Leaders Fund unveils debut $100 mln evergreen venture fund

Leaders Fund has launched an inaugural $100 million evergreen venture capital fund. Based in Toronto and Atlanta, Georgia, Leaders Fund will focus on making investments in enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies in those areas and in other markets in Canada and the United States. The new firm was co-founded by David Stein, founder and co-CEO of Rypple (acquired by Salesforce.com) and co-founder of Workbrain (acquired by Infor); Steve DeBacco, who most recently served as CRO of Applied Predictive Technologies (acquired by Mastercard) and was COO of Workbrain; and Gideon Hayden, previously a senior associate at OMERS Ventures.


Leaders Fund Launches $100 Million Venture Capital Fund to Invest in Enterprise SaaS Companies

Team of experienced operators from Salesforce.com, Rypple, Workbrain, Ariba, PeopleSoft and Taleo have started, scaled and engineered successful public and private exits for multiple enterprise software companies

Evergreen fund structure provides deep alignment with portfolio companies on terms, strategy and goals

Flexible investment model enables Leaders Fund to partner creatively with entrepreneurs and investors

Leaders Fund launched today with a fund of $100 million to invest in promising enterprise SaaS companies. Leaders Fund is led by an experienced team of operators who have founded or scaled multiple enterprise software companies, including Rypple, Workbrain, Ariba and Applied Predictive Technologies, achieving successful public and private exits.

The fund’s evergreen, flexible structure enables the team to partner creatively with other investors while ensuring deep alignment with portfolio companies on deal structure, growth strategy and long-term goals. Based in Toronto and Atlanta, Leaders Fund will make investments in high growth enterprise SaaS companies in those specific markets and across Canada and the US.

Leaders Fund is led by David Stein, founder and co-CEO of Rypple (acquired by Salesforce.com) and co-founder of Workbrain (acquired by Infor); Steve DeBacco, who most recently served as CRO of Applied Predictive Technologies (acquired by Mastercard) and was COO of Workbrain; and Gideon Hayden, a rising star at OMERS Ventures who worked with their high growth SaaS portfolio companies, including Hootsuite, 360 Incentives and Klipfolio. Howard Gwin, renowned enterprise software operator, venture investor and board director, serves as a venture partner.

Quotes on the news:

“I’ve been where many of today’s enterprise SaaS leaders want to go,” said David Stein, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Leaders Fund. “By bringing all that experience – both the good and the bad – to Leaders Fund, my team and I can lend our expertise to this next wave. We’re excited to help these entrepreneurs grow faster and more efficiently, to positively impact their trajectory, by providing them with the capital, insights and connections they need at key inflection points.”

“After years of successfully growing, operating and exiting enterprise SaaS companies, we decided to create a fund that enables us to sit, uniquely, on both sides of the entrepreneur and investor table,” said Steve DeBacco, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Leaders Fund. “We are business leaders in our hearts and minds. By seeing the best and worst of venture capital partnerships with entrepreneurs, we’ve built Leaders Fund with a flexible structure that allows us to engage deeply where leaders need support while working in conjunction with other investment partners.”

“The Canadian market, and Toronto in particular, has been waiting for a pure-play venture capital fund focused on the enterprise space and supporting their companies with global relationships to attract talent, customers and partners. It’s an honor to join a group of unmatched operators as a venture partner and to be able to lend my expertise to the SaaS stars of tomorrow,” said Howard Gwin, Venture Partner, Leaders Fund.

With its evergreen structure, Leaders Fund is able to work with companies without the traditional constraints venture capital firms face; ownership and investment thresholds, minimum return hurdles and liquidity timelines. This freedom presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking long-term partners who think like they do, can deeply engage and expect all stakeholders to benefit. To other investors, Leaders Fund makes itself an attractive partner through its unique structure as well; the fund is able to partner with others with more flexible terms, at various stages and in different roles depending on the goals of the portfolio company. The fund’s focus is to identify and invest in visionary entrepreneurs who are solving critical problems facing the enterprise. By offering their time, expertise and capital, Leaders Fund operates as a partner to these companies as they achieve amazing results for all stakeholders: employees, customers and shareholders.

About Leaders Fund

Leaders Fund is an evergreen venture capital fund founded by David Stein, Steve DeBacco and Gideon Hayden. They have over 25 years of experience growing, leading and engineering successful public and private exits of enterprise SaaS businesses, including Rypple (acquired by Salesforce.com), Workbrain (acquired by Infor), Empathica (acquired by Mindshare Technologies) and Applied Predictive Technologies (acquired by Mastercard). By combining their operational experience with an innovative, partner-friendly investment approach, Leaders Fund is uniquely positioned to offer companies capital, expertise and connections to build storied SaaS enterprises. Leaders Fund is based in Toronto, Ontario and Atlanta, Georgia and is focused on investing in SaaS companies selling solutions to businesses. To learn more, visit: http://leaders-fund.com/

For Leaders Fund
Kate Gundry, 617-797-5174

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