GCV Powerlist 2020: Richard Osborn

Rich Osborn leads Telus Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) unit of Canada-based telecommunications firm Telus, as managing partner. The unit invests in six primary areas – healthcare IT, internet of things, big data, financial technology, digital security and identity.

In 2019, Telus Health acquired a portfolio company, virtual care platform RH/Akira, and it is now a fast-growing virtual care platform and plays a critical role in treating Covid-19 safely from a distance, Osborn said. In addition, Telus Ventures backed smart apartment platform developer Iotas, sensor technology developer Hummingbird Technologies, medical prescription software developer GenXys Health Care Systems, traffic management software provider Miovision and Beacon, a mental health platform offering cognitive behaviour therapy.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Telus Ventures invested in Ondine in April 2020. “Ondine is a global leader in antimicrobial photodisinfection therapies that reduce infections in hospitals and medical clinics,” Osborn said. “Ondine now intends to focus on the potent antiviral capability of photodisinfection, evaluating impact on delaying the onset of Covid-19 infections and reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates.”

Under Osborn’s leadership, the Telus Ventures team continues to be proactive in identifying and investing in companies that, through innovation, are improving social outcomes. Now more than ever, virtual care tools are essential for helping Canadians and Telus Ventures remains committed to providing all Canadians access to quality healthcare no matter their socioeconomic status.

“Telus Ventures has established and is leading a group of immunologists, infectious disease experts, general practitioners and business leaders in the fight against Covid-19,” Osborn said. “Together, the group is focused on exploring the validity of serology tests – a type of test that can identify whether a person has produced antibodies in reaction to Covid-19.

“Serology testing will be a key part of helping Canadian return to normal life, helping healthcare officials understand how many people have actually come in contact with the disease and whether individuals who contract it develop immunity.”

Telus Ventures has completed a total of 75 deals since it was founded in 2001 and is one of Canada’s longest-standing CVC funds. “We have 30 portfolio companies from around the world, including Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Israel,” Osborn added.

Before joining Telus Ventures in 2016, Osborn was the founder and managing partner of investment fund RecapHealth Ventures, a Canada-based investor in North American healthcare companies. Prior to founding the firm, he was a partner at private equity firm Second City Capital Partners, acquiring majority ownership positions in leading mid-market companies.

Osborn co-founded an institutionally supported VC fund and co-managed two Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) funds with additional external general partners. He began his career in technology as an early employee of Multactive, the company behind a first-generation CRM product called Maximizer.

Osborn is the founder of one of Canada’s first social impact funds, BC Social Venture Partners, and is an adviser to an international microfinance fund and several Canadian impact funds. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Queens University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.