Radical Ventures is adding to its bench strength with a fresh crop of hires, including a former operating executive in the value-creation platform of buyout giant KKR.
The Toronto-based artificial-intelligence VC firm recently brought on Parasvil Patel as a principal. Patel joined from KKR-Capstone, where for four years he was part of a 70-person, New York-based group that supports KKR’s global investment activity and portfolio companies.
Patel, a graduate of Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Technology, previously served with Boston Consulting Group.
At Radical, Patel will help to source AI opportunities and support the growth of portfolio companies, Managing Partner Jordan Jacobs told PE Hub Canada.
“Radical’s strategy is to be a life-cycle investor in AI entrepreneurs and startups, something Parasvil is uniquely skilled for,” Jacobs said.
Patel will work with Radical’s portfolio-focused impact team, led by Partner and General Manager Salim Teja, formerly the head of venture services at MaRS Discovery District.
Jacobs said the impact team’s operational mandate is crucial to startups in the fast-emerging AI ecosystem, particularly in Canada, “where companies have tremendous tech talent but often need help to scale.”
Patel will also work with the deal team, led by Jacobs and General Partner Benji Sucher.
Radical was founded in 2017 by Jacobs, Sucher, Tomi Poutanen and Maks Volkovs, all former executives of Toronto-based AI startup Layer 6, acquired last year by TD Bank Group.
Earlier this year, Radical launched a $458 million (US$350 million) fund to make Series A and growth-stage investments in mostly Canadian companies developing AI products or using AI to create a competitive advantage in large markets.
The fund secured anchor commitments from several major investors, among them Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, TD and Wittington Investments, an investment arm of Canada’s Weston family.
Along with fundraising, Radical is hiring “aggressively,” Jacobs said. Other recent recruits include CFO Blair Bernholtz, who served for nearly a decade as director of finance for Onex Corp.
Jacobs expects to double the current staff complement of nine later this year or in early 2020.
Other members of Radical’s team include Partner Ed Clark, a former TD CEO, and Senior Advisor Dominic Barton, a managing partner emeritus at McKinsey & Co.
On the investment side, Radical in June joined the $32 million Series A financing of Xanadu, a Toronto-based photonic quantum computing and AI startup.
And this week, Radical reportedly led a $41.2 million (US$31.5 million) financing of Sensibill, a Toronto-based receipt management software platform.
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