A note from Arden Tse, Investment Manager, Accelerate Fund II.
In late 2019, G2V wrapped up our latest round of seed financing that raised $1.4 million (USD). The financing was led by a group of angel investors via Radar Endeavour Group and joined by Accelerate II Fund.
“What the pandemic has done for many industries is completely accelerate the necessity of things,” says Tse. “Many startups have had to accelerate processes and have found new value propositions. While none of us had anticipated the food security conversations happening this quickly, it was inevitable to happen.” Arden Tse, Investment Manager, Accelerate Fund II notes that the conversations around food security will never go away. “What makes G2V lights so amazing is that it lets your crops be in season all year round. You are no longer limited to the season. Their lighting will make vertical farming more efficient, and in the long term be able to help out farmers and larger food growers managing their food crops systems as well. Their software and data is what is going to gain momentum in the future.”
For investors, Tse says that big visions and offering solutions is what is most appealing. “We are always looking to invest in long term visions. Michael definitely had a big vision and we want companies that we know are going to make a difference. It was never solely about the lighting- Michael wants to solve the food shortage problem. He was passionate about contributing back to the world and his research led him to explore the problems of food security.” Now more than ever, Arden sees lots of opportunities and ways that G2V can contribute globally. “It is an industry that is unique and has a lot of opportunities. Now, when I look across my portfolio, G2V has become more relevant. The problems they are solving are only exacerbated by the pandemic. Even now, they are more relevant than they were two months ago.”
“It really is about investing in the future and how companies like G2V can change the world and the way we live.”
“Working in tech venture capital is really satisfying,” says Tse. “You are up close and personal with the entrepreneurs, working alongside them, guiding them and bringing them value.” What excites him the most, is supporting companies that are changing the way we live. “It really is about investing in the future and how companies like G2V can change the world and the way we live.” What’s even more appealing about G2V, according to Tse, is that Ryan and Michael are really the perfect duo. “They are both immensely coachable- there’s no ego. Michael takes the data, analyzes it and can solve problems. He can take it so far as over analyzing but Ryan brings essential business leadership capabilities. He is able to confidently act on enough data to make decisions and that’s why they are so compatible together.”
Supporting Edmonton and the startup community here is important to Tse. “Edmonton is the best because of the community and the people here. It’s amazing how close every one is to each other. There is no shortage of people that can lend a helping hand- that’s how we grow and foster our tech communities. Certain industries in this area, such as agriculture and energy can really support innovative tech. They are big industries that can offer a lot of expertise.”
As for what Tse hopes for the future? “I hope the future is big. The future is going to be…well let’s be honest it’s not going to be smooth. There are big challenges to go through, like scaling hardware, data gathering, and more. But G2V has done great work so far. In a world that’s changing, it will be interesting to see how they scale but Michael and Ryan are incredibly talented at leading the way.”