Monique Woodard Takes Her 'Layered' Investment Approach To A New Level With $17M Fund
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Monique Woodard Takes Her 'Layered' Investment Approach To A New Level With $17M Fund

Founding Partner and “Head Baker” Monique Woodard is doing her part to ensure that business owners can have their cake and eat it too.

In a Twitter post, Woodard announced Cake Ventures Fund I.

“I’m officially announcing Cake Ventures (@cakeventures) Fund I, a $17M seed and pre-seed fund to invest in founders building companies and products whose growth is accelerated by demographic change,” the tweet read.

According to a report from Forbes, Woodard closed on the first part of her fund in March 2021.

Since its initial launch, she has had an interest in newly formed businesses that drive demographic changes through “layers of a cake,” which include:

  • aging and longevity-minded population
  • the increased earning power of women in society
  • the shift to “majority-minority”

This demographic, layered approach is a thesis Woodard explained that she does not believe exists at other firms.

“It’s the lens through which I view companies,” Woodard told Forbes in an interview. “Even companies that don’t ‘look like’ demographic change companies on the surface have a layer of this under the hood.”

With the fund in place, Cake Ventures will target approximately 25 investments at about $500,000 per check. The firm has made 12 investments in companies like training startup Bright, household bills tracking platform Gerald, and neuro-divergence support business Joshin. Forty percent of Cake Ventures’ portfolio includes businesses led by women.

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Bank of America, Foundry Group, Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, Plexo Capital, and Cendana Ventures back the new fund. Woodard admitted that raising money for the fund was a challenge. The Forbes report also noted that Woodard originally had plans to raise $20 million.

“I’ve said before that raising a fund is doing venture capital on hard mode. And raising a fund as a woman is like crawling through glass, and raising a fund as a Black woman is like crawling through glass with no clothes on, and then they pour fire ants all over you,” she said to Forbes. “So it was always going to be hard.”