We all know the numbers–both because they’re so dismal and because, despite years of attention, they’ve remained stubbornly low. Only 4% of the US venture capital workforce and 1.2% percent of VC-backed founders are Black. Unfortunately the numbers are trending worse, not better, yet the myriad benefits of a diverse ecosystem of funders and founders remain clear.
For starters, this is one of those rare instances where everyone wins. Diversifying the private markets creates more jobs, increases innovation, and enables a larger share of the population to contribute to a stimulated economy. It’s also good business. Numerous studies have consistently found that diverse teams outperform monolithic teams.
For all of these reasons and more, we were thrilled two years ago when Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a $175 million economic opportunity package, which included $100 million in investment to Black-led capital firms, startups and organizations supporting Black entrepreneurs. One year later, we announced the recipients of the first $60 million in capital commitments. Today we are thrilled to announce that we’ve deployed the final $40 million in investments.
For the past two years we’ve worked together with leaders across Alphabet–from CapitalG, GV, and Google–to meet and work with some of the most talented and inspiring investors we’ve ever met. Some recipients, like Serena Williams of Serena Ventures and Tristan Walker of Heirloom Capital Partners, are household names and role models to business leaders and consumers across the globe. The other recipients of this investment include household names and role models of the future, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to shine a light on their impactful work. Recipients include:
Black Tech Nation Ventures: a Pittsburgh, PA based venture fund committed to democratizing access to capital for Black and underinvested founders and providing high-yield investment opportunities for diverse investors. BTN.vc spearheads impactful investments in high-potential software and enterprise solution companies with transformational business models.
Collide Capital: a New York-based Black-owned VC firm ushering in a new era of venture capital where opportunities go to the most deserving, not the most privileged. Building off of the success of their top-quartile Fund Zero of 34 companies, the Collide Capital team has closed a Fund I to invest in founders with the lived experiences, courage, and grit to create solutions for the next generation.
Concrete Rose: a Bay Area-based investment fund focused on using financial and social capital to build exceptional early-stage companies and close gaps for underrepresented talent. Concrete Rose also received funding during the previous capital allocation announced last year.
Heirloom Capital Partners: an Atlanta-based investment fund founded by founder-operator and board director Tristan Walker. Heirloom aims to partner with the founders of disruptive, meaningful companies committed to developing culturally connected products and services that improve lives and serve the needs of people of color. Heirloom Capital Partners was founded with the belief that the Emerging Majority is the most economically significant and least-served consumer population in American history.
Serena Ventures: a San Francisco-based investment firm that champions founders whose perspectives and innovations level the playing field for all types of entrepreneurs. Serena Ventures invests in products and ideas that unlock value for investors, doors for founders, and opportunities for everyone to live better.
Share Ventures: a Los Angeles-based venture fund and venture foundry focused on human performance. Share focuses on solving problems by creating and investing in innovative companies that unlock human potential.
Zeal Capital Partners: headquartered in Washington, DC, Zeal serves as a category-specific early-stage investment franchise that partners with exceptional, diverse management teams. Leveraging their market-backed investment discipline coined “Inclusive Investing,” they invest in financial technology and future of work startups that use technology to narrow the wealth and skills gaps.
Today’s announcement was coupled with another investment from Alphabet in racial equity: Fifty additional entrepreneurs were welcomed into the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. Learn more about those talented entrepreneurs here.
We’ve already started working with the talented investment professionals from these seven Black-led investment firms. We’ve committed to them not only capital but also ongoing technical and advisory resources from across Google and Alphabet (similar in nature to the types of support programs we provide to all CapitalG portfolio companies). We’re thrilled to partner with these investment professionals on their journeys and can’t wait to see the breadth of companies and the scope of the innovation they unlock.
Special thanks to our colleagues across Google and Alphabet, especially Jamie Rosen from CapitalG; Ajamu Baker, Kristin Sills, Ruth Ruberwa, and Tobechukwu Arize from Google; Candice Morgan and David Krane from GV; and our co-leader Anil Patel for working with us on this important initiative these past two years.