Passion led us here.
BCF Ventures, a spin-off of BCF Business Law Firm, is a pioneer in the Canadian investment scene by being one of very first Super Angel Funds. Launched on June 1st 2018, BCF Business Law’s partners pooled their resources to establish BCF Ventures. The fund benefits from the expertise, resources and insights from Panache Ventures, and invest jointly with other successful funds across North America and Europe. BCF Ventures invests at the pre-seed stage and seed stage of technology-based startups, mostly in Canada, the United States and opportunistically in Europe.
02 Investment Criteria
We have a passion for supporting emerging technologies led by talented teams. We believe in the « fit ». In the interest of both parties, we are transparent on what we want and let you decide if there is a likely match. If our investment focus doesn’t blend with your business model or capital strategy, that means we are simply not meant for each other.
We are passionate about disruptive technologies and the business opportunities that these create. We are looking for innovation pioneers challenging the status quo in traditional sectors, or dramatically improving legacy processes. The companies we fund must have some type of key science or technological innovation leading to the establishment of intellectual property rights.
We believe in the future of B2B Cloud & SaaS Enterprise startups leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics and Security. While we invest across industries, we have a special attention to Finance, Healthcare & Education, Logistics & Supply Chain, Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation, and Aerospace.
We invest primarily in Canadian and US companies. We occasionally invest in companies based in Europe, but those companies must meet an even higher bar.
We make almost all of our investments at valuations between $1M - $3M. Traction, growth curve, and unit economics are the most important factors we use to determine specific valuations. Exceptions above $3M require proportionately exceptional metrics.
Our typical first check is $50K. We will go as low as $25k. We rarely go above $125k. We will ask for pro-rata rights to potentially invest in future rounds. Investments will be done mostly using SAFE and KISS notes.
We have a very strong bias towards companies with low cash burns. We also prefer a funding round where our participation yields at least 10 months of runway.
Almost all of our investments go into rounds totalling $300k-$500k. Participation on larger rounds requires truly exceptional progress with higher levels of traction.
Team & Advisors
We usually require at least two full time founders, with one being technical. We have a strong bias towards startups having strong advisors with shares backing them.
03 Progression and traction
The startup capital efficiency trend means that almost all our portfolio companies already have at least modest revenues. Below are the rough minimum traction levels for different types of startups, corresponding to the lower end of our valuation range :
B2B w/low price point
In that case, our traction bar is also usually higher. We want initial evidence that you can acquire customers economically at scale. Usually, this requirement translates into at least 40-100 customers, most of which you acquired through a cost-effective, repeatable sales model.
B2B w/high price point
In that case, when the price point is high enough to support a sales force, our traction bar is lower. We like to see a proven price point, evidence of a strong customer value proposition, and at least a few customers that have gone through sales cycles with decent acquisition economics.
If you have an enterprise SaaS product with a price point in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per month, we'll be interested in exploring an investment when you have live pilot customers with promising usage data. Paid pilots make an even more compelling case.
We have the highest bar for B2C companies, and mainly invest opportunistically in exceptional companies. To be successful, you need to acquire paid or heavily engaged users cheaply at scale. Consumers can be unpredictable and there is much competition for their attention.
04 Executive team
Sergio A. Escobar
This investment fund is led by Sergio A. Escobar, a recognized technology entrepreneur in the international community of startups, recipient of several awards recognizing his entrepreneurial and mentoring skills, who is also a business mentor for startup accelerators in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. He has been actively developing a diversified investment portfolio of companies ranging from B2B Cloud & SaaS startups (leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics and Security) to B2C Consumer startups (leveraging Mobile Apps, IoT/Wearables and eCommerce) across the United States and Canada.
P. Mario Charpentier
Chairman of the Board
Chairman of the Board of BCF Ventures, Mario Charpentier is one of the six founders of BCF Law Firm today numbering more than 270 professionals in Quebec. He is the Managing Partner and one of five members of the firm's Executive Committee. As well as being a member of several BCF strategic teams, he is notably co-leader of the Affairs and Technology strategic team. Mr. Charpentier represents several medium and large public and private companies whose head offices are in Quebec. His extensive experience, mainly in high-growth start-ups in the area of high-tech, has made him a sought-after professional in the field.