Sunday, April 22, 2007

Blast From the Past: Kodiak Ventures

Recently I began to create an honour role of the dearly departed - those American VCs who once graced our shores during the height of the high tech boom. Some of them came north in 1998, seeking deals in a less competitive market. Almost all of them returned south once the market slowed down in 2001, and haven't been seen since.

Take Kodiak Venture Partners, the seed stage fund formed by Jim Furneaux and son Dave. At one point, half of Kodiak's seed investments were done in Ottawa, including Icefyre Semiconductor, Solidum Systems, Extreme Packet Devices, Sybridge and Potentia Semiconductor, all of whom raved about Kodiak's support. Kodiak even had an Ottawa man on the street for a while in the form of Bruce Gregory.

Kodiak has announced only one new investment in Canada in recent years - Simpler Networks in Montreal. It still supports BTI Photonics, an earlier Ottawa investment that's still going strong, but otherwise, all appears quiet on the Furneaux front. As its 2001 fund (a reported US$290 m) winds down, let's keep our fingers crossed that the next Kodiak fund heads north again.

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