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We’ll always give you 
a straight answer. 

We’re often asked how we work, who we invest in and what we focus on. Here are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. 

Where are your offices?

We are headquartered in Montreal at the Notman House (51 Sherbrooke Street West, H2X 1X2 Montreal, QC) and we also have offices in Toronto at the MaRS Centre (101 College St, Suite 140, M5G 1L7, Toronto, ON).

Do Real Ventures partners take board seats?

We do, but not always. We love to be involved as much as we can. Being on the board is a way for us to bring significant value to our companies.

How do you help your companies recruit?

Real has spent the past decade building a strong network across Canada. When you work with us, we’ll connect you with others who can help make your startup the greatest success it can be.  

How do you help your companies raise money?

Pitching is hard. That’s why we run a bootcamp where our founders learn everything they need to know about narrative and how to communicate what’s most important, plus we coach them one-on-one. We also make intros to the right people so that your chances of getting the investment you need are exponentially higher. 

What makes Real Ventures different?

Real invests throughout the life-cycle of early stage companies, and provides stage-appropriate capital and support for the founders it backs. We believe that VCs should play a role in accelerating the creation of world-class tech ecosystems by providing support beyond the companies for whom we write cheques. It’s this collaborative mindset that inspires us to launch initiatives that lay, or build upon, the foundations of rapidly growing tech hubs in Canada, and wherever else we may go.

Do you sponsor Canadian startup visas for foreign founders?

Yes! We’re proud to participate in the Startup Visa Program when an exceptional company has strategic reasons for the founders to come to Canada. Given many individuals’ attempts to use this program primarily as a way to immigrate to Canada, we do have to warn you that we’re extremely selective in the number and quality of startups we finance. 

Will you sign my confidentiality agreement / NDA?

We see hundreds, if not thousands, of business opportunities every year, all of which have some sort of crossover with another opportunity we will have seen. We do not share ideas between companies but we also don’t want to be drawn into litigation when we fund a business that might have some resemblance to another business we were pitched. We can also assure you that if we have already invested in business in direct competition with yours, we will tell you before you provide us with too much information. We hope that you understand our position and are still willing to talk with us.

Do you have a strict ownership requirements?

We work hard with other investors to have ‘founder-friendly’ terms that make sense in the long run. That means we need to be flexible on our ownership but want to have a large enough stake in your company to make sure you feel we are fully committed to each other.

Will Real Ventures only invest if it can lead the round?

We love co-investing and have done so on multiple occasions. We’re very open to working with other investors who share our values.

How do I know which partner is the best fit for my company?

At Real, we work as a team, leveraging our talents and experiences so that we can support our founders in the best ways we can. You’ll often spend more time with one of our partners than the others, but when it comes down to it, we’re all here for you. 

How should I get in touch with Real Ventures?

We love connecting with new people in the community! Please reach out to us via our contact form so we can best understand who to connect you with. 

What is your investment process and how long does it take?

We meet with companies each week and if we think there’s a fit, we introduce the founders to another member of the team. The next step is a pitch at the investment meeting with all of the partners. If we decide to invest, timing will vary based on further discussions and investment proceedings.

What if I’ve already raised some money from angels? Is it too late to talk to you?

This is usually a great timing — it shows that you’ve been able to test your product in market and that you have some validation from early backers.

When’s the right time to approach Real Ventures about investing?

It’s always a good time to get in touch with us. We love meeting founders and hearing their ideas — the earlier the better!

Do you invest in companies located outside of Canada?

Yes, but these companies need to have a compelling reason as to why we are the ideal fit for them. We do prefer to work with companies that have a close proximity to our team, given our hands-on approach to helping our portfolio companies grow.

What do you look for in a founding team?

Founders we work with usually have a clear industry insight. We also look for strong cohesion in the founding team with complementary personalities and skillsets. Founders we fund are typically open, willing to learn from others, and passionate about what they do.

Do you fund solo founders?

It takes an incredibly strong team to build a great company, but there are always exceptions to the rule. We do have some solo founders in the Real community, but they’re rare. 

What does Real Ventures look for in an idea?

There is no standard answer, but there are three main things that we look for: a great team with unique insight on a market opening that has massive scaling potential. We like to hear bold ideas that have the potential to disrupt unconventional industries.

Does Real Ventures only invest in particular areas or industries?

Real Ventures invests in high potential companies using the latest technologies. We’re industry agnostic: when an idea is great, it doesn’t matter to us if it’s in Enterprise Security, Blockchain or Fintech (to name just a few). That said, our main focus is on companies that leverage data, artificial intelligence and connectivity to disrupt business models and industries.