🗒️ Black VCs Can Make A Bigger Impact With Institutional And Individual Investors’ Help

BLCK VC Retreat. The nonprofit equips Black investors with the access, education, and community they need to accelerate their careers in venture capital. - BY MARGI RENTIS

Forbes: The share of venture capital dollars managed by Black men and women is less than 1% for each. No wonder Black founders have only raised 1.2% of venture dollars, according to Crunchbase. Black people represent 14% of the population in the U.S. Think of the innovations the world is missing out on by overlooking such a large population segment.

VCs may say they want diversity, but that may be lip service. The numbers haven't changed much.

It takes organizations that not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Needed are grants to support small, emerging, diverse managed funds; policy changes making investing in VC more accessible to accredited investors; and better sharing of emerging best practices.

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🗒️ The billion-dollar tech unicorn is becoming rare again

Washington Post: The hot social media network BeReal — which is gaining steam with young people as a casual alternative to Instagram — recently raised money, a key milestone on the path of any successful start-up.

It had all the elements of a buzzy start-up, like Snapchat, Clubhouse and Pinterest before it. It was popular with college students and even beat out social media video rival TikTok on Apple’s App Store. But when a report this month confirmed how investors valued the company, it was worth under $600 million — far short of the “unicorn” status of more than $1 billion many of its predecessors earned in frothier times.

A billion dollars may seem to be a big bet, but unicorn status for years has helped young companies attract employees and media attention, as well as offer founders runway to pursue new ideas and cachet with potential partners. Many now-established start-ups such as Airbnb and Uber that have shaken up long-standing industries depended on deep-pocketed investors to cover losses while they struggled to compete.

But BeReal’s experience is representative of a new reality in Silicon Valley.

As employee layoffs, CEO resignations and belt-tightenings eliminate some of the excessive perks for which tech companies are known, investors here minted only 25 companies worth over $1 billion each in the third quarter of 2022, according to the venture capital research firm CB Insights. A year ago, there were more than five times as many new unicorns.

The drop is a harsh dose of rationality that is much needed in an environment that rewards big promises and falls prey to hype, investors said.

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🗒️ New venture capital fund to invest $100 million in decarbonising oceans

The National News: A new $100 million venture fund is teaming up with one of the world’s leading marine research institutes to invest exclusively in ocean technologies that can help solve the climate crisis.

Boston-based Propeller will focus on start-ups developing tech to remove carbon dioxide from the oceans, decarbonise shipping and improve efficiency in marine industries, among other innovations. The firm will also invest in companies looking to tap ocean microbes and other organisms to produce energy, pharmaceuticals and other products.

When it comes to mitigating climate change, “the ocean is doing most of the heavy lifting already,” said Brian Halligan, founder and partner at Propeller.

The oceans produce 50 per cent of the planet’s oxygen and absorb about a third of the carbon dioxide produced from the burning of fossil fuels. But little of the billions of dollars investors have poured into climate technologies has been devoted to ocean-related solutions.

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🗒️ aVenture Announces Plans to Create Venture Capital Platform Available to Everyone

Photo by Dell on Unsplash

Business Wire: aVenture, a new U.S. based fintech startup, today announced plans to launch a platform that makes venture investing available to the public. The aVenture platform connects investors with experienced founders and fund managers by making venture capital funds available as a public-private crossover fund.

The private venture investment market has been growing substantially over the last 15 years, including nearly a half trillion dollars invested in U.S. startups in the last two years alone. This is against the backdrop of fewer companies going public and more going private via private equity-backed deals.

aVenture is being built to bridge this gap, creating funds that can be purchased and redeemed using aVenture’s open platform. “I believe investors are missing out on an asset class that has become extremely important, one that has historically provided outsized returns and added diversification benefits” said William Callahan, chief executive officer and founder of aVenture.

“They’re missing out because there is no easy way for investors to responsibly invest in private assets today in a way that’s properly diversified and liquid with less than $10 million, but aVenture changes that”, explained Mr. Callahan.

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