Diagram, a new venture launchpad for Canadian startups, has announced that it has closed a $25 million fund and has made its first two investments.
Diagram’s strategy is to make a few large investments, enabling it to take a “hands-on” approach in the startups’ development. In addition to capital, startups will receive advice and expertise through the support of Power Financial Corporation via Portag3 Ventures. Furthermore, a group of 50 angel investors will act as mentors to startup founders.
Led by François Lafortune and Paul Desmarais III
Under the leadership of François Lafortune, Founder & CEO, and Chairman Paul Desmarais III, Diagram has the goal of helping Canadian startup companies in the financial, insurance and healthcare technology sectors build “great global companies.”
Virtual health and wellness platform
The firm’s first two investments were made in Dialogue and Collage. Based in Montreal, Dialogue is a virtual health and wellness platform. Collage, based in Toronto, is cloud platform used to automate HR and benefits for businesses.
Diagram's limited partners include CEO of Quora and former CTO of Facebook, Adam D'Angelo; the CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes; the Founder and former CEO of WIND Mobile, Anthony Lacavera; the Founder of Palantir, Addepar and 8VC, Joe Lonsdale; the former CEO of Rogers, Nadir Mohammed; the CEO of PasswordBox, Dan Robichaud, and the Founder and Former CEO of Achievers, Razor Suleman.
Access to distribution and expertise
“The Diagram model is the first of its kind. We combine the competitive advantage of large incumbents – access to distribution and expertise – with a strong support infrastructure and large venture capital investment,” said Lafortune. “We truly believe this focused approach will derisk our ventures and allow them to build much faster.”
FinTech and insurance sectors
"The opportunities for the FinTech and insurance sectors in Canada are enormous. We have incredible depth and talent here but do not always provide the means and resources necessary to build large businesses," said Desmarais, who in addition to serving as Diagram’s Chairman is also Vice-President, Power Financial Corporation. “Diagram's purpose is to fix that by bringing not just capital but the right infrastructure and people together to create the next Canadian-based global leaders of the future in the FinTech sector."