Various national groups have announced funds that boost funding opportunities for diverse founders.
Toronto-based Bay Mills Investment Group has launched its Bay Mills Diversity Fund, which focuses on strengthening investment into BIPOC founders working in specific emerging markets.
The group is preparing to deploy its first $25 million tranche. Investments will range from an initial $500,000 to a maximum of $5 million total investment in any one venture.
On its website, Bay Mills, which is led by CEO and managing partner Sheldon James. says that less than 10 percent of all venture capital deals go to women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ founders, and that just 0.2 percent of all venture capital goes to black founders.
The fund covers such sectors as: biological and medical health technologies; private educational businesses; financial and real estate technologies; cannabis production/processing and seed-to-sale technologies.
Meanwhile, 10 women who met working at Ottawa-based tech giant Shopify have got together to launch Backbone Angels, a fund that will invest in ventures led by Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour founders.
“We know there are backgrounds, voices, and perspectives missing around our table. We know that in order to systematically disrupt the system, we need to address not just who is receiving funding, but also who is investing. A part of our mission is to increase representation in the investor community in Canada,” the founders say on their site.
Betakit has also reported that Raven Indigenous Capital Partners has closed a new $25 million fund to invest in innovative early and seed-stage startups led by Indigenous founders.
The Vancouver-based VC firm raised its Raven Indigenous Impact Capital Fund from investors across Canada and the U.S.
“Investors are not only recognizing their responsibility to invest in Indigenous businesses, they want to be part of this decolonization journey through finance,” Paul Lacerte, a managing partner at Raven said.
The new fund has a strong social and environmental impact focus and will invest between $250,000 and $2 million in eligible companies. Raven’s portfolio already includes Fredericton-based PLATO Testing, which trains and employs Indigenous software testers.