Giving Compass’ Take:
• Jon Swartz reports that in spite of public declarations of support from venture capital firms, Black tech entrepreneurs are still getting less funding than their white counterparts.
• What role can funders, impact investors, and venture firms play in correcting this inequality? What are you doing to overcome bias in your own efforts?
• Read about gender bias in venture capital pitches.
A social protest movement sweeping the world has prompted the tech industry to accelerate its glacial progress in recruiting, hiring and promoting Black workers, with recent multimillion-dollar pledges, changes in employment practices, and upper-management appointments.
Yet one area remains agonizingly elusive: Venture funding.
Venture capital, from Silicon Valley to New York, remains an industry deeply rooted in its investing and hiring patterns, self-perpetuating funding for a limited number of privileged companies that are overwhelming white, male and Ivy League-educated. In its case, the more things change…
Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, venerable VC firms have voiced support for protesters and the Black Lives Matter movement. Benchmark, Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and others tweeted in support of the cause and offered to take steps to improve representation in their industry.
Still, Kunst and other Black entrepreneurs and investors are skeptical, given paltry investments in Black-founded tech startups, as well as years of inaction. The numbers have barely budged. Of the estimated $136.5 billion in venture funding that went to tech startups in 2019, Black-founded companies received just 1%, according to the nonprofit Transparent Collective.
Read the full article about venture funding by Jon Swartz at MarketWatch.
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