Serge Beauchemin, Senior Partner, AQC CapitalSerge Beauchemin, Senior Partner
In today’s technology-driven age, a majority of investors follow one strategy. Write cheques for 500 seed-stage startups hoping one will hit the unicorn jackpot. While this approach may seem like a good idea, it is not. The chances of one startup becoming a unicorn are slim, as only 0.07 percent of all startups reach a $1 billion valuation.

For founders looking for rapid growth, capital is not the only requirement. They need investors that can bring value to the table and help them build a business with a strong foundation. Montreal-based AQC Capital is a venture capital firm that believes in the value of its investments and provides entrepreneurs with capital, mentorship and strategic support.
  • People that are ready to invest not just money but time, expertise and their own networks in helping the company grow fast

The company’s approach is simple—add value for its customers by providing access to capital, support and networks by proactive partners. AQC Capital believes in the power of being a true partner in the success of its portfolio companies. The firm focuses on investing in early-stage, technology-driven startups that have the potential to disrupt industries and create new ones in worldwide markets.

We are sector agnostic, which means we serve every techenabled industry such as IT, SaaS, AI, MedTech, HealthTech, AgrTech, and FinTech. The company’s primary focus lies in preseed, seed and pre-series A investments, where it can add value by bringing more people around the table. “People that are ready to invest not just money but time, expertise and their networks in helping the company grow fast,” says Serge Beauchemin, Senior Partner at AQC Capital.
The company has partnered with private angel investors who “bring specific expertise to the table.” So, when AQC Capital invests $400k in a startup, angels are also invited to join in and participate in the transaction, under one condition: apart from the funds, these private investors also must share their expertise— sales, business development, governance, operations efficiency or marketing—and access to their own network with the founders to navigate them toward success.

To onboard these private investors, AQC Capital has joined hands with Anges Quebec, Canada’s largest network of angels. So, for every deal AQC Capital makes, at least four private angel investors will join the round, usually with the same amount. In partnership, AQC and angels invest together around 10 M$ a year in 10 new companies on average. In four years, this approach leads them to 40 deals where AQC Capital and the angel investors can successfully negotiate better terms together then what they could get individually. A win-win scenario for both parties.

Moreover, the selected angels investors are not just any other investors. They have decades of experience in their respective fields, which gives them a unique insight into the market and how to capitalize on it. They also bring thousands of contacts within the combined networks of all investing angels. Since they have gone through the same kind of challenges any startup will face, they can provide valuable mentorship and advice to catapult a startup to the next level.

AQC Capital ensures that its portfolio startups have a high-growth business model and all the governance in place to support that growth. This way, the company prepares its customers for the bigger funding rounds in the future and gives them a shot for long-term success.

Talking about success, the venture capital firm has enabled several startups to evolve and expand in their journeys. Trexity—a Canadian courier firm that offers same-day delivery—is one such startup that approached AQC Capital for the seed fund. When it came onboard, it saw that Trexity’s board wasn’t ideal for the next round of funding. There was no choice but to revisit its governance and make changes at the stakeholder level. This was an integral step as it turned a startup into a company that could raise $15 million to $20 million in the coming months.

Once the investment was made, AQC Capital helped Trexity open its shop in Montreal. Market expansion wasn’t a part of the terms, but this is how AQC Capital works. It helps the clients to reach a new customer base, especially in Montreal, where the venture capital firm has made a strong presence and reputation of its own.