26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Richard Osborn, Telus Ventures
In February 2016, Richard Osborn left health and wellness-focused investment fund RecapHealth Ventures for a managing partner role at Telus Ventures, the venturing unit of Canada-based telecoms firm Telus, replacing the unit’s founder Mathew George.
Osborn had been managing director of RecapHealth Ventures since it was founded in 2010, before which he was a partner at private equity firm Second City Capital Partners.
And this has been an area he has helped Telus Ventures push into. Telus Ventures invests in six primary areas – healthcare IT, internet of things, big data, fintech, digital security and identity.
Osborn, who believes in social impact investing, told YouAreUNLTD in February this year: “Our thesis is that all good healthcare, now and in the future, is going to be a mix of in-person and technology-supported care. In-person care might occur in a hospital or a doctor’s office, or increasingly it might be delivered at home. All of those groups are going to use technology to improve the diagnoses, the treatment, the follow-up, the care coordination and more.”
For 2017’s GCV Powerlist nomination, Darren Entwistle, president and CEO at Telus, said: “Telus Ventures has played a critical role in ensuring we embrace innovation opportunities that advance our country’s digital economy and Telus’s leading performance.”
As an experienced venture investor, he has two of the most powerful attributes required – experience in deal-making across a wide sweep of disruptive technologies and a strong network. This has helped deliver exits, such as last year’s sale of US-based cybersecurity technology provider Zenedge to Oracle for an undisclosed size.
Another portfolio company, data preparation and analytics provider Lavastorm, was acquired by US-based software company Infogix in March last year.
In 2018, Telus Ventures participated in 13 investments, with nine being new and four being follow-on investments. Since the unit’s inception, it has been involved in 119 total investments – 69 new and 50 follow-on deals. The total amount of investments participated in has been C$41.5m ($31.6m) per financial year.
Under Osborn’s leadership, Telus Ventures seeks partnerships actively with portfolio companies:
Furthermore, Osborn sought to expand the venturing unit’s connections inside and outside Telus through participating in venture capital-focused conferences and associations:
In November last year, Telus Ventures also invested in Canada-based venture capital firm Panache Ventures’ first fund with a C$50m ($37.8m) corpus.
Telus appears ubiquitous as a phone operator, alongside peers Bell Canada and Rogers, which has refocused its ventures activity back into Canada and effectively shuttered its Silicon Valley team under Paul Sestili, but, under Paul Lepage, former chairman of Telus Ventures who hired Osborn, Telus Health is a powerful provider of healthcare technology connecting doctors and healthcare practitioners to one another and to their patients.
From an impressive base, therefore, Osborn has quickly made his mark in a company that, almost uniquely among Canadian corporations, has taken venturing seriously.