Building the Next Technology Flagships to Drive Sustainable Economic Dynamism

September 2023

Why is a new venture capital firm needed?


The Canadian innovation ecosystem has grown remarkably in the past 15 years. Startups, accelerators, incubators, investors and supportive government policies have created a hotbed for entrepreneurship and innovation. Bold ideas have flourished and transformative ventures have thrived. Canadian technology has made significant strides in every sector, driving both economic growth and positive societal impact. 

Yet, major challenges remain and there is still a lot left to be done. A majority of our technology companies are not achieving the global scale they legitimately could attain. They do not achieve their full potential; frequently selling prematurely instead of being the market consolidator and building for the long term. 

One often-pointed cause to this problem is the lack of venture capital leadership at the scale-up stage, aka Series A. Indeed, there are plenty of Canadian venture capital funds to follow-on in deals, but very few firms to lead venture rounds.  

The “Death Valley” is real. Canadian venture capital lacks leadership, and needs to contribute more expertise. 

The “Death Valley” is the scaling stage that most companies cannot grow beyond. This occurs when a company is trying to grow from $2 million in revenue to $10 million in revenue and beyond. This is where Canada lacks venture capital leadership.

As an example, in Quebec, our research has found that 65% of Series A & B rounds (84 transactions over the last 5 years) were led by investors from outside of La Belle Province. The lack of funding alternatives for scale ups and growth companies is an important barrier for Canadian startups that have global ambitions. Furthermore, many of the best founders continue to leave the country to find stronger funding alternatives south of the border. In contrast, early stage venture capital is much more well developed with many active venture capital firms. Institutional capital is also well developed with many important funds contributing significant amounts of capital. But institutional capital is usually passive, not bringing value-add to companies, and certainly not leading financing rounds in critical moments such as in the infamous Death Valley. The void is usually being filled by international investors and no one can blame them, Canadian founders typically outperform, and are more capital efficient than their south-of-the-border equivalents. These founders also recognize their duty to grow with the best financial partner they can find. The best founders will have access to US and international investors and benefit from their deep operating experience and support. This comes at an important cost in terms of economic development for our country; we are rapidly losing the ownership of our most successful businesses. An ecosystem of “follower investors” unfortunately tends to generate an economy of subsidiaries, instead of leaders.

If you are convinced - like us - that technology will play an increasingly important role in our economy, it is necessary that our ecosystem levels up as well. We need more series A & B capital to support our local leaders with financing diversity and leadership. Equity financing needs to adapt in order to contribute much more expertise, resources and technology to support and nurture our local champions. A paradigm shift is required, new organizations are needed that bring concrete value and that are not afraid to take the lead.  

This is why we are launching Amiral Ventures. 


Amiral Ventures is a new venture capital firm whose mission is to empower talented and passionate Canadian founders, arm them with dynamic capital and scaling expertise in order to create the next generation of technology flagships and enduring societal impact.

Our firm strives to foster a dynamic and supportive ecosystem where visionary founders can thrive. We provide not only capital but also mentorship, industry expertise, international networks and proprietary technology to help startups navigate challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that arise during their growth journey. We bring a deep sense of passion to our work, have built scale ups, gone through the entrepreneurial roller coaster, built scale ups, gone through the entrepreneurial roller coaster, and are committed to working with the best founders tackling important challenges.

A first fund to solve problems that matter.

We believe that there are 6 key challenges that enterprises globally will face over the next 20 years. Those challenges are not only massive but systemic. We are convinced that new enterprise-technologies will bring concrete solutions to better equip company leaders. These technologies have the potential to be transformative and mission-critical. This represents one of the greatest investment junctures of our time and we are launching Amiral Fund 1 to capture this opportunity. 

Shortage of workers: It is happening across every sector of the economy, there are simply not enough workers. The aggravating factors are aging of the population and new work habits to name a few. This results in major recruitment and retention challenges for companies which will persist for decades. 

Sub-par productivity: Low productivity is a drag on Western economies and Canada in particular. In an hour a Canadian worker produces just over 70 per cent of what an American can — that’s below the euro area and even the UK based on 2022 data. This is exacerbated by the labor shortage mentioned above but also lower investment in R&D. The adoption of innovative manufacturing technologies such as robotics, 3D printing and automation technology need to be accelerated. 

Global supply chain disruption: Turbulence in a post-pandemic world has resulted in a demand/supply imbalance disrupting the global supply chain. A fully globalized supply chain is no longer viable. Local and sustainable manufacturing hubs are needed which are going to be built by software-first companies. As geopolitical instability increases, reshoring of production is needed to build a more resilient economy. 

New generation of buyers: The user lives, socializes and purchases online. Digital is the primary channel to reach and sell to them. With digital constantly evolving, businesses need to perpetually improve their experience and themselves become fully digital native. Trust, security and identity will be key to enable the digital-first purchasing experience of tomorrow.

Sustainability imperative: Today’s enterprises have to maintain a double bottom-line: profitability and environmental impact . Prioritizing one at the expense of the other will no longer be rewarded by the market. Every global economy will need to accelerate their transition from carbon based energy to renewables. We believe that software and AI have a critical role to play in the transition to sustainable energy sources as well as in a better optimization of energy consumption.

Shifting economic paradigm: Needless to say that our world is going through fundamental changes and the recent global inflation rate, amongst other factors, has fueled volatility and uncertainty in our economic environment. Inflation, higher interest rates and cost of capital, new remote work habits, social changes, geopolitical tensions are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Amiral’s investment thesis: Enterprise-technologies that significantly drive Sustainable Economic Dynamism.

Our investment thesis is broken down in three key pillars: 

Fueling Sustainable Economic Dynamism.

Our three pillars are at the heart of building a dynamic and sustainable economy. 

At the intersection of our three investment thesis pillars and the significant challenges faced by enterprises in the next decade, our primary aim is to drive enduring positive impacts on society and the environment. Ultimately, our investment thesis is centered on reinventing the way enterprises operate, produce, power, and conduct business.

More than just capital.

Amiral Ventures will focus on scale-up rounds including Series A and Series B investments and will actively support companies to achieve a strong global position. Capital is a commodity, expertise is not. 

The initial focus will be to help our portfolio companies expand into international markets and tap into global opportunities to scale their operations. Over time, Amiral’s impact team will resemble a service organization with internal staff, networks of outside resources and dedicated proprietary technology to empower our portfolio partners. We aim to prove that each dollar of investment from Amiral Ventures will generate a measurable impact on our portfolio partner’s valuation.

Building an enduring franchise.

We are proudly Québécois but our market is much wider. We believe that for Québec & Canada to succeed, we must expand beyond our borders just like the Admiral butterfly. 

Building a dynamic and resilient economy means building local ownership while scaling globally. We are building an investment firm with an entrepreneurial and operating mindset that will create value for innovative companies. We're standing on the shoulders of giants in the Canadian venture capital community that have come before us. 

History will look back at the early 2020’s as an inflection point. Technologies that seemed magical are now commonplace. The means to create a prosperous and wealthy economy are in our hands. But there is more to it. Creating high-paying jobs is good. Driving economic development is good. Creating new technologies is good. But good is no longer good enough. We need to expand ownership in our champion tech companies, deploy smarter capital and elevate our local ecosystem.

The proverbial Death Valley for Canadian startups needs to be overcome as ambitious and talented founders are set to take flight on the global stage. Let’s build the next generation of flagship Canadian companies!