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Leaders Fund Established $100 Million Venture Fund Targeting Software Startups

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January 14
4:53 AM 2016

A group of Canadian and American technology executives established a $100 million venture fund. Leaders Fund is based in Canada and consists of technology veterans from renowned tech startups.

Some notable figures in Leaders Fund are David Stein, Howard Gwin, Gideon Hayden and Steve DeBacco. David Stein was known for founding Rypple, company that created social performance management software in 2008. His cloud computing-based software attracted Salesforce.com to acquire the company and its technology. In 2011, Salesforce.com acquired David Stein's Rypple to power its talent management service.

Another partner in Leaders Fund is Howard Gwin, a former executive in PeopleSoft, HR software giant, and a specialist in human resource software. While Gideon Hayden was previously working in OMERS Venture, a venture capital firm investing in technology, media and telecommunications companies. Other one, Steve DeBacco, was previously responsible to manage revenue in Applied Predictive Technologies, a cloud-based business analytics software company that since April 2015 is owned by MasterCard

The Toronto-based fund is interested in enterprise software areas such as mobile, cloud computing and machine learning, with special focus on Software as a Service (Saas). David Stein, the appointed CEO of Leaders Fund told Tech Vibe, "I've been where many of today's enterprise SaaS leaders want to go"

DeBacco also added, "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."

Leaders Fund blend of technology executives and selection of homebase in Toronto is unique for venture fund. As Canadian startup often suffered the exodus of its top talents to U.S. companies. Several efforts have been established to help Canadian startups, including in Maluuba Inc with its Artificial Intelligence research and University of Toronto's startup accelerator.

As a venture fund with tech background, Leaders Fund possesses a premium advantage to either companies and investors. According to Business Wire, with its evergreen structure, Leaders Fund is able to work with companies without the traditional constraints venture capital firms face.

The unique selection of its homebase in Toronto have attracted Tech Crunch, as cofounders don't live in the typical investing hotspots of the Bay Area or New York or L.A.; but Toronto (Stein, Gwin,Hayden) and Atlanta (DeBacco). In that regards, David Stein acknowledged that he sees a lot of opportunities in underserved markets that have made less progress in terms of IT investments.

Leaders Fund expects to increase a technology startup to flourish in Canada by establishing a venture fund in Toronto. At its launching, the venture fund has secured a $100 million fund.

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