Eight Black and Latinx-led venture capital funds will receive a total of $50 million from PayPal Holdings, Inc. the company announced on October 28, to “strengthen underrepresented minority communities and fight for racial equity and economic equality.”
The early-stage venture capital funds include Chingona Ventures, Fearless Fund, Harlem Capital, Precursor Ventures, Zeal Capital Partners Slauson & Co and Vamos Ventures. Investments are part of PayPal’s commitment to invest $530 million to support Black-owned businesses, according to a statement.
“Black and Latinx founders have been underrepresented in venture capital funding for far too long,” Dan Schulman, PayPal’s president and CEO, said in the statement. “By directing our dollars to investors from underrepresented communities, we’re supporting their investment in Black and Latinx entrepreneurs at the earliest stages.”
According to the New York Times, PayPal chose these companies after interviewing more than 60 firms who applied through their website; however, they declined to share how much money each will receive.
In July, when Black Lives Matter uprisings and protests emerged across the nation, the financial app announced a $530 million commitment to support Black-owned businesses, especially those that had been decimated by the pandemic. In addition to PayPal’s latest investment and infrastructure guidance, they will be launching a three-month fellowship to a Black or Latinx graduate student each semester providing coaching, training and mentoring.
“PayPal recognizes that our lived experience allows us to deeply empathize with the journey of other women of color entrepreneurs,” Arian Simone, founding partner of Fearless Fund said in a release.
“Women of color should be able to pitch to people who look like them on the other side of the table.” While some investors of color told the Times they worry this may be mere “P.R.” and that in a few months corporations like PayPal may forget about racial equality in their work, Schulman stressed that companies have a moral obligation to fight for and foster equity.
“I don’t think we can stand aside and hope that the problems of our society are just addressed by governments and nonprofits,” he told the news outlet. PayPal isn’t alone in making generous financial commitments to entrepreneurs of color. In May, former NBA all-star Magic Johnson and Rafael Martinez, majority owner of the asset-based lender MBE Capital Partners, announced they will provide $100 million in loans to Black and Latinx business owners.