Venture capital firm Backstage Capital announced that they are investing $36 million in Black women founders, exclusively. Founder and managing partner, Arlan Hamilton, announced the fund during the United State of Women 2018 Summit in Los Angeles on May 5th.
The rumors are true. Today at #USOW2018 I announced that my venture capital firm @Backstage_Cap has launched a $36m fund that will invest in Black women founders $1mill at a time. Thank you to the Backstage Crew, headliners, LPs, mentors & network for making this moment possible. pic.twitter.com/yT1SMQOFAR
— Arlan 👊🏾 (@ArlanWasHere) May 5, 2018
Less than 10% of all venture capital deals go to women, people of color, and LGBT founders. Backstage Capital is a fund that focuses on providing resources and funding to these often marginalized groups.
“With a little bit of leveling the playing field, we believe that these people are equipped to handle an erratic market and the various ups and downs in the startup world.”Arlan Hamilton
“Backstage was the first VC to invest in both of my companies,” said Dawn Dickson, founder, and CEO of PopCom and Flat Out Heels. “Arlan created a family environment with her portfolio companies that she calls “headliners.” I feel like I am a part of something really special, something magic and history in the making.”
“We felt like a lot of these people and companies were being overlooked, undervalued, and underestimated,”said Hamilton.
In 2017, women founders received just 2.2% of the $85 billion invested by venture capitalists, according to data published by Fortune earlier this year. That percentage is even less for women of color, who earn less than 1% of the total funding each year on average.
They’re calling it a “diversity fund.” I’m calling it an IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME fund.
— Arlan 👊🏾 (@ArlanWasHere) May 6, 2018
Based in West Hollywood, Backstage Capital plans to invest the new $36 million fund $1 million at a time to 15 to 20 companies over the next three years.