Six months after being hit in a bicycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waistline, tech investor John Ruffolo is launching a $ 500 million private equity fund to help Canadian businesses.
Ruffolo’s firm, Maverix Private Equity, will target growth-stage companies looking to stay private as they expand globally, he said in an interview with Jon Erlichman of BNN Bloomberg Television. .
The launch of the fund was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, then by its accident in September. Ruffolo was struck by a transport truck while cycling in the Toronto suburb of Markham, Ontario.
“I broke my spine. I split my pelvis in two. I broke each rib in several places. I lost a kidney, a lung and a lot of blood, ”said Ruffolo, who founded the venture capital subsidiary of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. “I didn’t die stubbornly. ”
“When I first arrived at Sunnybrook Hospital, they didn’t want to operate on me because there was concern that the surgery would kill me because of the massive trauma,” he said.
By the end of October, still in a recovery bed at a Toronto rehab hospital, Ruffolo was feeling well enough to start talking to potential Maverix investors again. The fund plans to seek out companies disrupting industries such as retail, healthcare, transportation and financial services; investors include Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal, Mattamy Asset Management and pension funds.
“We wanted to build this concept of Team Canada, where we bring together the greatest people of this country who will come together around us and help those who come next,” said Ruffolo.
In addition to being one of Canada’s most influential venture capitalists, Ruffolo has championed the country’s tech industry as a co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators, alongside the former co-CEO of Research in Motion. , Jim Balsillie.