This Venture Capital Fund Is Investing $36 Million In Black Female Founders
A venture capital firm aimed at promoting underrepresented founders such as people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community launched a new $36 million fund that will invest in black female founders.
The new funding will be invested in black female founders $1 million at a time, the venture capital fund’s founder and managing partner Arlan Hamilton announced at the United State of Women 2018 Summit in Los Angeles, Calif., on Saturday.
In 2017, female founders received just 2.2% of the $85 billion invested by venture capitalists, according to data published earlier this year. That percentage is even less for women of color, who earn less than 1% of the total funding each year on average, as Fortune has previously reported.
“They’re calling it a ‘diversity fund,'” Hamilton tweeted Sunday. “I’m calling it an IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME fund.”
Backstage Capital received its first check from a partner in late 2015 and has since invested in dozens of startups created by underrepresented founders.
“We felt like a lot of these people and companies were being overlooked, undervalued, and underestimated,” Hamilton told Fortune in January. “With a little bit of leveling the playing field, we believe that these people are equipped to handle an erratic market and the various ups and downs in the startup world.”
A representative from Backstage Capital and Hamilton did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune.
A number of other venture capital firms have aimed to primarily fund underrepresented groups, including Aspect Ventures, the female-focused firm founded in 2014, and the newer The Helm, which invests in female founders and entrepreneurs.