In the face of the world’s most devastating health crisis, millions of people and businesses crumbled under the detrimental hits from the economy. To top it off, racial and gender inequality issues have surfaced at the forefront of world issues increasing the pressure of our social responsibilities.
To help mend the damage done to American citizens and small businesses, Base10 Partners — the world’s largest Black-led VC firm — has announced that they’ve just raised $250 million to commit their efforts to promote more Black representation in the corporate world, The Moguldom Nation reports.
The Base10 Fund II supports the firm’s initiative to invest in tech companies who are committed to working with underserved communities, governments, and real economy companies, according to Managing Partner, Adeyemi Ajao.
In a Medium post, Ajao stated that the increased fund brought their attention to two things. One of those things involves what “Automation for the Real Economy” really means. The other thing is the tech industry’s role amidst this current challenge as well as the founders that are supported to resolve these issues.
“If there’s ever a time to step forward, it’s now,” Ajao told Bloomberg. “For years, we’ve been hoping to prove that investing in diversity was good business, and we thought that would be our contribution, but it has become clear in recent weeks that that is not enough.”
Crunchbase News reports that the new fund will focus on seed and Series A rounds, which has already been implemented with a $6.4 million Series A investment in Acquire — a San Francisco-based customer engagement platform that enables businesses to integrate and manage their communication tools.
In terms of the firm’s progress toward change, they’re looking at companies who are considerate of how the world will look in the next five years and what role they’ll play in contributing toward that positive change.
“We look at large, old-school industries—I don’t like to use the word ‘unsexy,’ but it is those industries that Silicon Valley isn’t really into, like real estate, construction, and retail,” Ajao told Crunchbase. “We see the need for automation, and the conversation has gone to essential services.”
Although the fund and the firm’s startups are still in the early stages, Ajao shared with Crunchbase News that some of the portfolio companies are upgrading their businesses by using automation to explore new things they haven’t done before.
“Most of these companies touch the real world,” he said. “These are the kinds of stories for us. When we hear that our companies are keeping other businesses alive, we know we are on the right side of history.”