Inclusive investing is seeing a huge uptick in the venture capital world, and Elevate Capital’s latest announcement continues this mission of bridging the funding gap between underserved and overlooked entrepreneurs.
Elevate Capital — a VC firm that invests in early-stage underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women, people of color, and veterans — recently shared that it completed a $26.0 million first close of its Elevate Fund II, which aims to lend support to those often excluded from gaining access to capital.
“According to Morgan Stanley, there is a $4 trillion wealth gap for women and minority-owned businesses,” said Nitin Rai — Founder and Managing Partner of Elevate Capital — in a statement. “We are showing with our performance that our model can support these entrepreneurs and get phenomenal returns for our investors. Fund II will allow us to expand our proven model to have more reach and make larger investments.”
A press release shares that so far Elevate Capital and Elevate Fund II — led by institutional investors Meyer Memorial Trust and the Oregon Growth Account — have already lined up six investments in startup companies, all of which are led by Black founders and CXOs.
The incoming portfolio companies include biotech startup Obatala Sciences, global streaming network Revry, childcare company LegUp, tech firm Time Study, financial literacy app Goalsetter, and medical device startup Forest Devices.
According to a press release, all of these founders have raised over $1 million in funding, representing a significant rise in this category for minority entrepreneurs.
When Elevate Capital initially launched Fund I, it capitalized on the opportunity to offer “mentor capital” to startups led by women, underrepresented communities, and other diverse backgrounds.
Now with its $40 million-valued Fund II, the VC firm has been able to build upon that first stage of success that will set it up to quadruple its investment power and expand the firm’s reach nationally. To date, it’s already performing in the top quartiles of funds nationwide in terms of IRR and cash returns, a press release reports.
We are back with our next fund. Elevate Capital Fund II, a $40 million fund that is bigger, better, and stronger, with an expanded national team of 5 and an army of Venture and Executive Partners nationwide. Read blog https://t.co/UP0G2nQFSE #diversityandinclusion pic.twitter.com/qnL60zjhwu
— Elevate Capital (@pdxelevatevc) January 26, 2021
“Built on our proven track record and intentional approach, our deal pipeline of minority and women founded startups is robust and we’re coming out of the gate strong nationally with our commitment to investing in the underserved minority and women entrepreneurs,” Rai continued in his statement.
The overarching goal of the firm’s fund model is to create supportive structures that help these entrepreneurs navigate through the challenging early stages of company growth.
With backing from Elevate Capital, the capital funding gap for minority and underserved startup founders will continue to shrink.
“If we have learned anything in 2020, it’s that we must move beyond talking about inequality to doing something meaningful to address it. Funding, guiding, and scaling the business ideas of our best minds based on talent, not privilege, is the investor’s contribution to social progress,” said Rukaiyah Adams, CIO of Meyer Memorial Trust, in a statement. “Meyer recommitted to the Elevate Capital team for Fund II because they delivered results —social results and financial results. And the Elevate Capital team recommitted to Meyer for Fund II because working together, we can build a better tomorrow.”
For more information about Elevate Capital and its initiatives, visit its website.