Joining FreshBooks

When I entered the startup World in the late 90s I set a goal for myself to become a VC in ten years. It took me eleven, but in late 2010 I achieved that goal joining Real Ventures.

I’ve had a great run at Real. We have been Canada’s most active seed venture fund with almost forty venture investments.  We have invested in some great teams and already have breakout hyper-growth companies including Frank & Oak and Cinemagram. Finally, we have already had four positive exits. All good.

But as I looked back and reflected on things over the end of year holidays, I found myself missing operating inside companies. I’ve been fortunate and privileged to be part of the Real team and to work with so many great entrepreneurs. But it was time for me to hunker down and focus on just one company as a full time team member.

So, I am pleased to announce that I am joining FreshBooks, a company that needs no introduction, especially to the Canadian startup community. I have been close to this company for a number of years and have watched it grow. It is a truly special company. And even though it’s been around for a while, it’s just getting started.

I will be leading business & corporate development at FreshBooks, helping build a portfolio of relationships that will propel our growth.

I will continue to be involved as a Venture Partner at Real. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my partners Alan, JS and John, and the team members for a great 2+ years as a VC. Real has done some great things. And, like FreshBooks, it too is just getting started.

  • qwop

    Congrats Mark and welcome to Toronto!
    qwop unblocked

  • Congratulations, Mark! Another step for your grand goals and hope you still have time DJ

  • Great article! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.

  • Great post,thanks,this is going to help me a lot.

  • I share many of your viewpoints and should merely grasp what you’re creating a trial to say.

  • but I browse your whole article. What a shock! It’s with care
    encompassing that I got involved in your content. i like your many

  • I’m adding your articles to my bookmarks for more review.

  • Pingback: FreshBooks wins iPhone award, hires VC investor | IT Business()

  • They’re lucky to have you Mark, congrats!

  • My belated congrats, Mark, and welcome back to Toronto! Lucky Freshbooks!..

  • Congratulations, Mark! Another step for your grand goals and hope you still have time on your DJ music 🙂

    • Thanks Fang. Will definitely keep pumping out the music

  • VinceSurette

    Mark, sorry to see you go (luv ya man). I agree, there’s nothing like the buzz (or shivers) of ops. Will miss your level head. Best of the best to you.

    • Thanks Vince. Keep rocking it with Wajam and others. And keep in touch

  • Woah! Huge news. Congrats Freshbooks on getting a world class A-Player. Congrats Mark on joining a superb company.
    Now, last time you went from operations to VC, I did the exact opposite. Am I supposed to switch again? (I’m not moving to TO, though).

    • Thanks a lot David. You stay just where you are 🙂

  • Congrats Mark! 🙂

  • Congratulations Mark, Freshbooks is blessed..! Great to have you in Toronto.

  • Congrats Mark! Toronto welcomes you 🙂

  • Pingback: FreshBooks wins iPhone award, hires VC investor | My Blog()

  • Congrats Mark. You were one of the few Canadian VCs whom I enjoyed following for their valuable input regarding businesses and the general entrepreneurial ecosystem. I am sure you will continue provide such input through the different social media channels!

    • Thanks Abdallah. Most of my time blogging has been on the company side, vs. VC. Will keep on going.

  • Congrats Mark! It’ll be great to hear your perspective from “the other side of the table”. Oh wait, that’s already taken. No matter – all the best in the new role!

  • Hey Mark, Stop in at Rent frock Repeat when you get a chance – we are your new neighbours and would love to personally welcome you to the building!

  • Wow, what a surprise! Congrats & see you in TO sometime 🙂

    • You live in TO?

      • I’m in Kathmandu right now; leaving for Bangkok on Friday. I should be back in North America by May, earlier if my latest idea takes off 🙂

  • Congratulations, Mark. Sounds like a win-win. See you around town.

  • Congrats Mark, all the best to you and your family with the new adventure.

  • Wow, congrats and good luck in this new adventure.

  • Tony Lam

    Congrats Mark. The venture community’s loss is Freshbooks’ gain. Best wishes.

  • jenniferlum

    Congrats Mark!

  • garydpdx

    Best of luck to you, Mark! 🙂

  • Roger Wilson

    Congrats Mark and welcome to Toronto!

  • Congrats for the move Mark. On could think you’re leaving because of the crazy weather we’re having right now. See you in TO.

  • leilaboujnane

    Operations pretty much beats everything else! 🙂 Welcome back to the real side of building! Will be nice to have you in TO too. The weather is going to feel balmy. A bientot!

    • Thx Leila. Looking forward to being back operating and back in TO.

  • I hope you’ll continue to write the blog. Looking forward to get some inside insight.


    • Definitely will keep blogging. Won’t be sharing too many insider secrets though 🙂

  • Congrats. I have a long list of feature requests that I’ll send your way 🙂

  • Congratulatons, Mark. I know you’ll do amazing things with Freshbooks. Go get em!

  • Congrats Mark! It’ll be great to have you in Toronto 🙂

    • Absolutely. Much easier to meet over Manhattans…

  • Congratulations Mark (and Freshbook)! Exciting news for Toronto as well 🙂

    • Thanks Jonas. It’s been 17 years since I lived in TO. Will be fun to be back

  • Awesome news! Change is a very good thing. I can attest to that. Freshbooks is lucky to have you, and I know you will enjoy Toronto!

  • Congrats Mark – I know you’ll be missed at Real and also in Montreal. Freshbooks is smart (and luck) to have you join them! very best wishes, Alex

  • Jagath Narayan

    Congrats Mark. That is definitely an exciting move!!

  • ptelio

    Montreal will miss you dearly Mark. Hope you will come back often. In July at the very least 🙂 All the best to you and Freshbooks.

  • Amazing! You are going to be great… and make Freshbooks even greater. Exciting.

  • Congrats Mark! Very happy for you! Sad to see you leave for Toronto though! 🙂

    • Thanks Charles. Really enjoyed my time in Montreal. Great community here and it;s only just beginning with Notman getting going

  • Casey McKinnon

    Looking forward to having you in the office full-time Mark… excited about learning a lot from you.

    • Thanks Casey. Looking forward to working with you

  • Rob Saric

    Best of luck Mark!

  • Mark – congrats on making a big leap. I’m sure it’ll be a hell of a ride.

    When do you move from Montreal?

  • Facebook User

    Congrats, Mark! FreshBooks is lucky to have you.

  • Amazing news Mark. Congrats. Glad to hear you will still be keeping a hand in the venture community as well.

  • Congratulations Mark! All the best at Freshbooks!

  • Huge congrats! All the best!

  • Congrats @startupcfo:disqus amazing news for @mikemcderment and the @freshbooks team!

    Are you moving to Toronto?!!!!!

    • Thanks David. Yep, already bought a house

      • What neighbourhood? Looking forward to seeing you around town.

        • Kingsway area

        • Welcome to my hood Mark. Come by for a glass of wine sometime and I’ll give you tips on the neighbourhood. 380 Prince Edward.

        • Wow, that’s close Bryan. We move end of March. Will let you know once we are all settled in.

      • jevon


  • Coming back to the light from the dark side. Congrats.

  • Congrats Mark! All the best to you a Freshbooks team.

  • As they say in Russia – a gifted person is gifted in everything. Congrats!

  • Big Move. Awesome. Mike is a smart man bringing you in full time.

  • Harley

    congrats MM. #hustle 🙂

    • You’ll have to show me your partnering hustle secrets 🙂

  • luc levesque

    Congrats Mark

  • Wow – totally unexpected! Huge respect for following your passions though, Mark. All the best and look forward to continue working together.

    • Thanks a lot Kevin. Really looking forward to getting back to operating. Let’s stay in touch