Kimberley Nixon runs a venture capital firm dedicated to startups disrupting the wellness, sport, fitness, and consumer technology industries.
Open Venture Capital
As an industry veteran with decades of experience, including working various roles for companies like Deloitte Consulting, Under Armour, Manduka Yoga, and more, Nixon had a desire to be part of the changing health ecosystem and knew she could be a positive influence. That’s when she decided to launch Open Venture Capital.
“It felt like the ecosystem was shifting to more preventative care, to people taking more control over their overall health and wellness through preventative actions,” Nixon explained in an interview with AfroTech. “As we’ve moved to more preventative care so that we’re not spending large amounts of money on acute care and recovery, and as we’ve spent more time and more focus on preventative care, the doors have kind of flung open in terms of what those preventative options can be. So, the opportunity was large. I was well poised to be a part of what the future of health looks like given my background in the space and the types of products and areas that I was already focused on. I knew I wanted to do something that took advantage of where growth was.”
Another motive was to create more opportunities for Black investors to have a seat at the table.
“I didn’t know that it would be a fund,” Nixon said. “I thought I would be a passive investor in a fund. Then I found myself kind of being too small to be a passive investor in a fund. And frankly, that upset me. There aren’t really a lot of Black investors or LPs in funds. There certainly aren’t a lot of Black female investors, and I wanted to make more space. Sometimes that means creating your own table. So, that’s what I did.”
Equity Investment From Bank Of America
According to a news release provided to AfroTech, Bank of America has distributed over $400 million to more than 100 minority-focused investment funds across the country.
“Access to capital is key to driving economic growth,” James Reid, Managing Director, Global Strategic & Sustainable Investments at Bank of America, said in a press release. “With its focus on health and wellness, Open Venture Capital is well positioned to provide capital and guidance to diverse entrepreneurs seeking to broaden access to underserved communities.”
As a result of Bank of America’s commitment, Nixon has been affirmed as one of the major participants in the investment space, and she is ready to assist other minority investors in taking part.
“The timing of the investment is really important because it’s a vote of confidence in a time when there aren’t as many from a large institution, and also that vote of confidence extends beyond just me but to the ecosystem,” Nixon explained. “Also, as I’m looking at smaller investors, I’m trying to bring on more first time investors and LPs into the fund. It helps them to make a decision about investing with me if they know a large institution has done so as well.”
She continued: “That to me is the most important part. As I look at what I want my cap table to look like and the investors I want on my cap table, I want it to be diverse. I want it to include more women. I want it to include more Black women. I know that I have to do my part to make sure that I educate, that I make space for smaller checks, that I address any concerns around risk. And having a partner like Bank of America really helps me to do that solidly with smaller investors as well.”