Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
Matt Roberts of CMD Capital on The Deep History Of Canadian Tech and VC

Matt Roberts of CMD Capital on The Deep History Of Canadian Tech and VC

Episode 146

Matt Roberts is a veteran of the Canadian tech and venture scene. In Silicon Valley, his story would be somewhat common, a young talented tech person, the child of a computer pioneer, moves up the ranks through mentorship and gains wealth and stature through savvy choices and a little luck. However, in Canada, these stories are far less common and therefore more exciting to share.

This is a fun trip through Canadian Tech history. Matt was around, and often in a pivotal position, to see the rise of tech giants like GaN Systems and Shopify, and he brings a perspective of a tech scene that pre-dates the internet through the experiences of his late father, John Roberts. This is a candid and wide-ranging conversation that was an amazing deep dive.

About Matt Roberts:
Matt is a cofounder and General Partner at CMD Capital, focusing on Seed opportunities in AI with a generalist lens. Matt Co-Founded CMD Capital after spending seven years with ScaleUP Ventures, where he was Partner and subsequently a GP in its Opportunity Fund. While there, he was the lead investor in Solink, Renorun, Rewind, and #paid.

Prior to that Matt was at BDC, where he led the IT Venture Funds investments in Crowdriff, Sonder (Flatbook), Hubdoc, Unsplash and Crew. He also raised the Seed and Series “A” round for Semiconductor startup GaN Systems. Matt started in Venture as an Analyst at Wesley Clover, best known as billionaire entrepreneur Terry Matthews investment group. He was a founder and operator at various tech companies early in his career.

In addition to his MBA from Western University, Matt holds a BA from Carleton University.

In this episode we discuss:

(01:28) Matt’s journey into tech following in his dad’s footsteps
(04:46) Why mentorship and curiosity are so important
(05:54) Working with Terry Matthews early in his career
(08:20) His experience at GaN Systems helping raise funds
(14:07) His time at BDC
(16:30) Starting ScaleUp Ventures in 2016
(18:18) How being a GP changed his investing philosophy
(20:01) Decision making process at ScaleUp
(20:44) Why it’s prudent to make friends with Junior partners
(22:14) The evolution of the Canadian Venture Capital market
(24:22) Launching CMD Capital
(26:57) How fund size effects investing
(27:36) Why smaller funds can deliver more value
(29:16) CMD investing thesis
(33:04) How the lack of early-stage Canadian VCs has effected the market
(36:25) What CMD brings to founders beyond money
(38:13) Advice to young investors
(42:28) Trends he is seeing in VC

Fast Favorites

  1. 🎙- Favorite Podcast: Hardcore History

  2. 📰- Favorite Newsletter /Blog: Paul Wells

  3. 📲- Favorite Tech Gadget: iPhone

  4. 📈- Favorite New Trend: Focus on Revenue

  5. 📚- Favorite Book: Zero To One, Dominion

  6. 🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: Try something new every day

Follow Matt Cohen and Tank Talks here!

Podcast production support provided by Agentbee.ai
Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
Join your host, Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures for weekly conversations with leaders in the startup ecosystem discussing the truth about investing, building and running startups.