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Canada’s got a new venture capital fund

Investor Bruce Croxon, co-founder of Lavalife and co-leader of new venture capital fund Round 13

COURTESY OF CBC TELEVISION

It was less than a year ago when Canada's venture capital community was desperately pleading for something, anything, to change so that the country's startups could find financing.

Today, venture capital funds are popping up everywhere.

The latest fund to launch comes from Round 13, which is led by Bruce Croxon, John Eckert and Scott Pelton, all of whom have experience in Canada's venture capital market. Mr. Croxon was a co-founder of LavaLife, Mr. Eckert has backed numerous successful startups and Mr. Pelton recently ran the commercialization fund at GrowthWorks.

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Together, they have already put together and impressive list of backers who include the likes of Paul Chen, who sold FloNetwork to DoubleClick for $80-million; Daniel Langlois, who sold Softimage to Microsoft for $200-million; and Mike Serbinis, a co-founder of DocSpace, which was sold to Critical Path for $580-million.

Much like its rival funds, Round 13 is launching now because it's seen how big the dearth of financing has been, despite an ample supply of entrepreneurs. "We've never seen the gap ... as large as it is today," Mr. Croxon said Thursday at a fund launch party in Toronto.

Round 13 will mostly invest in companies with proven revenues and established business models, and will likely write cheques for between $1-million and $5-million.

As for the name, Mr. Croxon explained that he's a big boxing fan, and historically, the thirteenth round of a boxing match has been critical. The "Thrilla in Manilla" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, for instance, was all but decided because of the brutal thirteenth round.

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