Vancouver-based Spring Activator, an incubator focused on supporting social-impact startups, today announced the acquisition of Future Capital, a Vancouver-based learning and investment platform built for underrepresented early-stage investors.
The companies say the acquisition will create one of Canada’s largest impact investing communities, create a more inclusive investment ecosystem.
“This acquisition marks an incredible step forward for bringing wealth creation opportunities to underrepresented communities. We are now able to connect more diverse, impact-driven founders and we see an increasing need in the market to do so,” said Keith Ippel, co-founder and co-CEO of Spring Activator.
Spring, founded in 2014, says it has invested more than $47 million, with 65 per cent of that capital going to Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) founders or co-founders. Future Capital has invested more than $3 million since its launch in 2020 and its portfolio is fully made up of women-led startups, according to the company.
Both organizations have collectively trained nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs and 700 investors over the past three years, and supported more than 2,500 entrepreneurs across five continents.
“There are incredible founders out there from underrepresented communities, and they just need to be connected to the right investors at the right time with the right support, to allow their businesses to scale and create both lasting impact and return on investment,” said Ippel.
Future Capital said it brings to the partnership a community of diverse investors. Historically, it says, the more diverse the pool of investors, the more diverse the cohort of founders that get funded and supported.
“We see a lot of opportunity to move the needle on a larger scale through this partnership.… Frankly, the current landscape for underrepresented founders and investors is really grim,” said Marlon Thompson, founder and CEO of Future Capital, who will join Spring as chief experience officer following the acquisition.
In the U.S., women-founded companies received less than three per cent of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in 2022, according to financial database Pitchbook. And data from Crunchbase shows black founders and those of Latin American descent raised around 2.4 percent of total venture capital invested between 2015 and 2020.
Thompson said there's “only upside” to diversifying the leadership adventure and leadership in business.
“It's not just the right thing to do, it's also good business. There's significant amount of research and statistical support that more diverse teams operate better,” he said.
“And from products and services perspective, when you have a broader segment of the population building companies, building products, you serve more of the population with those products and services.”
Spring now has 40 employees and expects to expand their team across Canada. They say they intend to work with more than 2,000 investors and 500 Canadian ventures, primarily from underrepresented groups, in the next two years.