In response to protests for racial justice, venture firms are racing to support the Black community.
645 Ventures, a leading early-stage venture capital firm, released a detailed statement outlining their long-term plan to combat systemic racism.
“After taking time to reflect on our own personal experiences with racial injustice…we developed and initiated a plan for how our organization will respond,” wrote co-founders Aaron Holiday and Nnamdi Okike, and CFO Abe Spence. “We have listened to and spoken with leaders in the black community, our LPs, and our advisors and mentors, all of whom have provided valuable input and perspective.”
Subsequently, the Black-led and diverse VC firm — whose portfolio includes Squire, AptDeco, and expense management software Abacus, among others — will meet their new commitment through three key initiatives.
First, 645 Ventures pledges to support organizations directly and on an ongoing basis, starting with the Center for Policing Equity (CPE). They will also collaborate with LPs “to drive change toward systematic racism injustice, abuse of power, and policing.”
Additionally, they launched 645 Cares, an arm of the firm that will provide targeted support of causes that have a positive impact in the community.
“This is important in holding ourselves accountable while providing the duration needed to see things through, given the intractability of many important problems. This allows our support to be measurable and also enables us to address a specific problem from multiple angles and through multiple organizations (i.e. non-profits, etc.).”