People

Our Story

The Plazacorp family office has been active in tech investments since the mid-90’s, investing in dozens of start-ups in a range of industry sectors. In 2008, Plaza Ventures was formed to include outside capital from HNW investors in a formalized investment club.

PV General Partners

In 2013, PV moved into the now well-documented $1B growth-stage capital gap in Canada and introduced our novel micro-fund structure to appeal to a wide range of private investors. The platform has since scaled through multiple exits to include 100’s of HNW families and backing from multi-family offices and institutional investors. Our no-fee, performance-driven culture remains intact.

PV’s community-oriented philosophy embraces group ethos decision-making, recognizing the value of each team member’s unique perspective in every file that we explore. Our general partners directly support each portfolio company with their time, connections and expertise. Adding to this support, we encourage our tremendous roster of investment partners, our LPs, to contribute to our shared success with their own networks and knowledge. Our whole community benefits from alignment, transparency and mutual trust.

Our statement of inclusivity
PV General Partners

The PV Team

  • Daniel Brothman

    General Partner

    Plaza Ventures - Daniel Brothman
    Plaza Ventures - Daniel Brothman

    Daniel Brothman

    General Partner

    “Each day in this job is full of learning experiences; new technologies, new faces, new hurdles to getting an investment completed. What we do to compete and thrive is to learn from each day and get better the next; fine tuning our processes, structures, documents and methodologies to be a best in class investor and partner.”

    Daniel is an international and corporate law attorney and investor with extensive experience advising public and private companies. Prior to co-founding PV, he practiced corporate M&A and securities law at two prominent New York law firms, where he advised various private equity clients in a wide range of corporate transactions from seed to $26B. Daniel also developed a successful track record with Plazacorp family offices, heading numerous investments in real estate and technology (40+ technology deals) with many fruitful exits over the years.

    Today, Daniel is PV’s back-end specialist focused on fund structure, deal structure and negotiation. His judgment of management character and company platform readiness is relied upon to make informed decisions.

    Daniel obtained his Bachelor of Arts from York University and his Juris Doctor degree from Osgoode Hall. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business and a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School. Daniel is a member of the Bar of New York State and the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Robert (Rob) Richards

    General Partner

    Plaza Ventures - Rob Richards
    Plaza Ventures - Rob Richards

    Robert (Rob) Richards

    General Partner

    “Despite uncertain geopolitical times, the innovation economy is accelerating, taking our society into a geometric explosion of new capabilities and new frontiers. What we try to do in the face of these massive waves of change is to stay disciplined in our investment thesis, our ‘moment in time’. We are judged on annual returns at the end of the day, and we are heavily invested.”

    Rob is a high-tech operations veteran with over 25 years of senior management experience in IT, telecom, aerospace, and enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS). As Chief Operating Officer of one of the first SaaS companies in Canada, Rob helped pioneer the software subscription model and managed the company through its NASDAQ IPO. Since then, he has acted as an early advisor and interim CEO for several start-ups, managing private placements and growth activity.

    A PV co-founder, Rob is our strategy and operations specialist. Well versed in marketing, sales, R&D and commercialization, he oversees PV’s branding, growth plans and day-to-day operations. Rob sits on the boards of several portfolio companies. He is passionate about the impact of technology on economic and social advancement.

    Rob obtained his Bachelor of Science (Honors Co-op) in Physics from the University of Waterloo, with a major in digital signal processing. His Honors Thesis was in measuring super-cooled quanta.

  • Matthew Leibowitz

    General Partner

    Plaza Ventures -Matthew Leibowitz
    Plaza Ventures -Matthew Leibowitz

    Matthew Leibowitz

    General Partner

    “The Canadian tech ecosystem is bourgeoning. We need new sources of private capital to keep up with this growth and allow our companies to mature beyond an early sale. At PV, a large part of our mission is to orientate family wealth towards the innovation economy, where it has suffered from lack of access, and to connect our entrepreneurs with the vast resources from these successful repeat entrepreneurs and families.”

    Matthew is a seasoned growth-stage technology investor and career VC, having originated, managed and completed dozens of transactions. During his tenure  at B.E.S.T. Funds, Matthew oversaw dozens of growth-tech finance investments with consistent double-digit returns and co-created multiple funds.

    Today, Matthew is PVs front-end specialist, focused on deal flow, investment transaction processing, ecosystem development and investor relations. He sits on the board of numerous companies including Q4 Inc and MMB Networks, accelerators, and charities. Matthew is a Board Member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association, a member of the MaRS IAF Investment Committee, Co-Chair of the CIX Top 20 Awards Committee and Mentor at Techstars Toronto Accelerator and Creative Destruction Lab. Matthew is also an Advisor at NEXT Canada, where he mentors young entrepreneurs in building their own ventures. He is a frequent public speaker and guest lecturer on tech start-ups and Venture Capital, as well as an active angel investor.

    Matt obtained his Honors Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Laws from Oxford University.

  • Daniel (Dan) Israelsohn

    Vice President

    Plaza Ventures - Dan Israelsohn
    Plaza Ventures - Dan Israelsohn

    Daniel (Dan) Israelsohn

    Vice President

    Daniel is a finance executive with extensive experience advising and leading multi-national corporations on their corporate finance and tax structures. As a the finance leader for a high-growth SaaS company, Dan scaled up operations and managed the strategic sale of the company to a private equity firm. He has also served as a financial and strategy advisor to various early- and mid-stage tech companies.

    Today, Dan leads PV’s finance and administration, overseeing all due-diligence activities. He works closely with our portfolio finance teams to improve their finance functions, metrics tracking and governance. With our partners, Dan takes a leadership role in the practice helping to manage investments and deliver superior returns to investors.

    Dan obtained his Bachelor degree in Honours Business Administration and his Master of Business Administration from Ivey Business School. Dan is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Chartered Accountant.

  • Tina Safaei

    Associate

    Tina Safaei

    Associate

    Tina obtained her PhD from the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of the University of Toronto, after completing her Master’s studies at EPFL in Switzerland and MIT. She is the co-author of 10 publications in prestigious scientific journals in the fields of medical devices and clean tech, and holds a patent for fabrication of a next-generation bio-sensing technology.

    Today, Tina is PV’s Senior Analyst, responsible for the due diligence process on new companies. Additionally, she performs research on market trends and helps identify new investment opportunities. Tina also manages tracking the progress of PV’s portfolio companies by analyzing their board materials and quarterly reports.

    Tina is an aspiring entrepreneur and before joining the firm she was pursuing her own venture on personalized healthcare as part of the Next36 program.

  • Ben Mason

    Associate

    Ben Mason

    Associate

    Ben has spent the past few years working in the financial services industry with internships at Manulife Financial and Chubb Insurance, and most recently working full time with PricewaterhouseCoopers providing assurance services to clients in the asset management industry.

    Today, Ben is PVs Finance Associate and is responsible for performing financial due diligence and market analysis for potential investments. Furthermore, Ben conducts quarterly and annual reporting for Plaza’s funds and portfolio companies.

    Ben obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Queen’s School of Business, majoring in accounting. Ben is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant and is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

  • Ashley Thistlethwaite

    Marketing Operations Manager

    Ashley Thistlethwaite

    Marketing Operations Manager

    Ashley has several years of experience working in marketing, strategy and risk management within small businesses and multi-national corporations. Prior to joining PV, she helped launch a successful retail-focused venture. Ashley has a passion for community relations, visibility creation and company growth.

    Today, Ashley is PVs marketing operations manager. She handles our marketing outreach, branding, public relations, event planning, and LP communications. She is responsible for optimizing our marketing opportunities within the VC and start-up ecosystems.

    Ashley graduated with Honors from Western University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

  • Mohannad (Mo) El-Barachi

    Venture Advisor

    Plaza Ventures - Mo El-Barachi
    Plaza Ventures - Mo El-Barachi

    Mohannad (Mo) El-Barachi

    Venture Advisor

    Mohannad El-Barachi is an Egyptian-born tech entrepreneur, executive, and business strategist. He is the co-founder of SweetIQ, a Local Marketing hub helping multi-location brands and marketing agencies effectively increase in-store foot traffic through local search. In April 2017, after raising millions of dollars in VC funding and driving the company’s four consecutive years of +400% growth, he led the company to its acquisition by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

    Today, he continues to lead the organization as General Manager of SweetIQ and as Senior Vice President at ReachLocal. Mo has also joined PV as Venture Advisor, helping with our ecosystem presence and deal flow, and providing investment advice.

Our LP Network & Advisors

We’re proud to collaborate and co-invest with 100's of Canada's most successful executives and angels as Limited Partners. Meet some recent additions to our thriving community.