massive, but relatively understudied area of proptech. In speaking with homeowners, lenders and other industry experts, it is…

Written by Jambu Palaniappan, Managing Partner, OMERS Ventures, Europe

Deliverect announced today that it has raised a $65M growth round led by DST Global Partners and Redpoint Ventures. Their growth over the last year is reflective of the team’s incredible focus on acutely solving their customer’s pain points.

I have personally lived through these pain points in a previous role, so from the very first conversation I knew that the market was real and substantial. But just having a good idea isn’t enough. …

Written by Michael Yang, Managing Partner, OMERS Ventures

Today, Clearcover announced a $200M Series D financing led by Eldridge, with a host of new investors joining the syndicate. We doubled down on our investment in Clearcover as we couldn’t be happier with the company’s progress and momentum. After all, it was only 16 months ago that we led Clearcover’s prior $50M round of financing. Back then, Clearcover was a merry band of 100 or so employees, selling personal auto insurance in 4 states, having just stood up an owned & operated carrier business.

But within three months of our investment…

Written by Jennifer Janson, Director, Communications, OMERS Ventures

We’re in a pretty unique position at OV in that we get to speak to dozens of different businesses, serving different markets, in different regions, every week. Like the rest of the world, we have been reflecting on this last tumultuous year as we look back on lockdowns, geopolitical upheaval, and a world waking up to inequality.

Without question, the most interesting and unique insights have come from the companies we back. They gave us moments of pause, levity and hope. …

OMERS Ventures

OMERS Ventures is a multi-stage VC investor in growth-oriented, disruptive tech companies across North America and Europe.

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