For the first time, women of color are leading a venture capital fund. Started by five top investors, the fund focuses on founders, ecosystems, products, and services with significant opportunity for growth that traditional VCs historically overlook.
Noramay Cadena, Daphne Dufresne, Juliana Garaizar, Karen Kerr, and Lorine Pendleton are the Portfolia Rising America Fund lead investors. They’re looking for early and growth-stage companies in the US led by people of color, LGBTQ founders, or both, Pendleton told Mary Kathleen Flynn for a Q&A with Mergers & Acquisitions.
“Our first investment was in MoCaFi, a Newark, New Jersey-based fintech startup founded by African-American entrepreneur and former JPMorgan Chase commercial banking executive Wole Coaxum,” Pendleton said. “Our second investment, which we have not publicly announced yet, is a Series C in a women’s tele-medicine network with holistic care provided in 20-plus specialties and 30 languages.”
In today’s Plug In South LA Beat, our regular curation of must-read innovation and tech news, we’re finding out how this pioneering VC fund could help drive innovation where it’s needed most: