We'll roll up our sleeves and go deep.

We are owner-operators to the core - we see our investments in Canadian businesses through that lens.

Our Private Equity team helps owners like you to transition to new ventures (including retirement) and to ensure your legacy is in good hands. Prized relationships with your clients and employees, for example, are treasured for the long term.  Or if you’re looking for a partner who rolls up their sleeves and truly helps build alongside you, then we’re the team you’re looking for.

Our group was formed in 2017, and is led by Anthony Lipschitz, a seasoned operator with 20+ years of experience, from running pre-revenue start-ups and VC- and PE-backed companies, to leading StubHub (an eBay company) in Canada.

By design, we are actively investing in just a handful of niches. If you operate in one of those, you will know, as we continually look for platforms and bolt-on acquisitions that complement our existing portfolio holdings.

We know the potential / perceived conflict between our M&A Advisory and Private Equity activities. Rest assured that the two teams operate independently and confidentially from one another, and do not overlap in terms of their sectors of activity.

Our approach

We always strive to solve for three things: people, problems & growth.

  • We want to work with great people with the same drive and moral compass as us.
  • We want to solve challenging problems in industries where we can apply our collective skill sets to win.
  • We want to grow personally and professionally through the business building journey.

The first question we ask ourselves in every potential transaction is whether we can add value to existing operations, and be good stewards of them in the future. While it sounds nebulous, it’s a very real gut feel that both we and existing ownership will know quickly. No amount of data analytics can be a substitute for that.

Only after determining the chemistry will we analyse and dissect, as would any other potential buyer of your company. Our acquisition process is as efficient as it can be, but we recognize that it is a challenging, time-consuming often emotional time, and will pace things accordingly.

We enter every conversation and negotiation in good faith. We strive to do the right thing, as that always pays off in the long term.

For the vast majority of transactions, we acquire a controlling stake. The owner(s) may or may not retain a shareholding – every deal has different sets of circumstances that would drive that decision.

We are extremely patient investors – we don’t have to sell our positions within 5 to 7 years as other funds do. We are in this to create long term value for all shareholders.

If you’re transitioning out, we are flexible throughout the transition period, striking a balance between your needs and those of the company.

We are motivated by the journey – the building of businesses. We avoid the typical tactics private equity firms have become known for, e.g. aggressive cost cutting and layoffs, as it is our belief they aren’t conducive to long-term business-building. We recognize the value of loyal employees and the strong bonds you’ve built with customers, suppliers, etc. alike. The by-product of this investment and operating strategy are great returns, staying to true to the core culture you’ve built and to continuing the legacy and existing success that’s brought you to this point.

Market Insights
From the archives: July 2019

The Path to Exit and Beyond: Entrepreneurs' Stories, Part I
“The sale of a company can mark the beginning of a major time of reinvention and renewal...but It can potentially lead to a difficult…

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Case Studies

Last Call Analytics
Last Call Analytics has developed a frontline sales analytics and visualization platform for the beverage and alcohol industry. FirePower invested Gap Debt as a way to bridge them to a Series-A financing.

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Beverage & Alcohol
Our client was searching for new sources of revenue as it faced increased competition in its core business. After the VMX team identified an attractive new sector, our client entered it; it quickly led to an exit at an extremely compelling valuation largely due to its efforts in that new sector.

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Software Distribution
Our client, a software distributor, sought to optimize the pricing of its products and the incentives of its salesforce . Within the 3-month duration of the VMX exercise, EBITDA run-rate increased by 15%, with visibility into more increases down the road.

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BATL was born out of a personal passion, started as a backyard business. After some early steady growth and a successful Toronto commercial location, I was approached by FirePower CEO, Ilan Jacobson, with a proposal to partner so we could build something truly special.  Once we joined forces, it quickly became clear that having Ilan as a partner, along with the support of the FirePower team, would give BATL a real advantage. In addition to capital, Firepower provided the strategic expertise and support we needed to take BATL to the next level.  Since day one, Ilan Jacobson has been a stalwart supporter as we scaled the business across North America.  We’re proud of the success we’ve achieved for BATL so far - it’s fueled by people that share the passion to make something great every day.  Ilan Jacobson and the FirePower team have been part of that…a driving force to help us reach new heights. And we’re just getting started!
Matt Wilson, Founder and CEO, BATL