Good news for Black and Latino founders. 500 Startups which provides early-stage companies with funding has launched a $25 Million microfund which will be focused on supporting Black and Latino entrepreneurs. This was announced on their website where it was stated that the fund will be given to 100 startups and is aimed at helping Black and Latino founders gain “access to capital, networks, and expertise that they need to grow their businesses.”
The fund will be led by Monique Woodards, who is a partner at 500 Startups with access to the sort of network that will be greatly beneficial for these founders.
In a blog post, she wrote that it was a two-sided investing strategy. “On one side, you have Black and Latino founders who are undercapitalized and there are great deals to be made. On the other side, you have a population that over-indexes in many areas of technology consumption, increased consumer purchasing power, and an increase in the US Spanish-speaking population. This is making Black and Latino consumers a market that investors should be paying attention to.”
500 Startups has always been big on diversity and this is not the first time they are investing in Black and Latino founders, with notable companies such as AllDay Media, Mayvenn and Walker & Co on their list. This fund is a great way to expand the community of Black and Latino entrepreneurs and to ensure more diversity in the startup scene.
At the moment, the fund is only available for startups in the U.S and we have no information about if it will eventually be expanded to include founders in Africa. It is a laudable move on the part of 500 startups and we look forward to more investors who focus on Startups in Africa. It is worthy of note that the firm has focused on other parts of the world such as Southeast Asia, Japan, Mexico and Turkey. So far, the recent Chan-Zuckerberg investment in Andela gives us hope.
About 500 Startups
500 Startups is a global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley with over $250M in assets under management. We have invested in a wide variety of technology startups all over the world, currently over 1,500 companies since our inception in 2010 including: Credit Karma, Grab, Twilio, Udemy, Ipsy, TalkDesk, Intercom, MakerBot (acq’d by SSYS), Wildfire (acq’d by GOOG), and Viki (acq’d by Rakuten). Our team of ~125 people manage seed investments in 20 countries and speak over 25 languages. We run Accelerator programs emphasizing internet marketing and customer acquisition, design and user experience, and lean startup practices and metrics. Our Distro team and programs deliver growth marketing and investment for seed-stage companies. Our investment team and mentor network has operational experience at companies such as PayPal, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and Apple.