Globe & Mail: Vertu Capital picks Waterloo tech firm Dejero for first fund investment



A fledgling private-equity firm, led by veteran Bay Street technology financier Lisa Melchior, has made the inaugural investment out of its first fund, leading the purchase of a $60-million stake in Waterloo, Ont., communications connectivity technology provider Dejero Labs Inc.

Ms. Melchior previously spent 17 years with the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), where she was a vice-president overseeing the pension giant’s private-capital investments in the technology sector, including its early stake in Constellation Software Inc. Ms. Melchior was on the board of Constellation, now one of Canada’s most valuable technology companies, when it went public in 2006. She also led the privatization of Quebec software company Logibec in 2010 and subsequent spinout of its U.S. subsidiary MatrixCare. OMERS sold the Canadian operations of Logibec to GI Partners in 2015.

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Vertu Capital Leads $60 Million Recapitalization of Dejero to Accelerate Growth

Toronto, Ontario, April 21, 2021 – Vertu Capital, a Canadian private equity fund focused on technology platforms seeking transformational growth, is pleased to announce it has led a $60 million minority recapitalization of Dejero Labs Inc. (“Dejero”), a leading global provider of resilient connectivity for critical communications. Vertu partnered with Ubicom Ventures, a special purpose investment entity in partnership with Dejero management, to complete the transaction and pave the way for accelerating the company’s product and market expansion. Dejero will be the first investment for Vertu’s inaugural fund, Vertu Partners Fund I.

Founded by Bogdan Frusina in 2008 and led by Chief Executive Officer Bruce Anderson, Dejero is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, one of Canada’s key tech hubs, with offices in the U.S. and UK, and a global distribution network.  The company’s live video and real-time data solutions are used by leading broadcasters, media production companies, public safety and government agencies, along with enterprise customers who need uninterrupted connectivity for their critical applications.

“Canada’s technology ecosystem is thriving, and we are excited to be playing a vital role by actively partnering with premier companies that are at critical points of inflection in their growth and scale,” said Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner of Vertu. “Dejero exemplifies an ideal Vertu investment; the company has an established world leading technology solution and is accelerating its expansion into multiple global markets. We are thrilled to be partnering with Bruce, Bogdan and the entire Dejero management team on this exciting new chapter for the company.”

“Vertu was the perfect partner for us. They bring deep software sector expertise and decades of experience investing in large global tech businesses, so they understand where Dejero is heading,” Mr. Anderson said. “We are excited to collaborate with the Vertu team on our plans to accelerate our growth.”

“We are thrilled about the opportunity that Dejero brings to our investors,” said Ubicom Managing Director Terry Thib. “Our mission is to identify disruptive technologies that can be deployed on a global scale. Through our partnership with Bruce and Bogdan, we are excited to play a critical role in the evolution of Dejero as it continues to tackle burgeoning critical connectivity markets that will benefit from its cutting-edge technology.”

With this transaction, Dejero remains a Canadian owned business.

About Vertu Capital

Established in 2017 by veteran technology private equity investor Lisa Melchior, Vertu Capital is a private equity firm that invests in high potential Canadian headquartered technology companies. Vertu seeks to partner with management teams of market leading and scaling companies that are looking for an experienced investor and thought partner to actively collaborate with them to achieve great things at a rapid pace. Vertu’s partners have decades of global tech private equity experience with deep domain expertise in software and software enabled business models. We are focused on the achievement of a company’s long-term goals, offering extensive knowledge valuable through all phases of growth.  For more information, please visit www.vertucapital.ca.

About Ubicom

Ubicom Ventures Ltd. is a special purpose investment fund established in 2020. Managed by veteran investors Terry Thib, Neil Maruoka, and Gajan Kulasingam, and in partnership with Dejero founder Bogdan Frusina and CEO Bruce Anderson, Ubicom was created with the sole purpose of participating in recapitalization of Dejero. Terry, Neil, and Gajan have decades of capital markets experience investing across the entire capital spectrum including both private and public debt and equities.

About Dejero

Driven by its vision of reliable connectivity anywhere, Dejero aggregates diverse connectivity paths including LTE and 5G cellular, satellite and broadband into a virtual ‘network of networks’ to deliver enhanced reliability, expanded coverage, and greater bandwidth using cloud-based technology. A two-time technical Emmy® Award winner, Dejero is trusted to solve the mission-critical live video transport and real-time data transfer challenges of organizations around the world. Founded in 2008, privately held Dejero is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit www.dejero.com.


Jason Smith Joins Vertu Operating Advisor Network

[Toronto, Ontario, March 5, 2021] Vertu Partners Fund I, a private equity fund that focuses on high-potential technology businesses in the Canadian lower mid-market, announced today that veteran tech executive and entrepreneur, Jason Smith, has joined as an operating advisor.   

Jason is a highly regarded Canadian tech entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience building market leading disruptive fintec companies across North America.  In 2004 Jason founded Real Matters, Inc., a proprietary software platform that automates mortgage lending and insurance services and now serves a majority of the Tier I banks in the US and Canada. Jason has navigated the company from inception to scale and through five rounds of financing, including its Initial Public Offering in May 2017.

Full profile here.

Lisa Melchior, Founder & Managing Partner, said “Jason is one of Canada’s top technology leaders who has successfully executed on his vision to build scaled tech businesses.  I am thrilled that he is joining our network of operating advisors and will share his experience to support the growth of Vertu’s portfolio companies. As a board member of Real Matters, I have first-hand knowledge of Jason’s talent as a technology leader. Together, we will continue to position Canadian technology firms for growth and success.”

“As a founder and leader of Canadian technology companies from the concept stage up and through to the public markets, I know how important it is to be aligned with shareholders who partner with management and roll up their sleeves to make a difference. That partnership is a core principle at Vertu, and I look forward to working with Lisa and the team to share my experience with the next generation of tech founders with bold and ambitious goals,” said Jason Smith.     

Vertu Partners Fund I is managed by Vertu Capital, formed in 2017, a Toronto-based private equity firm that focuses on growth-oriented enterprise software or software-enabled businesses in the Canadian lower mid-market. Founded by Lisa Melchior, a 20+ year private equity professional with a technology track record that includes more than $1 billion of invested capital, Vertu offers deep global sector-focused experience to high potential Canadian technology businesses seeking transformational growth.


Mogo Expands Into Global B2B Fintech Market with Acquisition of Digital Payments Technology Company Carta Worldwide

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mogo Inc. (TSX:MOGO) (NASDAQ:MOGO) (“Mogo” or the “Company”), a financial technology company focused on empowering consumers with innovative digital financial solutions that help them get in control of their financial health, today announced it has reached a definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) to acquire Carta Solutions Holding Corporation, also known as Carta Worldwide (“Carta”), a leader in providing next-gen digital payments solutions, in an all-stock transaction by way of a plan of arrangement (the “Transaction”). The combination creates one of Canada’s largest vertically integrated fintech companies and significantly expands the Company’s addressable market by entering into the $2.5 trillion global digital payments market.

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VERTU Capital Taps John Windover as Operating Advisor

[Toronto, Ontario, June 2, 2020] VERTU Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on high-potential enterprise software or software-enabled businesses in the Canadian lower mid-market, announced today the addition of John Windover to its operating advisor bench. Mr. Windover is an experienced management consultant with over 22 years of experience advising investors and clients across a wide range of technology sectors. 

  Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner said, “John has been a trusted advisor both to me and to my Partner Gil Nayot for a number of years and we are delighted to welcome him as an operating advisor. His extensive global experience both conducting due diligence on technology businesses and advising technology clients across a variety of key performance issues will be extremely valuable to Vertu and its portfolio companies. I look forward to working with John as we position Canadian technology firms for continued growth and success.”

“I have worked with Lisa and Gil for years on many successful technology investments and I am absolutely thrilled to advise them and the broader VERTU team.  There is a real need for growth capital for Canadian technology companies which VERTU is uniquely well-positioned to address” said Mr. Windover.

Mr. Windover is currently a Senior Partner and Director in Bain & Company’s Private Equity Practice.  John has assessed hundreds of assets in diligence and worked with the management teams of over 25 Private Equity owned portfolio companies to define and implement value creation plans.  His work with software and other technology companies has included corporate strategy, product development, salesforce effectiveness and operational improvements.  Mr. Windover holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.Sc. in Engineering from Queen’s University where he received the Gold Medal for highest standing across all Engineering programs. Full profile here.

VERTU Capital, formed in 2017, is a Toronto-based private equity firm the focuses on high-potential enterprise software or software-enabled businesses in the Canadian lower mid-market. Founded by Lisa Melchior, a 20+ year private equity professional with a technology track record that includes more than $1 billion of invested capital, VERTU brings deep global private equity experience to high potential Canadian technology businesses seeking transformational growth. 


VERTU Capital Expands Operating Advisor Network

[Toronto, Ontario, February 13, 2020] VERTU Capital, a Toronto-based technology-focused private equity firm, announced today the expansion of its operating advisory network with the addition of five highly regarded industry experts.

Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner said, “We are excited to welcome this group of exceptional professionals to our team of operating advisors. The addition of their diverse domain, sector experience and global networks substantially adds to our ability to drive growth and implement operating best practices in our portfolio.  Developing our firm’s  senior-level operations expertise reaffirms our focus on building stronger Canadian technology companies through value-add partnership with top tier talent.”

Who Are They?

Chris Fabre is a veteran middleware executive who has led fast-paced technology companies through disruptive innovation, market expansion and diversification. Mr. Fabre was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Axway where he served on the Executive Board of Sopra Steria before taking Axway public. He developed global technological leadership and completed seven accretive acquisitions. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Sky Republic, an enterprise blockchain company he founded in 2016. Mr. Fabre holds a degree in computer engineering from Université Joseph Fourier and is a graduate of INSEAD’s Management Accelerator program.

Andrea Garson is a seasoned Human Resources Executive and a leading authority on culture, engagement, leadership development, and attracting and retaining key talent. She is the Founder & Principal of Breaking Glass Inc., a boutique HR Consulting firm, and has over 27 years of HR experience working with Tier 1 organizations. During her time as Vice President of Human Resources at Workopolis, the company was recognized with numerous awards, including being the first company honoured by the ‘Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures’ program with the “Best Emerging Organization” distinction.  Ms. Garson holds a Bachelor of Science and an MBA from Dalhousie University.

Rick Huff is a B2B SaaS markets executive with over 25-years of experience driving growth through sales and marketing leadership.  Mr. Huff was one of the founding executives of KUBRA, North America’s leading billing technology solution for utilities. During his tenure he led the company’s growth from USD $250,000 in revenue to over USD $160 million. He also helped manage the sale of KUBRA in 2014 to the Hearst Corporation in New York. Mr. Huff holds an Honors Commerce Degree from McMaster University and is a graduate of the Hearst Management Institute.

Ansa Sekharan is a B2B software customer success executive with over two decades of experience delivering pace-setting transformation(s) in areas of customer experience, service automation and ARR Growth. Under his leadership, his firm has been ranked as number one in customer loyalty in the data integration enterprise software sector for 12 years in a row. Mr. Sekharan was one of the early employees at Informatica and currently serves as the company’s Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Officer. He also serves on the Support Advisory Board at Technology Services Industry Association. He graduated with honors from the University of Tulsa, where he earned a master’s degree in Computer Science. Mr. Sekharan earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from The National Institute of Technology.

Vineet Walia is a veteran technology executive with deep experience in business transformation and strategic planning. He is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Informatica, responsible for accelerating business transformations that drive growth. Prior to Informatica, Mr. Walia held senior leadership roles at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Juniper Networks, leading company-wide transformations. Mr. Walia holds a Master of Business Administration with honors in Corporate Finance from Bentley University, Massachusetts.

VERTU Capital, formed in 2017, is a Toronto-based mid-market private equity firm focused on enterprise software and software-enabled businesses.  Founded by Lisa Melchior, a 20+ year private equity professional with a track record that includes more than $1 billion of invested capital, VERTU brings deep global private equity experience to high potential Canadian technology businesses seeking transformational growth. 


Gil Nayot Joins VERTU Capital as Partner

[Toronto, Ontario, November 18, 2019] VERTU Capital welcomes new Partner, Gil Nayot. Gil joins VERTU after more than a decade of global private equity experience focused on technology investing and brings expertise in deal negotiation and execution, asset management and board directorship. 

Gil previously spent 8 years at CPP Investment Board (CPPIB) where he was a Senior Principal responsible for leading the Direct Private Equity Group’s technology vertical. At CPPIB, Gil invested in and worked with several market leading technology and enterprise software businesses.  Prior to joining CPPIB, Gil worked at Lake Capital Partners, a mid-market private equity firm based in Chicago, where he focused on investing in the technology and business services sectors. He also previously worked at Bain & Company in Chicago and Singapore.

  “I am delighted to have Gil join VERTU as a Partner. His exceptional pedigree in global technology private equity and his collaborative approach will add tremendously to the leadership talent of our investment team.” said Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner.  “Gil is an ideal fit, sharing VERTU’s vision of being a thoughtful investment partner to great Canadian technologies businesses.”

Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner

 “I am thrilled to be partnering with Lisa and joining VERTU Capital.  As a Canadian that has lived, worked and done business abroad, I’m excited to re-focus my efforts back on my home country, where there is a thriving tech community with growth ambitions that could benefit greatly from thoughtful, local partners with global experiences.”

Gil Nayot, Partner

Gil holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Bachelor of Engineering Science from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Full profile here.

VERTU Capital, launched in 2017, is a Toronto-based private equity firm that invests in Canadian technology companies, with a focus on late-stage growth equity and lower to mid-market buyouts.  VERTU’s mission is to bring deep global private equity experience to high potential Canadian technology businesses seeking transformational growth and looking for an investment thought partner.  We seek to collaborate with management teams that are poised to win on a global scale and share our core values of alignment, fairness and long-term focus.  Form more information on VERTU and its investments please visit http://www.vertucapital.ca.  



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[Toronto, Ontario, October 9, 2019] VERTU Capital is pleased to announce that seasoned private equity professional, Kimberly Davis, has joined VERTU as Chief Operating Officer and Partner.  

 “I have known Kim personally and professionally for many years and couldn’t be happier to announce her as a partner. I have tremendous respect for Kim’s expertise and am thrilled to have her on the team. Her depth of experience and breadth of capabilities will bring enormous value to VERTU as we build a world class firm.” , said Lisa Melchior.

Ms. Davis brings over twenty years of private equity experience to VERTU, including five years in Deloitte’s M&A private equity tax practice and fourteen years at TorQuest Partners where she held Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer titles.  At TorQuest, Ms. Davis had responsibility for building the firm’s back office, fund formation, LP reporting, compliance, transaction tax structuring and tax due diligence, investor relations, and fundraising.  Ms. Davis also chaired the CVCA CFO Task Force from 2013 to 2018.  Ms. Davis’s experience will be instrumental as VERTU seeks to raise its inaugural fund, VERTU Capital Fund I, L.P., early next year.

“I am very excited to be partnering with a seasoned professional of Lisa’s caliber, and to help her realize her vision of building a leading private equity firm focused on Canadian tech companies.  Lisa is at the forefront of a very compelling market opportunity that will drive significant value for the fund and its portfolio companies, and be a leading force in scaling the Canadian technology ecosystem.”, said Kim Davis

VERTU Capital, formed in 2017, is a Toronto-based private equity firm that invests in Canadian technology companies, with a focus on late-stage growth equity and lower to mid-market buyouts.  Founded by Lisa Melchior, a 20+ year private equity professional with a track record that includes more than $1 billion of invested capital, VERTU brings deep global private equity experience to high potential Canadian technology businesses seeking transformational growth.