Collab Capital, an early-stage investment fund focused on start-ups led by Black founders, announced today the close of their inaugural $50 million fund. The fund’s mission? Build generational wealth by investing financial, human, and social capital to effectively support, grow, and sustain Black-owned innovative businesses. Limited partners include Apple, Goldman Sachs, Google, Paypal, Kapor Capital, Mailchimp and others.
“The significant investment gaps in Black-founded companies, particularly for Black women, holds everyone back,” said Jewel Burks Solomon, one of the managing partners of Collab Capital, an Atlanta-based venture capitalist firm. “ Now more than ever, the rest of the world has started to become acutely aware of what we’ve always known, Black founders deserve consistent access to capital as much as their non-Black counterparts. Our debut $50 million fund will help to mend the long-standing gender and racial disparity and drive economic recovery for not Black communities, but the entire country.”
Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity is widely reported. Underrepresented minorities make up just a small sliver of most tech companies. And the funding pipeline, which helps determine who gets the capital to build the next big tech companies, is not so different.
With the new fund, Collab Capital plans to invest in 50 Black-led companies over a three-to-five-year period with check sizes between $500,000 and $750,000. The firm has also reserved up to $2 million per investment for follow-on bets. It is targeting ownership between 10% to 15% in each deal.
Collab Capital’s board includes acclaimed business executives such as Steve Pamon, Rodney Adkins, and Kimberly A. Blackwell, as well as hip hop artist Lecrae, who currently serves as a venture partner with Collab Capital providing counsel and introductions to key contacts within various industries for these companies.
“I’m involved with Collab as a venture partner because I wanted to do more than invest money,” said Lecrae. “By leveraging my influence, I’m hoping to help Black entrepreneurs who would have been otherwise shut out of funding to reach their fullest potential. For so long these innovators had no other options to finance their startups and now they have options, education, mentors and the capital to bring their vision to fruition.”
To date, Collab Capital has invested in four companies which include reinvented rain hat Hairbrella, music licensing company Music Tech Works, Jax Rideshare, a startup serving rideshare and delivery drivers in Atlanta, and DC-based startup Please Assist Me, which partners with property management companies to provide residents with personal assistants.
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