500 Startups, a Silicon Valley venture capital seed fund & startup accelerator, has announced that it is raising a $25 million dollar micro-fund to carry out early stage investments in Black and Latino founders. The VC firm which is founded by former PayPal & Google alumni has invested in over 1,400 companies in more than 50 countries around the world. Some of their successful companies include Credit Karma, Twilio, GrabTaxi, Ipsy, Udemy, TalkDesk, Intercom, ToutApp, and Mayvenn.
The prospective fund will be invested in 100 companies founded by Blacks and Latinos, believing that it will give them access to capital, networks, and expertise that they need to grow their businesses. The fund will be led by Monique Woodard, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and co-founder of Black Founders.
Monique Woodard is optimistic that the move will allow 500 startups to be even more targeted in its investment strategy and fulfil its vision be the most active US investor in Black and Latino founders; by harnessing the strength of these under-capitalized markets and pointing investors towards their direction.
500 startups invest in all kinds of companies with focus on themes like consumer commerce, family tech and education, design, SMB productivity and cloud service, international/emerging market, food tech + digital health care, payment and financial services, mobile + Tablet, online video, Bitcoin, Ad tech and IOT/drones/hardware.
500 Startups has also announced its next Geeks on a Plane (#GOAP) trip which will visit the continent of Africa. Geeks on a Plane has made 17 trips to 30 countries including Asia, South America, Latin America, India, Eastern Europe, New Zealand, US, Middle East and North Africa.
This will be their first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa and will include stops in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. This invite-only tour gives startups, investors, and executives the opportunity to learn about high-growth technology markets worldwide and will also allow attendees to connect with African entrepreneurs in startup hubs across the continent.
Nigerian startups raised $377m in 2019, more than twice what they did in 2018. Find out more when you download the full report.