Attitude Ventures closes $100 million fund to support Latino founders of early-stage startups – TechCrunch
JPMorgan is the lead investor in the fund, which counts former United Airlines CEO Munoz among its partners.
Early Stage Latino Founders US-based companies have just secured a potential new source of capital.
Attitude Ventures today announced the closing of its first institutional fund, raising more than $100 million from several financial services heavyweights, including a “strategic anchor investment” from JPMorgan Chase.
The San Diego, Calif.-based company seeks to invest only in Latina(o)-owned seeds in “high growth potential” Series A companies.
L’Attitude’s decision to only support U.S.-based Latina(o)-owned businesses, not those headquartered in Latin America, stems from the fact that U.S.-based Latinos create 50 % of all new businesses are employer-based and hold $2.7 trillion in economic power, according to partner Laura Moreno Lucas.
“…And yet they are the most undercapitalized, with less than 2% early-stage venture capital and 1% late-stage venture capital,” she added, citing the Bain Capital 2021 Research Report. “So we think the opportunity is right here at home in the United States, what we call the new traditional economy.”
Notably, the firm’s partners come from varied — and impressive — backgrounds:
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CEO, Sol Trujillo is the former CEO of Telstra, Orange SA and US West. He is also chairman of L’Attitude and Trujillo Group, the Latino Donor Collaborative and is a former board member of Bank of America, Pepsi and Target.
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and President Gary Acosta is co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, as well as the founder of several mortgage, real estate and technology companies.
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CIO Kennie Blanco is a former portfolio manager at BlackRock and former President of Bay Area Latinos in Finance.
- Partner Oscar Munoz is the former vshairman and CEO of United Airlines, and currently serves on the board of directors of CBRE Group Inc. and Univision Holdings Inc., as well as an independent director on the board of directors of equity and high income funds of Fidelity.
- Lucas is founder and CEO of Pandocap, a strategic consulting and media services company as well as an advisor to 500 Startups. Lucas was previously CEO of Nasdaq, where she led the IPOs of Beyond Meat, Lyft, The RealReal, Airbnb and other top listings. She also founded and left Ladada, a fashionable subscription startup.
Both Munoz and Lucas joined the firm in early 2022.
In a prepared statement, JPMorgan Chase President and CEO Jamie Dimon said, “Latino-led businesses are critical to the American economy, but often lack access to capital and resources for growth. growth… Our investment in L’Attitude Ventures builds on our broader commitment to supporting Latin American entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country.
Bank of America and Trujillo Group were also “key” early investors, the fund said. Other LPs include UC Investments and MassMutual, Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco and Churchill, a subsidiary of Nuveen.
Attitude raised its first (considerably smaller) fund in 2019, closing with $2 million in a capital raise led by Munoz and Salesforce co-founder, chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The company launched Fund II in 2021 and closed it in just over a year, Lucas said.
L’Attitude has already supported several companies, including Listo, Flow and Camino Financial. He plans to invest in another 20 companies, rounding out the portfolio to between 40 and 50 startups. The average check size ranges from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
Most of the company’s major investments are in fintech companies, but Lucas says the company is independent of the industry.
“We see these great fintech LPs being able to act as a launchpad to help drive and catalyze our portfolio,” she told TechCrunch.
Generally, the partners of L’Attitude believe that the financial institutions that support the fund have more than altruistic motivations. They also see an opportunity.
“This fund … represents an opening salvo for what should become an investment boom directed towards this sector of start-up companies that are founded or led by Latina (o) entrepreneurs and have significant potential,” said Trujillo in a prepared statement. “Latina(o)-owned businesses benefit from an integrated relationship with a rising generation of young Latin American consumers; investing in their early growth promises solid returns for at least the next 30-40 years.
Munoz agrees, calling the rising generation of Latin Americans “the biggest market since the baby boomer generation, with a GDP larger than the combined economies of most developed countries.”
“There has never been a better time to capitalize on and contribute to the rapid growth of Latina(o)-owned businesses,” he said.
The Attitude holds a conference each September aimed to create a forum for founders to compete for up to $20 million in capital to be invested by L’Attitude Ventures over the cycle. The fund says the competition is also a platform for startups to pitch other selected potential investors.
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