In 2015 the venture capital firm Harlem Capital set out on a mission to address the inequities faced by diverse entrepreneurs. Six years after its inception, the investment group has taken major strides towards changing the face of entrepreneurship. According to Forbes, Harlem Capital has raised $134 million for its second investment fund.
Last year, the VC firm launched an effort to generate capital for its Fund II. Within the span of five months, Harlem Capital surpassed its fundraising goal with investments from an array of major corporations. Staying true to the firm’s mission, the funds will go towards backing 45 seed-stage businesses that have been founded by women and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. The businesses will be consumer technology-driven. Fund II will also have a “Culture Carry” element where the founders will divide 1 percent of the fund’s carry. The cultivation of Fund II is a major milestone for Harlem Capital as it has emerged as one of the largest Black-led investment firms.
Although the VC firm was founded in Harlem, its driving national impact and currently has 29 investments throughout the country. Among some of the companies that are included in its portfolio are the media platform Blavity, the Black-owned tech startup 4Degrees, the gig economy-focused website Jobble and the wellness platform for expecting and new mothers dubbed Expectful. Harlem Capital aims to invest in 1,000 diverse founders over the next two decades. “We are focused on building an institution and platform to support diverse founders for many generations. Fund II is one step closer to our mission, but we know the work and journey continues. We are excited to provide more capital and resources to even more diverse founders tackling unique problems,” Henri Pierre-Jacques, Managing Partner of Harlem Capital, said in a statement.
News about Fund II comes after Harlem Capital received a $10 million investment from Apple.