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Micro, in fact. Rapidly decreasing technology costs, combined with digital innovations such as artificial intelligence, data and analytics, cloud computing, SaaS, and the Internet of Things, are disrupting our existing business and operating models.

This means that Alberta’s emerging-technology sector is primed to be a catalyst for unprecedented growth.

Companies with ideas that will ultimately disrupt industry and change our world for the better, while solving the most pressing human and industry problems are being launched. These digital start-ups require less capital to get off the ground, yet present high return potential for investment. A $500,000 pre-seed investment is the new $5 million first raise.

Many traditional venture capital firms will not consider funding early stage (pre-revenue) start-ups until they are already bringing in significant revenue.

In mature ecosystems globally, early-stage companies often raise capital through high-net-worth individual investors referred to as angels, as well as through professionally-managed pre-seed and micro venture capital funds.

Bryan Slaauko and Jacques LaPointe, Founders

Founders are desperate for investment to grow and generate revenue but are told they are uninvestable until they have meaningful revenue. It’s a terrible paradox that is screaming to be solved.

This is why Metiquity Ventures exists — founded in 2020, by Bryan Slauko, CFA, and Jacques LaPointe, MBA, P.Eng. — Metiquity is one of the only professionally-managed micro-VC fund regionally that solely focused on the pre-seed asset class and early stage founders and companies.

Micro-funds are in their infancy in Western Canada but are the backbone and bedrock for ecosystems and technology hubs, especially in the United States, where they play a role in helping venture hubs take off, bring expertise and specialization to the market, and fill a role in the venture capital ecosystem that larger firms simply cannot.

According to PitchBook 2021, in the U.S. $50+ billion has been raised in the past ten years from micro-VC funds, and there are over 2,400 Venture Capital backed funds of a median size of $10 million.

Filling this investment gap across the region for our innovative new companies and also for the pioneering investors who invest alongside them is what drives the Metiquity team and inspires their L.P.s.

“We work with founders and companies who need a little bit of capital to get started and a lot of support and mentorship,” says Metiquity Founding Partner Jacques LaPointe, whose experience includes launching and managing innovative technology products in the global market.

LaPointe is a co-founder of a well-known robotics company; he has five successful portfolio company exits under his belt, has led more than $43 million in investments for technology enterprises and brings a robust understanding of capital investments to help tech start-ups enter the marketplace and exit with significant gains.

“Metiquity’s Fund 1 (a $10 million raise) will be the catalyst for what we see as the most important asset class for our region. Experienced early stage, pre-seed investments into our entrepreneurs, and the mentorship they need to succeed and scale is integral,” he adds.

The Metiquity team believes that to remain strong, Alberta’s technology sector must put more capital into early-stage entrepreneurs on the cusp of growth.

“Tomorrow’s big success stories and our innovative new ideas and products could die on the vine without this catalyst. Emerging fund managers who invest in the $250,000 to $1 million early rounds are essential to creating the jobs and wealth that will benefit our communities over the long term,” says Slauko, one of the few private investment and pre-seed fund managers in the region who holds both a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and a Bachelor of Commerce.

Slauko spent years with various capital investment firms before focusing on emerging enterprises. After noticing the industry-halting gap between pre-revenue investment and early-stage development, he decided to leverage his skills for start-ups with immense growth and disruptive potential and took the plunge with LaPointe to found Metiquity.

“Early-stage investing in our own emerging technology sector shouldn’t mean investors have to wing it. This is an asset class that should form part of a strong, diversified investment portfolio. Our region’s investors deserve the confidence that comes from a professional approach to due diligence and portfolio management,” Slauko says, adding that there is potential for strong returns for investors interested in the pre-seed asset class.

“We’re on a mission to unlock this growth potential not only for the tech companies changing society for the better, but for the pioneering private investors who support our region’s growth.”

For Metiquity, applying robust due diligence and investment processes is key to selecting strong portfolio investments. Together, Slauko and LaPointe have over 45 years of experience in finance, investment management, due diligence, managing funds and successful exits.

The private firm, with a thorough and legally structured fund, follows the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct to ensure the best interests of investors are always protected.

Known for their kind but straight-up mentorship style with their founders, LaPointe and Slauko’s vast experience and friendly approach is part of the draw for the start-ups and founders who are eager to have Metiquity not only as lead investor but often on their Boards and as regular advisors.

Sawback Technologies is one of Metiquity’s first lead investments. The Alberta-founded tech company provides a proprietary ground penetrating radar solution to remotely collect and analyse near-surface data.

Neil Keown, Sawback founder, is an experienced data software and development expert, with a rich history of experience. However, every founder still needs mentorship and support from those who have scaled technology companies and had successful rounds of entrepreneurship. “(Slauko and LaPointe) advice is valid because it’s from two different and experienced perspectives. When you’re talking with Bryan, he is helping with numbers — primarily because that’s his bread and butter. Jacques is business strategy and fundraising. He’s been there, done that and he has the scaleup success story to prove it,” Keown says.

Metiquity Ventures Fund I is a $10 million fund. The firm is focused on investing in a portfolio of 20-30 pre-seed stage companies based in Alberta and the Prairies, with an emphasis on helping them scale and go to further seed rounds. Good news for founders and also the Limited Partners who are backing the emerging firm and its first fund.

With their deep roots in the Canadian technology sector, experience building partnerships, experience launching products and patents, and professional fund and firm management expertise, Metiquity Ventures is leading the way in bridging the investment gap for start-ups and investors and creating the spark for our region’s next pre-seed micro-venture funds and firms.

Helm provides a SaaS cloud-accounting solution that streamlines the cash flow management process. Through Helm’s innovative and user friendly accounting tech, they empower business owners and advisors to make better decisions by digitally transforming the process of forecasting future cash flows, scheduling and approving payments, and collecting receivables.

Sawback Technologies is a proprietary sensing technology innovation that combines a hard and soft-tech solution for the industry to detect and classify underground objects that hinder operations and progress. The technology measures near-surface data over vast areas and complex environments and is used in the construction and energy verticals. From finding, mapping, and identifying buried objects, the near-surface data collection and an analysis solution that collects data fast, while also impacting environmental conservation for the better.

Arolytics software platform is helping our energy sector become leaders in emissions management. The SaaS technology tracks and discloses greenhouse gas emissions performance while leveraging data to optimize emission reduction opportunities providing reliable and consistent reporting to management, regulators and investors. Complimentary to clean-tech and ESG reporting solutions and empowering our global energy sectors to effectively measure emissions goals while increasing productivity.

4D1 indoor location technology generates 3D sub-centimeter accuracy to monitor the movement of all assets across time and space, ensuring materials, tools and workers are located in the right place at the right time. Precise positioning ensures all tasks are completed in the right sequence and quality standards are met, gives machines the navigation and necessary human context for full autonomy and the 4D context needed for comprehensive process optimization. 4D1 will revolutionize many industries including smart manufacturing, logistics, digital construction and underground mining.

my-eforce turns everyday smart watches & fitness trackers into a fully connected health & safety platform providing employers with critical life-saving information before incidents become life-changing tragedies. This tech uses a combination of real-time GPS location tracking and automated biometric feedback in an innovative wearable bracelet technology that empowers and keeps workers in remote areas safer, while providing the industry the technology to best keep their workers as secure as possible.

This award-winning digital workflow platform takes the wait out of lining up and retains more customers. WaitWell is already operating for over 500 locations and 4.4M users, providing businesses with a SaaS service, for clients who are waiting in lines. Reducing wait times by up to 30% for public offices, universities and large retailers. Organizations use WaitWell to streamline service delivery and vastly improve the customer experience, leading to an increase in customer loyalty.

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