Version One eyes ‘obsessive’ entrepreneurs after closing two funds totalling US$100m

Vancouver firm known for making investments in NFT leader Dapper Labs

Version One Ventures general partners Boris Wertz and Angela Tran | submitted

There are few signs that access to venture capital will be tightening up in the tech ecosystem anytime soon after Version One Ventures LLC revealed Tuesday the close of two new funds totalling US$100 million.

The investment firm, based in Vancouver and San Francisco, previously landed $57 million in commitments for its third fund back in 2018 and went on to invest in companies like Canadian NFT giant Dapper Labs Inc.

Fund IV will consist of US$70 million, while Opportunities Fund II will consist of US$30 million.

“Since we raised our last fund in 2018, we updated our thesis to focus on mission-driven founders. We’re looking for passionate, even obsessive, entrepreneurs who will stop at nothing to solve a deep pain point that they know well,” Version One partner Boris Wertz said in a blog post.

The previous fund was focused on pre-seed and seed-round investments of US$500,000 to US$750,000 for companies based in Vancouver, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto-Waterloo.

But that strategy is changing with the new US$70-million fund.

“We recently broadened our geographical focus to invest on a worldwide basis, as location no longer has as much bearing on the investment process and geography no longer controls where you can build a successful company,” said Wertz, a native of Germany who resides in Vancouver.

Prior to launching Version One, Wertz was the founder of Victoria-based AbeBooks, which he sold to Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) in 2008.

Fellow Version One partner Angela Tran, a Torontonian, is based out of San Francisco.

“Most of our attention will be spent on investing out of our ‘core fund’ (Fund IV) but we are excited to add another Opportunities Fund to our franchise. The Opportunities Fund lets us double down on our winners and gives us the ability to partner with our founders in their later financing rounds,” Boris said.

“While crypto and climate continue to be two of our major focus areas, we will continue to invest in SaaS, marketplaces and healthcare.”