Equity Alliance, led by former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, has announced that it has closed a $28.6 million fund, which they say they will use to invest in other woman-led and minority-led funds.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the “fund of funds” is aiming to provide both a professional network and a mentoring program for the funds it intends to back.
“It’s easier to open doors,” Parsons said to the outlet. “What we have to figure out is how to take this favorable mentality that is existing and create mechanisms that enable us to deploy capital in a successful way, so we make a lasting change in the economic spectrum.”
Equity Alliance notably invested in Esusu, a Black-owned fintech company. As AfroTech previously reported, Esusu reached a $1B valuation in January 2022, and they said they wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of Equity Alliance.
“It’s like chatting with people you know have your best interest at heart,” said Abbey Wemimo, Esusu’s Nigerian-born co-founder and co-chief executive, to the Wall Street Journal.
Equity invested $500,000 into Esusu at a $65 million post-money valuation. Esusu also received an investment from Serena Ventures — founded by Serena Williams — which is also an Equity portfolio fund.
Statement from Claude Grudinsky, CEO of Equity Alliance
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Claude Grudinsky said that the mission of Equity Alliance resonates with minority, and underrepresented, fund managers. He recalled a conversation with a Black female fund manager, who appreciated the concept.
“She liked our model because she wanted to demonstrate that Black women can actually outperform white men, and the for-profit model is the only real litmus test in this case,” he said.