Over the last few years the Vancouver startup community has been booming and a lot of the credit goes to two very active angel investors.
Together Boris Wertz and Mike Edwards have interested in 60+ consumer internet startups over the past four years. Along the way they have been named BC's Angel of the Year back-to-back.
While both began as angels, they have quickly been tagged as Superangels and now they're taking slightly different paths in the way they invest.
Wertz wrapped up his personal investment company W Media Ventures and has launched Version One Ventures - a $15 million micro VC fund.
While Edwards' day-to-day responsibilites include leading Vancouver-based technology accelerator GrowLab, the majority of his investments fall under his early stage investment fund, Initio Group.
But that looks like that might change soon. And it might give the average retail investor an opportunity to ride Edwards' coattails on some of his smart deals.
Publicly-traded shell Intensity Company Inc. (TSX.V: ITT) announced today that is has appointed Mike Edwards as chief executive officer and Ray Walia as chief operating officer (Walia is a co-founder of Vancouver's Launch Academy). Intensity is in the process of being renamed LX Ventures and will become a new technology merchant bank in Vancouver.
According to Intensity Executive Chairman Keir Reynolds, LX will invest in angel, seed and series A rounds up to $500,000 and "internally innovate" startups seeking financial backing as well as concepts identified by the LX team.
LX closed their initial seed round of $2.2 million last month, have made 5 investments to date, and will based out of the same space that GrowLab shares with Launch Academy in Gastown.
Today's announcement is a sign that Vancouver's ecosystem is growing. While LX Ventures can be yet another funding source for startups, they can also serve as a bridge to the public markets for companies seeking growth capital through an Initial Public Offering or Reverse Take Over.
Intensity Company Inc. (TSX.V: ITT) closed at 25 cents today (a 52-week high) and has a market cap of $7 million with 28 million shares outstanding.