Janet Bannister hadn’t yet arrived at the Elevate technology conference in Toronto Wednesday, but she was already making waves among the tech leaders and investors gathered there. Montreal-based Real Ventures announced that morning that Bannister is stepping down as managing partner. Co-founder and partner John Stokes will fill the role.
The investor and former eBay executive has been the face of Real for the past eight years, investing in early-stage companies over four funds whose portfolios include League, Clearco, Mejuri and Sonder.
Her departure has stoked speculation within Canada’s tech ecosystem that Real is on its last fund. The firm has struggled to raise a new pool of capital. Those efforts were put officially on hold with Bannister’s move.
In an interview with The Logic shortly after the announcement, Bannister said the decision to step down was hers alone, but acknowledged there’s been tension between Real’s general partners and the limited partners that back the fund.