The launch of Helia Capital is incredibly timely, considering the recent influx of start-ups, entrepreneurial innovations, and businesses the world has seen, following the pandemic. Many are seeking to bring their venture to the next level, and the Canadian patient-capital firm is hoping to foster long-term relationships with purpose-driven businesses seeking full-proof expertise and advice on growing their business sustainably and successfully.
Fusion Ventures, a sector-focused private investment firm founded by Lee Piccoli in 2018, announces a rebrand and renaming to Helia Capital, marking the next evolution of the company. Helia Capital is a patient capital partner that supports businesses in the transition from entrepreneurial to a professionally managed organization, focusing on partnering with purpose-driven brands that are looking to achieve sustainable growth.
The Helia Capital team is currently led by CEO and Founder, Lee Piccoli, and Sebastien Koechli, Managing Director. Lee Piccoli is also the CEO & Founder of Fusion Homes, a multi-award-winning real estate development business based in Guelph, Ontario that Piccoli has overseen throughout its evolution from an entrepreneurial company to a professionally managed business. Sebastien is a veteran finance professional with over 15 years of experience, specializing in private equity investing, and M&A, working internationally across a variety of sectors.
Helia Capital seeks out a niche in the current landscape of private equity and funding. With Piccoli at the heart of the new brand, his experience building Fusion Homes from the ground up, at a young age, makes him uniquely qualified to understand what it takes, to expect the unexpected hurdles that can arise, and identify the trajectory and signs of a flourishing business model. One of Helia Capital’s key benefits to their partners is that they are a patient capital partner — not focused on short-term gains, rather achieving sustainable growth by working with organizations that seek to solve large challenges through their business model.
“Navigating this new Helia Capital brand from start to finish has been a true labour of love, and something that I’m incredibly proud of and excited to launch out into the world,” says Helia CEO and Founder, Lee Piccoli. “With a mission to invest in purpose-driven companies that are a rare combination of pure passion and operational excellence, our focus is on making a significant impact by working together to solve large challenges through sustainable business models that value factors outside of the bottom line.”
This recent announcement highlights the most recent deal that Helia was an instrumental part of. In April 2021, Fusion Ventures (now known as Helia Capital) led a $7.5 million Series A raise with Plant Power Restaurant Group, LLC., the parent company of Plant Power Fast Food. This announcement also included the addition of Helia’s Sebastien Koechli to The Plant Power Restaurant Group’s Board of Directors.
The funds from the Series A raised will be used by the plant-based fast-food restaurant chain to continue to execute expansion plans with a focus on new corporate unit development. The Plant Power Restaurant Group reported year-on-year enterprise-wide retail net sales growth of 52.14% in 2020 and announced plans to more than double the number of operating restaurants by the third quarter of 2022. New and upcoming store locations set to open for Plant Power include Hollywood, San Diego, San Clemente, Laguna Hills, and a second Las Vegas location following the opening of a flagship location in October 2021, marking the brand’s first move outside of California.
“We are incredibly thankful to be working with Helia as they are everything that we hoped for in a partner,” says Plant Power Co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Harris. “Lee and Sebastien’s expertise and skillsets have really allowed us to not only envision but achieve some of the key milestones we’ve been working towards. Their investment and belief in our mission to change the world has been such an integral part of the evolution of our strategy over the last several months. What is truly invaluable however is to have both of them be part of our team, especially during this critical point in the growth and expansion of our business.”
Prior to the brand evolution to Helia Capital, Fusion Ventures built a strong track record of strategic investments, notably partnering with two entrepreneur-lead companies: Childventures and Spring Mill Distillery. With each partnership, the team was involved financially, and strategically, including operational support and corporate governance, further driving brand and business growth. Childventures is an Early Learning Academy and leader in early childhood development programs in Canada blending curriculum and the very best teaching methods from Baby Signs and High Scope® to Montessori and Core Knowledge®. Childventures has seen incredible success to date since partnering with the Helia Capital team, including a 60% rise in the opening of new locations since April 2019, with a 9th location currently under development to open in 2023.
For more information on Helia Capital, visit heliacapital.com.
by Tristyn Gaudette