Tag: black venture capitalists

Jay Z Reportedly Expands Empire with Launch of Marcy Venture Partners, a New Investment Firm in CA

Jay-Z performs on stage during the “On the Run II” tour opener at Principality Stadium on June 6, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Parkwood Entertainment)

by Michelle Darrisaw via essence.com

Jay Z is adding venture capitalist to his burgeoning resumé.

The rapper-entrepreneur, who is currently on a global tour with his wife, Beyoncé, reportedly filed paperwork in the state of California last month to launch an investment firm. The news of the venture fund comes just one week after the legendary rapper and  Beyoncé surprised fans with a joint album called Everything Is Love.

According to Business Insider, Jay Z is creating a fund called Marcy Venture Partners, which could be an ode to Marcy Houses, the Brooklyn housing projects he grew up in as a kid. In addition to Jay Z, Walden Venture Capital’s managing director, Lawrence Marcus, and Roc Nation’s president, Jay Brown, will also spearhead the founding venture capital firm.

However, this isn’t the first time the “Marcy Me” rapper hedged his bets in Silicon Valley. In 2017, he immersed himself in the venture capital world by launching investment platform Arrive to aid start-ups and businesses with branding support.

Notably, Jay Z’s angel investments also include funding for luggage company Away, premium sock company Stance, the stock-trading app Robinhood and private-jet company JetSmarter.

By adding more investment opportunities to his business repertoire, it looks like the hip-hop mogul, who, per Forbes, has a net worth of $900 million, is well on his way to becoming “the next Black Bill Gates in the making.”

Source: https://www.essence.com/celebrity/jay-z-launches-new-investment-firm-marcy-venture-partners

With Her ‘It’s About Damn Time’ Fund, Arlan Hamilton’s Backstage Capital is Bringing $36 Million in VC Funding to Black Women

Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton (photo via essence.com)

by PAULA ROGO via essence.com

Arlan Hamilton, the founder and director of Backstage Capital, has announced that her firm will be investing $36 million specifically towards black women.

Hamilton announced the news while participating in the United State of Women summit this past weekend. Backstage Capital is a venture capital firm that invests specifically in underrepresented founders. Through this newly-announced initiative,  the firm will invest in black women founders $1 million at a time.

“The rumors are true. Today at [the summit] I announced that my venture capital firm has launched a $36m fund that will invest in Black women founders $1mill at a time,” she tweeted

Hamilton is part of the only 9 percent of VCs that are women, according to Forbes. Also, only 15 percent of total VC money went to female founders last year.

The numbers are even more dismal among underrepresented groups like people of color and LGBT founders. “Investing in us—people of color, LGBT people, and women—is good business, good sense,” Hamilton, who is a black queer woman, told Quartz earlier this year. “And you are foolish if you think otherwise.”

As for what she’s branded the name of this initiative, Hamilton coined a name we are all the way here for. “They’re calling it a ‘diversity fund’,” Hamilton tweeted. “I’m calling it an IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME fund.”

And according to a Monday morning tweet, the work has already started with the new fund. “It is launched and raising,” she said. “Been in motion for months, and have some great partners. Will invest in 2-3 companies out of it before the end of the year, 5-6 in 2019.”

You can learn more about Hamilton and how she overcame all odds to create Backstage Capital in the latest season of Gimlet’s entrepreneurship podcast “Startup”.

Source: https://www.essence.com/news/arlan-hamilton-36-million-funding-black-women

BUSINESS: 20 Black Angels Worth Knowing For Minority Startups

FUBU Founder and "Shark Tank" Investor Daymond John
FUBU Founder and “Shark Tank” Investor Daymond John

Daymond John helped revolutionize urban fashion in the 1990s as founder, president, and CEO of FUBU (“For Us, By Us”). He guided the iconic brand into a multimillion-dollar business, placing it at the same table with such designer sportswear labels as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.

These days, John is known for being a “shark” on the hit reality series “Shark Tank”. Every Friday night, some seven million viewers tune in to the ABC show that features a panel of investors, or “sharks,” that consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking capital. John, a member of the cast since the show’s premiere in 2009, along with four other prominent chief executives listens to business pitches (a contestant’s one-hour pitch is edited down to a 10-minute segment) from everyday people hoping to take their company or product to new heights. Using their own money, the sharks have invested more than $20 million, having completed more than 30 deals with an average valuation of $250,000. John is the show’s second leading investor.

Studies show that African American-owned firms are less likely to receive angel investment. In the first half of 2013, only 8.5% of startups pitching to angels were minority-owned; 16% were women-led, according to a report by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. Only 15% of those minority-owned businesses successfully got funded, while 24% of the female entrepreneurs received angel investments. Moreover, ethnic minorities account for less than 5% of the angel population.

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