White Star Capital, which bides it’s time between London, New York and Montreal, has been active in the market for a couple years but until now has not ‘opened the kimono’ much on its backing. Today that changes with the news of its the close of its first institutional fund with $70 million in LP commitments. This first institutional fund is mainly backed by sovereign and institutional funds, entrepreneurs and family offices.
This includes the Business Development Bank of Canada, Isomer Capital, a European Fund of Funds and Swen Capital Partners from France along with family offices including Guy LaLiberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, early Facebook employees and entrepreneurs.
So far they have deployed $25M of the fund thus far leading and co-investing in Seed and Series A investments in North America and Europe. It’s stated aim is to now deploy between $500,000 and $5 million in investments into companies in North America and Western Europe, covering the usual London/Berlin/Paris/Nordics kind of areas, while using it’s North America connections to flip companies over there, where appropriate.
The interesting thing about White Star is that it’s very into data plays, especially companies capable of building proprietary databases that then scale out into platforms.
Some notable investments include Key.me the robotic locksmith based in New York where they led the Series A along with Battery Ventures, as well as mnubo, Montreal-based predictive and real-time analytics company for IoT and financial exchange Cryex in Stockholm Another is Hole19, based out of Lisbon, which is using a good-looking golf app to build a deep database on of golfers and buikd that out into a big platform. They also led the Series A of Cryex, a financial exchange in Stockholm along with Northzone.
They plan to do Seed, Series A and follow on funding.
White Star was co-founded by Eric Martineau-Fortin, an former technology M&A banker, Christian Hernandez Gallardo, a former Facebook executive, and Jean-François Marcoux, the co-founder of gaming company Ludia. In other words, it errs towards the entrepreneurial side in terms of experience.
Martineau-Fortin said: “We founded White Star Capital to partner with ambitious entrepreneurs from established tech hubs like London and New York, and from fast-emerging clusters like Montreal and Berlin.”
“We see ourselves as active partners to the entrepreneurs we back and will deploy funding, but also add our experience and global network to allow them to succeed in their ambitions,” added Hernandez Gallardo.