Real Ventures


Founded in 2007. Real is an early-stage venture capital firm that backs entrepreneurs and builds the ecosystems in which they thrive. We are a leading source of capital for early-stage Canada-based tech companies. Real is a VC firm that believes in supporting founders from day one and helping them scale themselves as they scale their businesses.




Fintech, Logistics, AI, Virtual Reality, Robotics, SaaS, Marketplace Apps


Seed, Pre-Seed, Series A


North America




Janet Bannister

Since her first entrepreneurial venture as a teenager, Janet has used her boundless energy and focus to build and shape companies. Part of the Real Ventures team since 2014, she has led investments in over a dozen companies and works actively to help them accelerate growth and create meaningful impact. Janet’s experience as a founder, and her work with industry leaders like Procter & Gamble, McKinsey & Co. and eBay, have given her great insight and practical knowledge, which she passes on to the teams she mentors. Given her background transforming eBay from a Collectibles to a Mainstream marketplace and launching and growing Kijiji into one of the most visited websites in Canada, Janet primarily works with entrepreneurs in marketplaces, fintech, future of work, and AI in enterprise settings. A dynamic, high energy person, Janet has also competed internationally in triathlons and loves spending time in nature and with her family.

John Stokes

John is an investor who daily resists the urge to get back to being an entrepreneur — but rather chooses to live vicariously through the founders in whom he invests. After having played leading roles in two successful startups in Asia Pacific, but being underwhelmed with the venture capital model, John transitioned from entrepreneur to investor, determined to give others a more rewarding experience. After a number of years angel investing, he cofounded Real Ventures in 2007, where he works with passionate entrepreneurs looking to use technology to pre-empt the status quo. He knows that the path to success is uphill and it doesn’t have many signposts, but that an enquiring mind, an ability to inspire, a strong compass and dogged determination can enable entrepreneurs to find success in places others didn’t know existed.