There is an endless pool of diverse talent seeking opportunities to thrive, which means SoftBank Group (SoftBank) is taking no breaks in its commitment to provide access to Black- and Latinx-led startups.
As previously reported by AfroTech, SoftBank launched a $100 million fund back in 2020 for entrepreneurs of color and startups led by minorities.
The fund went on to deploy the funding to 75 companies as well as its core growth fund, Vision Fund 2, and the Latin America Fund. It separately invested around $600 million in Opportunity Fund portfolio companies, according to a press release shared with AfroTech.
Now, for the company’s third consecutive year, it’s aiming to hit a new target.
Formerly named the Opportunity Fund, the Open Opportunity Fund is looking to invest $150 million in Black- and Latinx-led startups with the launch of Fund 2, the press release details.
Additionally, Paul Judge, Ph.D., will lead the fund as chairman.
“SoftBank proved that the Opportunity Fund model works for increasing access to capital for founders who have been traditionally overlooked, and we remain committed to the fund and its mission,” Managing Partner of SoftBank Investment Advisors Brett Rochkind said, according to the press release. “Paul Judge is a seasoned leader strongly positioned to take the Fund into its next chapter as we invite new partners to join SoftBank in our commitment.”
Along with his appointed as Chairman, Judge became co-owner of the Open Opportunity Fund after he and affiliated entities acquired an ownership stake.
“I applaud SoftBank’s commitment to supporting diverse founders by creating this fund almost three years ago and continuing to invest in it,” Judge said. “Diverse founders have an unwavering spirit and ingenuity that allows their unique perspective to successfully solve problems and build meaningful companies. I am excited to welcome new partners to join us in this work of supporting diverse founders.”