Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Wilshire Lane Capital—a Black-led venture capital firm focused on the realm of real estate technology, or proptech—unveiled its debut fund on Tuesday.
Founded by Fifth Wall and Andreessen Horowitz alum Adam Demuyakor, Los Angeles-based Wilshire Lane has closed on $40 million in capital commitments from the likes of JPMorgan Asset Management, Century City-based private equity firm Nile Capital and anchor investor Morgan Properties, one of the largest apartment landlords in the U.S.
Wilshire Lane is aiming to raise up to another $85 million for the early-stage fund by the end of this year, for a targeted fund size of $125 million. The VC has already backed several startups through the fund including fintech firm Esusu, which helps renters build credit, and metaverse real estate platform Everyrealm, a spinoff of crowdfunding firm Republic.
An L.A. native, Demuyakor described the city as “almost the perfect testing ground” for proptech. He told dot.LA that Wilshire Lane is especially focused on companies with a “net-positive impact on the environment.” That environmental focus isn’t coincidental: Commercial and residential buildings account for nearly 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
The venture firm also places an emphasis on investing in underrepresented founders. Wilshire Lane claims that more than 80% of its portfolio companies have a founding or management team with at least one woman or underrepresented minority.
“We actively look for diversity in the management of our portfolio companies, and we love companies that use technology to improve everyday people's lives,” Demuyakor said.
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