Impact America Fund founder and General Partner Kesha Cash is on a mission to invest in companies that offer solutions for the world’s overlooked and underserved communities.
In the process of achieving this goal, she’s also making history for herself and her company.
This week, Impact America Fund announced that it has raised a $55 million second investment vehicle to fulfill the company’s goal. Thus, making it a significant increase from the first $10 million fund raised in 2014 and the largest fund raised by a Black woman general partner, Crunchbase News reports.
According to Crunchbase News, fundraising for the second fund included a large investor base with 67 limited partners comprised of numerous foundations, large wealth managers, and global investment banking firm, UBS, which committed capital through its CRA portfolio.
The goal for this fund is to further invest in companies with an “outsized impact on low and moderate income communities,” Cash told Crunchbase News. “Eighty percent of the companies we’ve already invested in are led by a person of color. Seventy percent of them are Black-led. And while explicitly focusing on the diversity of founders is important work, it’s not our strategy.”
This latest funding round is a milestone for Cash and her company amid a year that has made expansive calls for social and economic justice.
“We’re building toward a future where every person of color in the US can participate in the economy fully and on their own terms,” the company shared in a blog post. “That’s obviously not true today: systemic racism has its finger on the scale, artificially narrowing the economic choices of millions of people across the country.”
Crunchbase News also shares the new fund has made a plan to invest in a total of 25 companies, including 11 investments already made in companies such as CareAcademy — training for senior care professionals; Solo Funds — a loan platform for cash shortfalls; and Upswing — a college coaching platform.
In a conversation with TechCrunch, Cash made it clear that access to capital could be the catalyst Black and brown companies need to give underserved communities the chance to experiment and innovate.
“When we think about disruption and venture capital, people get to dream and make up a new world,” she said. “Well hell, I want to make up the new world for low-income Black and brown people in this country.”
As a company that has become known for investing in POC-led companies and bridge rounds, Impact America Fund is dedicated to helping other companies negotiate from a position of power with funding on their side before raising a Series A from a large notable investor.
“If we’re writing a check in the bridge phase, we believe they’re going to get to the other side, and we’re going to dedicate and devote our time over that,” she told Crunchbase News.
For more information on Impact America Fund, click here.