Harlem Capital, a venture fund that was established in 2015, has just celebrated a significant funding milestone. The firm, whose goal is to help minority and women entrepreneurs, has raised now over $40 million, far exceeding its initial funding goal of $25 million.
Harvard Business School graduates Henri Pierre-Jacques and Jarrid Tingle founded the firm four years ago, aiming to “change the face of entrepreneurship.” They saw a need to increase more seed funding for minority entrepreneurs in order to provide them with better traction in later-stage, more expansive funding rounds. Their ultimate goal is to invest in 1,000 founders over the next two decades.
In a recent interview produced by Cheddar U, Pierre-Jacques and Brandon Bryant, venture partner, discussed Harlem Capital’s impact in addressing low percentages of female-founded venture capital investments. Pierre-Jacques indicated that while more minority women are obtaining funding, more change is needed. “Until you can get more women and minority founders later stage…the dollars will never be above the five, ten percent mark. You need more early-stage funds focused on this mission to really push that up.”
Given the plan to support seed and Series A funding at a rate of $250,000 to $1 million per deal, Harlem Capital is certainly making an impact.