If you were trying to close your new venture fund in the spring, you probably had a lot of sleepless nights and frantic Zoom meetings as limited partners tried to shore up their existing portfolios amidst Wall Street turmoil.

But after the initial shock from coronavirus wore off and public markets sharply rebounded, 2020 turned out to be a great year to raise a new fund, with the major caveat that you are well-established and raising lots of capital.

Bigger was definitely better.

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Jordan Fudge – Black, openly gay, and only 28-years old – recently closed one of the largest venture funds in Los Angeles history, which he runs out of a lavish Bel Air mansion. He has raised nearly a billion dollars in dry powder from a reclusive billionaire in Germany, who he got connected to through his personal trainer.

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Valence, a tech platform and professional network launched last year that connects Black founders, announced its inaugural funding network Thursday. The list includes investors at top firms including Sequoia Capital, Accel and Upfront Ventures.

"For years, Black entrepreneurs have been told that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, but at the same time most haven't had access to the top networks, the warm introductions, and the mentorship that underpin lasting success in tech. Valence is upending this completely by bringing the top VCs to compete for the best Black entrepreneurs." said Valence co-founder and general partner at Upfront Ventures, Kobie Fuller. "We want to even the playing field with the goal of exponentially growing the number of Black-owned startups that get funded."

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