national venture capital association

It is a great time to be a startup founder, with soaring valuations and investors tripping over themselves to get a piece of startups. As hot as the startup scene was last year, it has gotten even hotter this year, with a slew of megadeals pumping even more money into the biggest startups as they prepare to go public in the frenetic IPO market.

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The 46-year-old poet-turned-financer Taj Eldridge is raising $250 million to support Black and brown entrepreneurs and investors.

The fund will be split in two buckets, $125 million will go toward direct investments in clean tech, healthcare tech, media and fintech, as well as follow-on investments for companies that its affiliated fund managers make investments in. The rest of the funds will support fund managers raising at least $5 million that are majority-owned by Black or Brown individuals with an environmental social governance focus.

"What we like to say is we like to see funds that impact how you work, how you live and how you thrive," Eldridge told Minnie Ingersoll on the LA Venture podcast.

Eldridge, senior director of investments for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, said the idea for the new fund began in 2019 before last summer's racial reckoning when he had a conversation with a "high net-worth individual" about reducing the racial wealth gap.

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Key takeaways:

  • Exit activity saw a major uptick nationally, recording the second highest exit values on record in Q3.
  • Local exit flow was the second lowest going back to 2014, but experts say there's little reason for concern
  • L.A. saw fewer deals in Q3 than anytime since 2016, but also the highest amount of capital invested since that year, showing a preference for quality over quantity
  • 2020 is on pace to establish a record high for total capital raised for VC funds, but big funds are having most of the success while smaller funds are struggling

Despite predictions of a black swan event amid the worst pandemic in a century that shows little sign of improving soon, venture capital exit activity saw a major uptick in the third quarter, according to the PitchBook-National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Venture Monitor released Tuesday. Dealmaking and fundraising were both also robust in Los Angeles and beyond.

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